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Travel Blogs from Varanasi
... br> We were close enough to the banks to see the fires, but as much as I was dreading this part of the trip, it really wasn't bad. We weren't that close, and I wasn't sure what to expect, but seeing the bonfires and what was the remains of a body seemed more of a passage than creepy. Hard to explain. We headed back to the main "ghat" (areas along the river are divided into sections called ghats), which is where the nightly prayer ceremony is held. ...
... burning ghat (Manikarnika) for a closer look.
Ignoring the various tourist touts we made our way past them and found an out of the way spot to perch and watch the scenes below. It was such a bizarre experience, outcasts or "untouchables" known as doms are the only people to handle the bodies as they bring them down to the Ganges on bamboo stretchers swathed in cloth. They then bathe the corpse in the river before cremation. Along the top of the ghats sit ...
... like meditation and someone was boogying
up on Mantras tune carefree and oblivious to the surroundings. Now, I sat on
the stairs alone. Five minutes later, a kid of around 8 years came and offered
me lemon tea which was just the thing to refresh me.
“Please, give me a cup of tea”, I
told to him. “This is for Rs. 10”, he replied. I said, ‘OK, no problem, please
give me.” He ...
... we offered was rejected out of hand but they relented after we rowed off and chased after us to seal the deal.We passed several former royal palaces on the river until we reached the steps that the Southern Indians use for their devotions and cremations.A short walk up the steps and along the lanes full of the locals starting their day and amidst all this what seemed like a farmyard milling about crowing,mooing and bleating.We stopped off at a local bakery ...
... with string, just the heads, no stalks. Nandan took us up some steps so we could look down on the activity and get some great photos.
Varanasi has been destroyed many times over the centuries which is why, despite it being one of the oldest cities in the world there are no surviving ancient structures. The oldest building in Varanasi is a beautifully carved stone shrine to Shiva, one of the three main Hindu Deities. It was approximately 400 years old. A Shiva shrine can ...