We went to Kashi Vishwanath Temple first thing in the morning. That was our first priority to do. For that, we had decided to start our day early so as to avoid the crowd thronging the temple and we could take our bikes as close to the temple as possible. As many people visit this temple, the security have put barricades near temple areas and no vehicles are around inside.
We had to take a locker as nothing is permitted to take inside. In turn we had to take something from the person to offer to God. You just can’t take locker and not buy something. In that case, the locker won’t be given to you. I had kept my ‘Vicks Inhaler” with me only just to check. That also, it was removed during inspection.
We were out quickly as there was not much crowd inside. We all prayed for our safe return journey home.
After coming out of the Temple, we decided to visit the famous Dashashwamedh Ghat. Actually, we were also thinking of having a boat ride the earlier day but, seeing all the boats lined up the shores of the ‘Ghat’, we knew that it was not going to happen. The Ganga river had swelled up owing to large rainfall this season. No one was simply going to take any risk. Returning from the place, we decided to have Tea.
After having a nice refreshing Chai, we decided to visit the Banaras Hindu University Campus and visit a temple situated inside. This is also Shri Vishwanath Temple and has less crowd than the main temple.
Unlike the main Kashi Vishwanath temple, this one allowed taking Cameras and Mobile Phones inside and hence we were able to click some photos.
The walls of the main temple hall on 3 sides were put up with these amazing wordings. They were all really worth reading and so I stopped to take some time out and read all of them. I also took photos of each. Meanwhile, CSK sir and Kartik went outside in the park and told me that they would wait.
All of them listed below are worth reading.
By now, we were really hungry and desperately looking for a shop to have some breakfast. CSK sir knew where that right place was. Meanwhile, Kartik left us and went straight to the service center to get his chain tightened.
We came back on the main road as the shop was situated in one of the lanes. I started to have the feeling that today was really going to be a foodie journey. Varanasi is like that. The smell of hot cooking oil and the things getting prepared in it. The aroma was intense. After all, it was the business starting time for all of them.
We were curious about seeing the number of people at this place and decided to check it out. They were little Kachori balls given in a bowl and topped with green and tamarind chutney.
There was something kept in another big utensil which was closed. When we inquired as to what was inside it, the person told us that they were ‘Gulabjamuns’ and so we decided to give it a try.
I was literally shell-shocked after I put that inside my mouth. It was little warm and so soft and rich, it just melted in my mouth right away. I couldn’t describe how happy I was and thought of taking a photo with the owner who just made my day.
Next, it was time to hit the taste buds with some creamy freshly churned ‘Lassi’. We knew exactly where we had to go. It was the ‘BLUE LASSI SHOP”. Again we had to ask for directions as it was rooted deep in one of the lanes.
One should definitely have a look on the inside of the shop as the entire wall surfaces are covered with passport size photos of the people visited till date. There wasn’t any area left for me on the sidewalls and hence I decided to paste mine along with my blog sticker on the ceiling wall!
After a good food trail across the streets of Varanasi, we decided visit yet another temple “Sankat Mochan’ temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. “Sankar Mochan” means, reliever of the pain. Since the terrorist attack, security had beefed up and so again we were not able to take photos of the premises.
We tried our hands on visiting different ‘Ghats’ and explore them but we were not able to go inside or climb down the ‘Ghat’ steps. The river owing to its full flow had deposited all the silt on the steps and it was really an awkward sight to see. Not the right time to visit. Also, we could hardly see any boat on the river at this time. It was really a high-risk activity and playing with one’s own life if anyone tried wading into the waters with a boat. One thing was missing in our city exploration. Everyone knows about the famous ‘Banarasi Pan’ and so we were on the lookout for one. After asking a few locals about the location of the famous shop in the vicinity we headed straight in its direction. But, to our dismay we found it to be closed. Tired from the scorching heat above, we decided to head back to our hotel.
As per our original plan, we had planned to spend only half a day in Varanasi and in the remaining half proceed towards Lucknow. With this, we had returned to the hotel to start our packing. When we both reached the hotel, Kartik had arrived and we were all set to move ahead with our bikes.
It was going to be a good 300 kms drive towards Lucknow. Initially, we faced good roads till we exited the city but after that the roads got diverted through villages as the main highway work was going on.
They were the shittiest roads I had ever faced in my life. I was literally cursing the UP government at that time. I mean, the main highway was almost 90% complete. It was just that it has to be joined from the main roads. And hence, we had to take a diversion often. But, the roads were like ‘Moon’ surfaces with craters as big as you can imagine. Add to that, the dust was choking us. Our luggage too was covered in a thick layer of dust.
Finally, we got lucky and for the remainder of 100 mm, we got well-paved roads. The kind of roads we were expecting initially. We increased our speeds but had to be careful as night had fallen and there were many people traveling at the high beam and driving the wrong side. It was tough as hell to concentrate when the beam hit the eyes from near. Plus, there were a lot of unauthorized road crossings in between and so we had to be really careful. We also encountered some ‘Highway’ racing which few locals tried to do with us on their bikes but, we ignored them.
Our Stay arrangements were being worked out as we drove. CSK Sir’s Mojo Tribe Lucknow team was going to arrange a stay for us. We saved the address and put it on google.
We reached Lucknow city at around 9 pm. We decided to have dinner before moving ahead to our stay location, the same strategy we had applied before. We were in Lucknow. The city of Kababs and Nawabs. While approaching the city we could see some skyscrapers around. It didn’t look like a city in the State of Uttar Pradesh. The city was something different, no doubt it is the capital and the place where once Royal Nawabs used to stay.
The taste of ‘Tunday Kabab’s’ mouth-melting kababs was still loitering in my mouth ever since I had eaten from them back in 2018 at one of their branches in Uttarakhand (I still doubt whether they have any branches outside UP). That was by default that we were going to have our dinner there only. CSK sir went ahead to the place and we were going to pack veg food from the place.
The Tunday’s once served in the kitchens of Mughals and the taste has been passed down from the kitchen since. Special Awadhi style cuisine.
We ate till we were satisfied and also packed food of CSK sir. From there, the distance to the stay place was not that far. We were going to stay in a Chruch. I just felt awesome. This was something unique in terms of me being staying in places. A friend of CSK sir from the Mojo tribe had booked a room in Church for us.
The Church’s name was ‘Life Center’. We reached the place, CSK sir and his friend were talking to each other. CSK sir only knew the person through social media and it was the first time now that both were meeting first hand. He showed us our room and then we shifted all our luggage. After a brief moment of time, the friend bid us goodbye for the night. He was going to come to pick up us the next morning.
The room was sufficiently large for three of us. An extra bed was arranged in addition to the king-size bed. Before going off to sleep, I had a good bath to get clear of the day’s dust and sweat that had gathered on my body. The rest of the 2 also followed the same. And, with that, it was time to say good night for the day. In short, the day ride was equally hectic and pleasant. The former part coming first in the journey.
We had to get ready by 7 am and the friend was going to come to see us off to our next destination.