Nepal, Dec. 7 -- I recently got an opportunity to travel to a few places of religious interest in India and I jumped at the chance because a) traveling always intrigues me and b) being indifferent about religion and its various aspects I wanted to understand it a little better by experiencing some places and rituals in all their magnificence. What I hadn't expected was a sort of spiritual awakening that these places would have on me.

In a week, I traveled from Kushinagar, a pilgrimage town in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, to Varanasi that is regarded as the spiritual capital of India. The city sees a lot of Hindu devotees who come to bathe in the sacred Ganges river as well as perform funeral rites of their departed family members. ...