Eiffel Tower Replica in Varanasi to pray for peace and Paris
Travel keeps on surprising me, sometimes pleasantly sometime emotionally. I was in Varanasi last week to click pictures of Dev Diwali festival, a celebration to pay respect to river goddess Ganga and a few other Hindu beliefs. As I mentioned in earlier post Dev Diwali festival is the original festival that is now also celebrated in Thailand as Loi Krathong Festival which finds its roots in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. As I walked from Assi Ghat towards Sant Ravidas Ghat where Ganga Mahotsav is celebrated, I saw this replica of Eiffel tower of Paris with a simple message to pray for peace and remembering Paris.
Like a lot of people walking on the Ghats, I too was touched by the message and clicked some picture of the Eiffel Tower replica made on the Ghats. Later in the evening lamps were lit at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower along with everywhere else on the Ghats .
As I clicked the pictures of the oil lamps or Deepaks in front of the Eiffel Tower replica, I was told by one of the volunteers there that most of the arrangements were done by students of Benaras Hindu University ( BHU ) arts department students.
Behind the Eiffel Tower, on water tank type building near by was this effigy of the demon Ravan behind the Eiffel Tower, now those of you who know Hindu Mythology will know that Ravana is considered as the symbol of evil in India. Though the purpose of Ravana here was to throw him down from his high stand on the ground and then the local boys beat the effigy once it falls to the ground. People movement is stopped in the area to avoid any injury to those standing below as the Ravana falls from the top. So here we were in Varanasi praying for peace and demolishing the symbol of evil right next to it.
I am working on a more detailed post on my visit to Benaras or Varanasi, where I will write in more detail about the Dev Diwali festival and how I clicked some pictures of the same among thousands of people and countless oil lamps lit on the Ghats.. Till then if you have not read you may want to read some earlier posts about Varanasi on desi Traveler blog
Till then let us all pray for peace, for no matter what God you believe in, I am sure he / she believes in Peace.
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