Hotel Hindusthan International Varanasi
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Another nice Indian breakfast and we met up with our new guide, Sudeep, a really nice young guy who spoke English quite well. He was one of the two people meeting us at the end of our cycle rickshaw ride, and guiding us to our hotel. He is of the Brahmin caste Hindu and it showed in his gentle manner. He took us along the ghats (wide stone steps descending down to the Ganges) and gave us great info along the way but no pressure buy anything. Up ...
... new pyres, carried wood and grass for kindling, swept coals into containers. Relatives stood by the pyre, but without any displays of emotion - this was a purely functional scene.
At the northern end of the Ghats we disembarked for a walking tour of the temples and old section of the town. This included a visit to a temple where the God Shiva had been given ...
... are equal in death. There are special platforms for the funeral pyres of wealthy people, higher castes, military officers and government officials. All others are cremated on the river bank. Some types of wood are preferred to others, and of course the preferred woods (sandalwood being at the top of the list) are more expensive.
None of this is accessible to the very poor. The cost of firewood alone is prohibitive.
The owners of the burning ghat have the ...
... and bags had to be checked in at security. The temple had the most amount of monkeys that I've seen in one place. I had a chance to touch Hanuman's feet which was in an area inside a fenced off area , each of these temples you could spend a day in but we had a few minutes in each one before getting on the rickshaw and off to the next destination which was the Golden Temple this one you're not allowed to go inside if you're a foreigner but allowed to see the rooftop from the ...
... we were staying right on the Dasaswamedh Ghat, right in the heart of where you want to be. We had arrived late so after a quick shower to freshen up we headed upstairs to or guest house restaurant for a cheese and tomato toasty and fries before bed. On arrival at our guest house we had met a guy called Rajeev and had organised to meet him the next day for a non stop sightseeing day. It all began with a 5:45 am start to watch 'Puja' - an act of worship where people come ...