Be it night or day, Kasi ghatscape is always beautiful. In the two images above one may see the curved shape of the ghatscape stretching from left up to the range of the images at right. To me, ghats around Kedar Ghat gave an entry into the mysterious realm of Kasi ghats. Looking towards Dashashwamedh Ghat from my point of entry, I always felt that a force beckoned me to push forward, at a fast pace too, and make my nearly-daily circuit to Dashashwamedh Ghat and then back through galis or ghats depending on several minor factors including my mood that day.
The beauty of the ghatscape lies in a nearly equal nature-architecture partnership. The arc separating river from the ghats has Gangaji (nature) on one side and the ghats (architecture) on the other. Looking at the river and focussing on its water flowing so slowly that it seems to be stagnant, only the floating flowers & c. confirm the direction and speed of the current, increases the chances of getting peace for the receptive mind. Looking at the ghatscape, specially the distant one on crowdless days, once again there are possibilities enough for feeling an internal peace. What fills the mind with peace and contentment is called serene. Isn’t it? Now I may be wrong but I think that it is this serenity of the whole zone that lies behind its beauty.
The ghatscape has a mesmerizing and addictive effect on people. Once addicted, there’s no cure.Where does that addiction come from? From the beauty of the ghatscape I think. There are many such addicts who have been coming to the ghats since their childhood, and if things continue peacefully, will continue coming till the last day of their life. A long time ago I naively used to think that I was one of them. Now I know, future must never be presumed. I separated myself from my Kasi. Now, there’s the risk of that spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling that some would term poetry. Words like Kasi, separation, nostalgia etc. always have some such kind of effect.
Let’s focus on the task in hand, i.e. beauty and Kasi. The nature half of the equation of beauty lies towards the eastern side of the arc separating the ghatscape from the river. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, the gigantic mirror of a river reflects the ever changing colours of the sky. From grey to vermillion to turquoise, its colour keeps changing.
The architecture half of the equation of beauty is the ghatscape the flows alongside Gangaji. The endless number of steps in the staircase, innumerable big, small and micro-temples on nearly all the ghats, the flow of people, they all enhance their beauty and attract millions towards them.
Kasi’s beauty is such, it’s said in the puranas, that Mahadev has blessed it with his presence forever.