The purpose of a Kashi Yatra for most people is the performance of Vedic rites for their ancestors, and it was the same for us. My in-laws were performing all the rites, and we had nothing much to do. In fact, we weren’t allowed to accompany them to Gaya at all, as it is apparently considered inauspicious for those whose parents were alive to see the Akshaya Vatam and the Vishnu Padam. However, my curiosity about the rituals made me ask a number of questions which were thankfully answered in detail by two young people- the manager of the Kanchi Math at Kashi and the vadhyar or pundit who officiated at our rites. Both of them were extremely helpful, and it is entirely thanks to them that I have been able to write in such detail about Kashi as well as the surrounding places, even those we did not visit. At my request, I was given this list of the rites that are traditionally performed during a Kashi Yatra. I share this with all my readers in the hope that it may be of some use to them too. I have provided contact numbers of some people there who will be able to arrange everything for anyone who desires to perform these rituals. To read the full article, click here.
The lanes are narrow , twisting and turning amidst buildings old and new. Crumbling old structures with intricate workmanship stand side by side with art deco buildings, and more modern constructions, which follow no particular style. Autos, bicycles, motorcycles and vans rush past, blowing their horns as loudly as possible, while cows saunter past peacefully, completely unaffected by the noise. In the midst of all this chaos, children play by the side, and women go about their chores, as we explore these by-lanes of Bikaner, and its beautiful Havelis. Facade of one of the Rampuria Havelis