Palace on Ganges
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Day 2 in Varanasi began with observation of more of the morning "cultural programme" that we had seen the previous morning. This included some classical music with tabla, a ground based accordion type instrument and singing. Vanessa was impressed by the melismatic vocal techniques and extensive range of the female singer. …
Varanasi is often described as a full on and confronting place, if for no other reason than the ferocity of the touts, but we have had a really interesting day wondering on the Ghats and through the windy alleys. We started with observation of the morning river ceremony, involving 11 girls chanting to a gong, while young men on raised "altars" used …
... one body was uncovered and we witnessed what must be the beginning of the ritual as the body is washed with the waters from the Ganges. We'd had enough after half an hour and we moved on. As we wandered past the last fire burning the unmistakable shape of the someone's feet could be seen jutting out of the stacked logs that were heavily ablaze. We've been told that these fires run 24 hours with up to 150 bodies being burnt a day. This was not ...