Banaras has countless places for one to get engaged in some serious soul-searching. And the Ganga ghats are the best place among all.

And when talking of ghats for soul-searching, two ghats stand out, for embodying the essence of human existence – Harishchandra Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat.

These two cremation ghats are considered the eternal embodiment of life’s grand illusions and the only grand reality – that, one has to die – that, no one can say ‘when’ – and, that, many blurred lines between illusions and realties of a life are dependent on this ‘when’.

Whether seriously intended, or just a random stop during a walk through the Ganga ghats in Varanasi, the atmosphere of these two ghats engages people sitting on the ghat-steps in thinking about the basic question of life – that we keep on asking regularly – and we ask when we depart finally – the purpose of life – what did we do and why did we do ‘what did we do’?

Attachments and detachment are subjected to the questions that we ask while sitting on these ghat-steps – and detachment gets us the sublime feeling of being free of all that is material – free of all that binds us – that nothing can change the destiny of our final moments when our physical presence is finally reduced to nothing – but our deeds of being the good human-beings – to us, to others, and to the existentialism of life.

The existential beauty of life – or some can say the existential irony – is the attachments get back to being the central to our existence once we move on to the next ghat from this realm of soul-searching.

The Entourage at the Final Resting Place

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


He used to sit there, at those steps. It was his daily routine, for years. He didn’t remember when it was the last time he violated his routine.

He had not taken any vow. He was never deeply religious.

Often, he did not look at God as he was looking at God.

Yes, he questioned God, but turned back to Him, as well.

Yes, he used to come there, to sit there. Coming there had become like a part of his daily life. He was so deeply into it that he consciously avoided going anywhere that could have taken him away from this routine.

He would come there. Sitting silent, he would try to look inside him to understand the meaning of his silence. And the silence would respond. It happened regularly.

There was an increasing understanding with silence. And the flow helped him.

Sitting with his ‘self’, he would talk to his silence.

Sitting with his silence, he would travel with music of the flow.

It was a detached attachment. He had no thought when he started this one fine day, with a random decision.

The flow had many – sitting by its ghat-steps, waiting for its caring embrace and soul soothing music, and it cared for everyone.

The flow did not expect anything in return and whatever he wished while being there, at the steps, was nothing more than detached expectations.

He needed and he tried to feel something more powerful, than a human-God relation.

And having detached attachment with detached expectations showed him the way further.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Sacred thoughts
The flow brings
While sitting with
The Mother River
When walking along
The Sacred Waters

Sacred thoughts
Transcending the soul
In conversation
With the nature
In Harmony
With a distressed Self

The Sacred Waters
Blessing the soul
With the morning song
Teaching the Self
With the evening choir
In the moments within

The Sacred Waters
Flowing since eternity
Through Shiva’s Abode
Are the Mother’s embrace
To help, telling you
To seek answers within..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Sitting at the ghat steps of the Ganga on a day like this
Looking at the eternal flow while reflecting on life

Random thoughts in ambiguities of absent moments
When the music of silence takes over the presence
And slowly, the soul travels to a different world
Where the thoughts talk to the soul, connect to you

Sitting at the ghat steps of the Ganga, thinking of life
Making note of your days, taking stock of your ways
When, suddenly, you see to think clear, to reflect better
Driven by the songs of the chaos that the ghats write

The pull of mysticism and the Shiva’s call of realization
In fusion with Kashi’s responsibly carefree way of living
Transcends the soul to the healing realms of introspection
Where you get the chance to connect to you, to talk to the life

Talking to the eternal flow of the Mother River
During the journey you take while sitting with the Ganga

Golden Beads of Ganga

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –