Ashok Kumar Verma alias Ashok Anand, a Government of India recognized tourist guide, has many achievements to his credit. Well versed in every aspect of the rich and glorious cultural tradition of Kashi, he is in the truest sense a friend, philosopher and guide to every tourist. Amicably, he explains the beauty of the Ghats of Banaras, the religious interpretation of Kashi, the spirituality of the Ganga, temples, and Sarnath the seat of Buddha.He allows tourists from different countries to consider themselves a part of India for a while, especially the great culture of Kashi.
All tourists guided by him leave the city with a positive image of Kashi, which is proof of his skill as a guide. Their feeling of happiness and appreciation finds expression in their letters of thanks. They write “Of all guides we met in India, you are undoubtedly the best and friendliest.”
Such letters are not only a valuable treasure for Ashok but also testimonies of his devotion and skill. He had the opportunity to show the city to many world famous personalities such as South African President Nelson Mandela, Sri Lankan President R. Premdasa, writer from Mauritius Abhimanyu Anath and dramatist, actor Girish Karnad and others. Such experiences have given a new dimension to his thought and imagination.
This is why he is especially recommended as guide to many foreign tourists visiting the city. He not only shows them the city from his own point of view but also relates to their own aesthetic sense. His cultural and spiritual interpretation of the city leaves a deep impression on their minds.
He acted as Nelson Mandela’s guide. He explained to first lady of Surinam, Mrs. Gijela Shanker about Sarnath. Abhimanyu Anath of Mauritius and Girish Karnad also appreciated his services. He attended I.T.B. Berlin, Germany in 2005 and represented the holy city of Varanasi.
He is also proud to have served as guide for Mr. Pritzer of Hyatt Group, journalists from The New York Times, Fulbright professors and scholars, guests of USEFI (U.S. Educational Foundation in India), the delegation of NWAB (National Women’s Association of Bhutan) and hundreds of prestigious groups/FITs of Cox & Kings, Indebo, Journeys tours, Travcoa, Orient Express, Banyan Tours, Adventure World, Tema, Far Horizan, Incentive Destinations, Designer holidays and Bales among others. He was invited by Creative to deliver lecturers to their prestigious American Groups (Tauk World Discovery).