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Banaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together. “

~Mark Twain

9-5 jobs, rat race, daily hustle, stress – marks the daily life of us, the 21st-century working city dwellers. And there are certain times when our ears, our mind, our soul, and our body want to break through this mundane life and land somewhere that’s far away from the bustling cacophony.  And then with this strong desire, when we close our eyes, we are transported to the land that emanates divinity and piousness, the land that shelters all spiritual seekers and is brimming with life, the land of Varanasi. 

File:Varanasi Munshi Ghat3.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Situated at the banks of the river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi has a lot of synonyms; popular ones like Kashi, Banaras, and Varanasi and lesser-heard names like Mahashamshan, Brahma Vardha, Sudarsana, and Ramya.

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From time immemorial, Varanasi has remained as one of the most sacred pilgrimage centers of Hindu. Even amidst chaos, there’s a slow rhythm in this city that reassures our tired souls that life is not all about hustling and thus people land up here over and over to get a new life; to soothe their exhausted souls. 

Now, this city that allures us to its mystical charm, has many interesting features. Here are 15 such fascinating features of the ‘spiritual capital of India’.

1. Oldest City

File:Varanasi cremation.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

The oldest living city in the world, that is the chief center of civilization for more than 3000 years.

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2. Abode of Shiva & Parvati

File:Siva Parvathi.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

As per Hindu mythology, this place exists from the time of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi and is believed to be their abode. And being the city of such divinity, no one remains hungry here.

3. Moksha or salvation

Woman in Green Blazer Holding Bouquet of Flowers

It is believed that a person who takes the last breath in this holy city will surely attain ‘moksha’ or salvation.

4. Numerous Ghats

Silhouette of Boats on Sea during Sunset

Banaras is the only place on this earth with 84 ghats which makes it the city with the highest number of river banks in the world. The most noteworthy ghats are Dashashwamedha, Manikarnika, and Harishchandra respectively.

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5. ‘City of Light’

File:Faculty of Arts Building, Banaras Hindu University.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Alongside being the dual titleholder of the oldest city and the holiest city, Varanasi is also known as the ‘City of Light’. And this is solely because of the greatest seat of learning, Banaras Hindu University which is the largest university in Asia for studying Hindu scriptures – Vedas.

6. Countless temples

Free photo Ganga Ghats Ganges Varanasi Ganga India River - Max Pixel

According to the witty Bengali sleuth Feluda, Varanasi has 33 crore temples alongside being the birthplace of the 23rd Tirthankara, Parsvanath. 

7. Uniqueness at its peak

Man Holding Container With Smoke

Kashi is the only place on this earth where even frogs are married off by the Hindu priests to please the Hindu Gods whenever rains are delayed. This is carried out at Ashwamegh Ghat where hundreds of people gather to witness this unique occasion. 

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8. Mahasamshana

Varanasi is also known as ‘Mahasamshana’ or ‘the great cremation ground’ as about 300 dead bodies are cremated here per day in the ghats of Manikarnika. 

9. Hub of rich literature

This pious land was the birthplace of two great writers Prem Chand and Tulsidas.

10. Banarasi sarees

File:Konia, brocade sari.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

The prime component of all Indian weddings is undoubtedly the Benarasi sarees. And Benaras is the largest seller of Benarasi Silk which can take up to 6 months to complete a single piece.

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11. Etymology

This city is named after the rivers Varuna and Asi.

12. Ayurveda and Yoga

Free photo Immunity Nutrition Ayurveda Antioxidant Glass - Max Pixel

It is believed that Varanasi is the place where Ayurveda and Yoga originated and spread to the whole world. 

13. Birthplace of renowned composers

Not just authors, Varanasi is the native place of two great composers of all time — Pandit Ravi Shankar, the great Sitar virtuoso, and Ustad Bismillah Khan, the pioneer of shehnai.

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14. Land of majestic doors

Apart from the temples and ghats, one can find a number of majestic doors popularly called ‘Patthar ka Darwaza while taking a stroll down the dingy lanes of Machhodari, Bengali Tola, Shivala, Kedarghat, and Dashshashwamedh. Although they are now being replaced by modern architecture, some parts of the city strongly boast such beautifully carved outdoors. 

15. A tourist hub

People in Yellow and White Suit Holding Fire Hose

Varanasi is visited by a huge flock of tourists every year as it has a lot to offer. From beautiful temples to serene ghats and other picturesque places, this city undoubtedly secures a place in the bucket list of every traveler.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and run away from the daily conundrum to this mystic land! 

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This post has been written by Swarnali Dutta.

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Travel

8 Amazing Indian Travel Vloggers Who Will Get You Off Your Couch

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8 Amazing Indian Travel Vloggers Who Will Get You Off Your Couch
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Content creation has popularised many underrated genres in India, with Travel being among the most popular. While most of us spend our days of leisure scrolling reels, some go out of their comfort zone and take the less traveled roads in quest of amusing cultural, social, and scenic gems. Be it through reels or detailed videos, travel vlogs are surely one of the most watched contents on the internet.

With so many travel vloggers around, it might be difficult to choose the right ones. Well, keep calm, as we have brought to you 8 amazing Indian Travel vloggers who will entertain you and make you plan your next trip soon!

8 Amazing Indian Travel Vloggers Who Will Get You
Off Your Couch

Ronnie and Barty

Ronnie & Barty Indian Travel vlogger

Have you ever wondered how fantastic it is to travel with your partner? Well, this husband-wife duo has surely proved it to be wonderful. Based on the hilly terrains of Manali, this Indian Travel vlogger duo beautifully chronicles their everyday life and unique quests on some less traveled roads. Be it snowy mornings from Manali or the scenery of Thailand, this channel has a lot in store for you.

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Started by Rohan Thakur and Bharti Bahrani, this youtube channel portrays an aesthetic experience with some amazing photography and filming. Since 2017, this channel has grown to more than 340K subscribers and more than 2 million views. If you want to witness some amazing picturesque travel views, this channel is for you.

DesiGirl Traveller (Priyanka Chandola)

DesiGirl Traveller Indian Travel vlogger

When amazing visual storytelling comes with a detailed guide to travel, it creates some wonderful experiences, just like Priyanka Chandola does. This Indian Travel vlogger is popular as DesiGirl Traveller across various platforms. Her videos are amazingly filmed, highly elaborated, and surely a treat for all of us vacationing on our couches.

With more than 3 million views, Priyanka Chandola documents her travel experiences uniquely and captivatingly. Besides traveling, her videos are known for budget food and budget shopping hacks that are certainly helpful for all the traveling shopping bugs out there!

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Hopping Bug (Nitish Sharma)

Hopping Bug Indian Travel vlogger

Fun, wonderful and distinct can be one the few words to describe this Indian Travel vlogger. With some eye-pleasing cinematography and editing, Nishit Sharma, popularly called Hopping Bug, has taken travel vlogs to the next level. Cinematic shots, along with Nishit connecting with the locals, make his videos truly heartwarming and unique. While all his travel vlogs are amazing, his international trips are a must-watch for all.

Since 2016, along with travel videos, Nishit has also given his viewers tips and tricks on upskilling their filmmaking skills, and no wonder that has gained him over 2.3 million views and 200k subscribers on youtube. If you love aesthetic videos along with some local connections to a place, this channel is surely for you.  

Varun Vagish

Varun Vagish Indian Travel Vlogger

With more than 1.5 million subscribers, Varun Vagish is a popular travel vlogger hosting the youtube channel Mountain Trekker. Varun Vagish is an ex-journalist who gave up his job to follow his passion for traveling. His zeal to explore the world led him to travel to various countries and unique places.

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His unparalleled storytelling portraying the confluences of culture, eco-friendly tourism, and pocket-friendly hacks to travel has got his videos over 20 million views on youtube. He was honored with the National Award by the Government of India for promoting eco-friendly tourism across the globe.

Radhika Nomllers

Radhika Nomllers Indian Travel Vlogger

“Adventure fuels my soul,” says Radhika, for whom travel is more than just leisure. Initially, she started documenting her travel experiences as a blogger. After collaborating with various travel companies, she started her video content creation on youtube in 2019. 

Ever since then, she has redefined travel in her unique way. For most, when traveling is just for leisure, Radhika has pushed her to new adventures in her trips. Be it flying high as a paraglider or going deep down the oceans as an advanced diver; she has experienced it all. Her vlogs are entertaining and insightful and will surely get you off your couch! 

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Nomadic Indian (Deepanshu Sangwan)

Nomadic Indian Indian Travel Vlogger

Planned trips? Nah, that phrase is undoubtedly missing from the Indian travel vlogger Deepanshu Sangwan’s dictionary. In 2017, borrowing some money from a friend, Deepanshu started his traveling career just to take a break from his CAT preparation. Today, with more than 1.5 million subscribers and over 20 million views, Nomadic Indian is one of the most loved travel channels.

Since 2017, Deepanshu has traveled to over 12 countries like Iran and Afghanistan and has brought up the cultural aspects and tourist attractions of all such amazing places. Most of his trips are unplanned and based on hitchhiking. Maybe that’s how he ends up with picturesque views and unique lands! 

Tanya Khanijow

Tanya Khanijow Indian Travel Vlogger

Being a solo Indian travel vlogger from Delhi, travel for Tanya Khanijow is more than just visiting places. The confluence of various cultures and heritage of a land captivates her to travel. Tanya Khanijow has not only vlogged international trips but has also traveled to various off-beat places across India.

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Beginning her career in traveling as a side hustle, Tanya Khanijow today has more than 1 million subscribers and more than 600k followers across social media platforms. So if you are looking for an Indian Travel Vlogger with amazing experiences and important travel hacks and tips, Tanya Khanijow is a must-watch for you.

Monkey Magic (Raunaq Sahni)

Monkey Magic Indian Travel Vlogger

This is hands down the fastest-growing travel channel in the country. It was in 2022 when creator Raunaq Sahni decided to document his 100 days of travel across India. This series has some of the most bizarre yet amazing experiences across North Eastern India, Kerala, and parts of Himachal. Raunaq’s videos aren’t just travel vlogs; they portray what India and its people are about. 

Initially beginning, in 2016, Raunaq worked primarily as a video editor after passing out from film school. Last year with his unique ideas and amazing storytelling, his channel gained over 1.6 million subscribers and over 4.3 million views. This channel will not only awe you with travel videos but will also instill some great ideas in your mind.

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Let us know in the comments below your favorite Indian Travel Vlogger, and also let us know when you are planning your next trip!

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Travel

Travel Bucket List Incited By Bollywood Movies

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Travel Bucket List Inspired By Bollywood Movies
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More than travel magazines, Bollywood movies have made certain places a part of our travel bucket list. Every shot needs to be aesthetically pleasing, and hence, according to the plot, the production crew needs to decide the most suitable location. Many destinations become tourist destinations due to the beauty depicted in Bollywood movies. Let’s not wait anymore and dive in because Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Travel Bucket List Incited By
Bollywood Movies

Corsica – Tamasha

Corsica - Tamasha

Apart from the beauty of Corsica, what made this place our dream destination? Well, it’s because what happens in Corsica stays in Corsica. It’s a hidden island between the borders of France and Italy, and a hidden gem is supposed to hide some secret jaw-dropping scenery. 

Switzerland – Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

Switzerland - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge

We all know that Kashmir is called mini Switzerland. But what will happen if you are shown actual Switzerland? Magic! Unless you don’t miss your train just like Raj and Simran. The place will amaze you with deep Alpine lakes and grassy valleys. Whether day or night, you will always be ready to groove on “Zara Sa Jhum Lu Main.”

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Goa – Dear Zindagi

Goa - Dear Zindagi

We have all played Kabaddi. But have you ever played Kabaddi with the ocean? Then Goa is the place. Goa is famous for its beaches, and now we have a unique reason to visit its beaches, to enjoy a fun game just like Kaira and Jug. Another thing that made Goa super cool because of the movie is the bliss of cycling on the road between coconut trees. 

Leh Ladakh – Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Leh Ladakh - Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Remember that beautiful shot where Samar, aka SRK, was shown driving Royal Enfield. That scene was shot near Pangong Lake. Moreover, shooting in this location can also be seen in movies such as Sanam Re and 3 Idiots. This place has something about it which asks us to pack our bags and visit. 

Udaipur – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Udaipur - Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

The city of lakes has been calling us since we all have watched Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. It has even become a wedding destination for many people. The place is rich in art, culture, and food that you cannot resist visiting. It’s a wholesome place for those in love with art and who are artistically living their lives. 

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Darjeeling – Barfi

Darjeeling - Barfi

The movie begins with the song “Ala Barfi,” which takes us to witness the various scenic beauty of Darjeeling. Further in scenes while Barfi is cycling doing his usual activities, we can see Andrew’s Church in the backdrop which made the shot ecstatic. The steam engine on the streets of Darjeeling is another compelling sight.

Manali – Jab We Met

Manali - Jab We Met

Remember the lyrics like “Yeh Ishq Haye Baithe Bithaye Jannat Dikahye,” and Manali felt like Jannat (Heaven) in the movie. Aditya and Geet driving over the icy mountains in an open Jeep is one of those sights we can never forget. The culturally rich market and the folk dance made the mountains even more fascinating. 

Ooty – Golmaal Again

Ooty - Golmaal Again

We all know that Golmaal Again didn’t come to our expectations, but the location chosen for the movie was no less than a fairyland. The movie’s songs gave us an amazing vibe because of the location, filled with lush green hills and pastures. 

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Munnar – Chennai Express

Munnar - Chennai Express

The “Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari” song got all its incredible shots at Munnar. Though the complete movie is aesthetic, there’s a separate fan base for the vibe of this particular song. Who wouldn’t love to walk among the tea plantations when we are freshened just by a few glimpses of it? 

Dalhousie – Lootera

Dalhousie - Lootera

A period romance set in the 1950s on the land of Dalhousie made the place even more enchanting. The immense snow in the movie feels somewhat like Narnia. Though Dalhousie has traveled many years since the 1950s, we can still witness its natural beauty in the lap of nature. 

Let us know what other places are on your bucket list and are inspired by Bollywood movies. 

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Lifestyle

12 Less Uncommon Happening Places In Mumbai

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12 Less Uncommon Happening Places In Mumbai
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In The city of dreams, Mumbai presents a unique experience that is unmatched and irreplaceable to any other destination. It is the city of aspirants, power-packed nightlife along with stretches of shimmering beaches, caves, magnificent architecture, religious temples, and delicious cuisine.

With all these exciting and amazing recreational opportunities, Mumbai offers a wholesome experience. There are some uncommon happening places in Mumbai and we are here to name a few.

David Sassoon library and reading room

David Sassoon library and reading room

Built-in 1847, the library is one of the best and most famous libraries in Mumbai. It was also listed among the 47 classical libraries of the world in 2006.

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It is one of those libraries in Mumbai which has works of literature in almost all the regional languages like Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati. The oldest book in the library dates back to the ancient 16th century.

Worli Sea Face

Worli Seaface | HELPGETINFO

Famous for experiencing giant waves during the monsoon season, this tourist place attracts locals and tourists all year long. The Worli sea face also has several magnificent features like the Worli Fort, Haji Ali Dargah, and Bandra Worli sea link which is also known as the Rajiv Gandhi sea link.

Maharashtra Nature Park Society

Maharashtra Nature Park Society:

It was established to provide education and generate awareness on nature conservation. This Nature Park with its wonderful settings in absolutely rich biodiversity makes it an ideal place for this purpose. 

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Cathedral of the Holy Name

Cathedral of the Holy Name

Cathedral of the Holy Name is a Roman Catholic Church in Colaba that has been functioning as the archbishop’s seat and mother Church of the archdiocese of Bombay. This church had gained the status of a cathedral in March 1964 and in 1988 the church was declared as a heritage building. 

Sewri Jetty

This place is an underrated gem because it sees about 40,000 flamingos nest and feeds during November when they arrive from Kutch in Gujarat and leave by June. This activity makes Mumbai one of the three major cities in the world to host flamingos.

Gilbert Hill

Gilbert Hill

Gilbert Hill is another underrated tourist spot in Mumbai and it offers a panoramic view of the suburban city. Efforts are also being made to convert Gilbert hill into a tourist attraction and include it as a stop on a tour of Mumbai Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation.

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Chhota Kashmir

Chhota Kashmir

Chota Kashmir is a colorful garden that is developed in the Aarey local area just near the Aarey dairy.  This garden is full of a variety of colorful flowers which blossom in all seasons around the year. The evergreen lawns of the garden punctuated with coastal coconut trees also remind the visitors of the natural beauty of Kashmir which is why this garden is known as Chhota Kashmir. 

Banganga Tank and Walkeshwar Temple

Banganga Tank and Walkeshwar Temple

This tank is a feature of the Walkeshwar Shiva temple complex which was made in 1127 by the Silhara dynasty. It is one of the most underrated pilgrim spots in Mumbai for devotees all around the world. 

Mahakali Caves

Mahakali Caves:

The Mahakali caves contain a lot of 19th-century rock-cut monuments built between the first and the sixth centuries. The main cave also contains Buddha figures and stupas with several Buddha idols carved on the rocks too. 

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PhugGalli

This market runs alongside the overcrowded station of Dadar in Mumbai and is one of the oldest flower markets in the city.  It’s a total color assault on the eyes with the most amazing floral aroma and a riot of colors filling this little pocket of Mumbai.

Dahanu Beach

Dahanu Beach

This beach is located in the Dahanu Taluka of Palghar district. It is famous for its extensive and tidy beach and its humongous Chiku fruit orchids. Though it is quite warm during summer, the gentle breeze cools down the entire bridge. 

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Pandavkada falls

This waterfall is said to have derived its name from the Pandavas who had once visited the place and taken baths below the falls when they were exiled in the forest as per the Hindu traditional myths. There is a huge tunnel from where the Pandavas come and that is why it is known as Pandav Kada. Though the trek to this waterfall is something like a trek to heaven where the city meets the soul, it is quite dangerous to trek here.   

The places that are mentioned above have somehow lost their stature under the fancy shopping hubs and entertainment parks. However, these are some of the best places you could visit in this city to have a cherishing holiday experience.

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