Mark Twain described Varanasi as 'older than history, older than tradition, older than legend'; this epitomizes the inspirations and experiences this ancient city offers to any visitor that graces its sacred streets. The seat of Hinduism, believed to be directly governed by the supreme deity Lord Shiva Himself, it is also the site where one seeks moksha, or liberation from the endless cycle of life and death. At the holy riverfront of the sacred Manikarnika Ghat, publicly-held cremation ceremonies reinforce this timeless belief. The scenic stretch of steps, also known as the Dashashwamedh Ghat, on the banks of the mythical River Ganges, outlines the deeply iconic legacy of Varanasi. As the sun sets on this holy city, the ghat comes alive with religious rituals that awaken and stir even the most non-religious of souls. The city returns to a state of calm soon after, until the first rays of the sun render it alive again. Several historic monuments that tremble with divinity dot its streets, from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Sankat Mochan Temple, to Bharat Mata Mandir and the Buddhist site of Sarnath (a few kilometers away). Varanasi, with its narrow alleyways, saffron-robed Godmen, atmospheric ghats and a cornucopia of smells is a splendid milieu of sought-after chaos.