Leaving the area around the main Hindu temple in Varanasi, which is dedicated to Shiva as Lord of the Universe, one enters an area patrolled by Indian Army regulars. One of them approached me and asked if I wanted to buy some ganja. The domes of a mosque constructed under the last of the great Moghuls, Aurangzeb (d.1707), rise above the ruins of the old Vishwanath temple. The puritanical Aurangzeb ordered the destruction of many Hindu Temples in the 17th century. Revolts broke out everywhere, and the karma continues to the present day. Here, white army tents are set up in a compound surrounded by barbed wire housing soldiers who are charged with keeping the peace between the two communities.
TURTLE HILL© 2000