One of our friends shared this wonderful and accurate journal of traveling on the road towards Kumbh. Of course we had to share it here...Thanks a lot Gautam Trivedi for this word-by-word account!
* (all images for this post have been sourced online)
1:11 PM: We have now hit the NHAI highway. Kishan informs us that we are passing through Badhohi district, famous for Benarasi silk.
1:20 PM: We are passing through the town of Gopiganj. I am always looking out for interesting things and I find that beside the standard SBI branch this town has an IndusInd and an HDFC branch. That tells me that there is enough prosperity for these 2 private sector banks to open branches.
The other thing I notice is that I see only 2 brands of cement being sold: Jaypee and Prism Cement. Also we passed by several fruit sellers selling green grapes and oranges. Kishan confirms that these are local produce.
2PM: We are at the town of Bhandia, 43 kms from Allahabad. Nilima has motioned Kishan to stop at a samosa shop. I quickly run in and buy 4 at an astronomical cost of INR 16. Only 4 Rs a samosa? Looks like inflation hasn't hit this town. The samosas are yummy and similar to the one I ate last year in Lucknow: only aloo (no peas) and lots of ginger with the masala. I just realised that this was my 3rd visit to UP in the past 12 months.
We got on to a motorboat and reached that point to take the 3 holy dips that cleanse us of our sins. The water waist high and cold. Nilima and I dipped thrice and got back on the motorboat. Was it an enlightening experience? I can't say, but somehow I felt good that I had done it.
4:30PM: Had a late lunch at El Cristo restaurant and left for the return journey to Benaras.
08:08PM: Reached Benaras and went to Basant Bihar (a small hole in the wall) to have lassi. The shopkeeper asked me if I wanted dahi ki lassi or malai ki lassi. I balked at the thought of having a malai ki lassi and instead chose the relatively safer dahi ki lassi. But it came with a layer of malai. However, I wasn't impressed ..... I have had better lassis.
08:30PM: Checked into the Taj Gateway. Nilima and I were too tired so we ordered room service. The Dum Aloo Benaras style was fantastic. It was in tomato gravy with fennel and onion seeds. I watched the Dow hit a record all time high while having dinner in the room. We have to wake up early at 01:45AM and to attend the mangla arti at Kashi Vishwanath temple.
(*shared by Gautam Trivedi)
- Debolina Raja Gupta
And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ
Debolina Raja Gupta