Mark Twain famously said that Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition and even older than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.
More than 125 years later, nowhere is this more evident than on the uninterrupted corridor of the ghats of Varanasi, from where this ancient, yet vibrant city just spills onto the River Ganga. The holy mother river is the lifeline of the city and the extensive and continuous stretch of the riverfront with 84 ghats is where you can feel the rhythm and rhyme of Varanasi, replete with daily chores, rituals and religious ceremonies.
The intricate network of streets that meander from the riverfront steps into the deep recesses of the old city is a time-warp with its impossibly narrow alleyways flanked by centuries-old mansions. It is difficult not to feel a little lost while exploring the maze of twisting lanes slicing through the ancient neighborhoods, and often the best option could be to plant yourself in one of the streetside joints with a glass of famed Benaras lassi and feel the timeless appeal of this city, which is chaotic and serene, vibrant and soulful, all at once.