Celebrated American basketball player Dwight Howard has found "peace" after a visit to Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India. The 36-year-old shared snippets of his journey to the holy city. (More Sports News)
“At peace with myself and the world after a visit to Varanasi. A spiritual journey that has rejuvenated the soul," the 36-year-old wrote in an Instagram post.
The Los Angeles Lakers centre also hailed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi "for magical reformation of the holy city," and said that the sacred site will continue to inspire many legends.
"Congratulations @narendramodi for magical reformation of the holy city. Varanasi has inspired so many legends, I am humbled. I am sure the reincarnation of this sacred city will inspire many more.”
In one of the photos, Dwight Howard, with sandalwood on his forehead, was seen spending time with other pilgrims.
The Uttar Pradesh Tourism board also shared a video of Dwight Howard's visit, saying that the "NBA champion @DwightHoward traveled to #Varanasi. He enjoyed witnessing the transcendental Ganga Aarti and shared his experience on his visit to this ancient city of spirituality & culture."
Varanasi (Kashi) is a city on the river Ganga in northern India. It remains probably the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites, known as tirthas; and it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities, the others being Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kanchipuram, Dwarka and Ujjain.
Varanasi is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
According to reports, the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year also visited Agra and other cities in north India.
Dwight Howard was picked by Orlando Magic in the 2004 NBA Draft. He has since Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers. He rejoined Los Angeles Lakers last season for a third stint, and won his first NBA championship.
The eight-time All-Star was also part of US 'Dream Team' which won the basketball gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.