Varanasi – The Ganges

Twelve hours later the quaint town of Orchha seemed a distant memory as our overnight train arrived at our craziest destination yet “Varanasi”. According to the Hindu religion this is the holiest and oldest living city in the world. Most pass through this surreal city on Pilgrimage or to get freedom from the cycle of life and death by being cremated in an open wood fire by the side of the river Ganga (Manikarnika Ghat – The burning Ghat). The Ganga is known as being Holy water so once the bodies have been cremated the ash’s are thrown into the river where ten metres down people are using the same water for swimming, bathing &washing clothes! The river sides are bombarded with holy men, spiritualist, ghats, people praying, doing yoga, beggars and the roads here are so busy with tuk tuks, cycle rickshaws and mopeds that you can barely cross the road. You really need to see this city to believe it…

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A holy man – he spends his time meditating, reading palms and doing yoga. These men live off donations and can knock on anyone’s door for food or water.

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The Ganges

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The burning ghats

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The biggest Hindu prayer ceremony takes place every evening

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Hindu artwork

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Spot the road – human traffic, the overcrowded streets of India

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Sunrise on the Ganges

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Indian space Invader spotted in Varanasi

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