THE GHATS OF VARANASI
India

 

Holy Waters of Hinduism

Click here for Episode 18

India makes its first appearance with the holiest place in Hinduism, Varanasi, on the banks of the mighty Ganges river.  The Gangetic plain is one of the most fertile and densely populated regions of the world, and it has been at the center of Indian history for millennia.  Varanasi's riverside ghats are a swirl of color, faith, life, and death.

We discuss the vedas, the beginnings of the caste system, the Upanishads, the great epics - the Ramayana and Mahabharata - and the development of Indian civilization with Vivek Vasan from the Historical India podcast. 

The capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, is famous for its kebabs, especially lamb kebabs.  Since my wife doesn't eat red meat, I recommend a lentil recipe like empress dal.  

 

Sources:

 

Doniger, Wendy. On Hinduism

Eck, Diana L. India: a Sacred Geography

Ede, Piers Moore. Kaleidoscope City: a Year in Varanasi

Keay, John. India: a History

 

Lonely Planet Guide to India

Shearer, Alistair. The Upanishads Selections

 

Photo by Jeeheon Cho on wikicommons

 

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