Just a little more, I tell myself as I follow the hotel attendant up steep stairs to my hotel room.
I am in Varanasi after what seems like a long, long day. A day that began with an early morning flight to Delhi getting delayed, leading to my almost missing the connecting flight to Varanasi. And then there was this ride from Varanasi airport through the most crowded roads I have been through in recent times. All this was enough to stress me out on the very first day of a holiday that I had started planning in May this year.
When the hotel attendant opens the door to my room, I can’t believe my eyes. The view is exactly as the hotel website claims it would be: an uninterrupted view of the river Ganga or the Ganges or Ganga ji as the locals call it. All my tiredness and irritation vanishes in an instant as I sit down on the chair in the balcony and let Ganga ji take over.
For the next 3 days, if I was not exploring Varanasi or resting, I would be at the balcony watching life go by. Presenting some vignettes from the room with a view:
Sitting in the balcony of the hotel I stayed in and watching (and photographing) life on the Ganga was quite addictive. Even when I was not out in the balcony, my ears would be tuned to the sounds that carried up to my room—the sound of oars against the water, the drone of the occasional motor boat, people diving into the waters, prayers and songs, temple bells, and sometimes even conversations.
I stayed at Sita Guest House at Chausatthi Ghat, a central location, on the banks of the Ganga. Though the location is great, access to the hotel is not. It is through winding, twisting alleys and paths so narrow that you can’t spread out your arms. This also means that vehicles cannot come up to the entrance of the hotel, necessitating a walk of about half a kilometre or more. Though the hotel staff come to pick you up and drop you off, and help with the luggage, it can still be a bit of a chore to navigate the alleyways.
But it was all worth it just for that view, that wonderful room with a view. That healing, soothing, relaxing view of the Ganga and by the Ganga.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
- Dussera in Varanasi
- The Ganga Aarti in Varanasi
- The Ghats of Varanasi
- Getting lost in the alleys of Varanasi