Still Number One..

Trip Start May 02, 2006
Trip End Mar 02, 2007

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, November 2, 2006

Greetings from the 'oldest living city' on earth, Varanasi.

Glorified by myth and legend and sanctified by religion, Varanasi has always attracted a large number of pilgrims (estimated at over 1 million per annum) and worshippers from the four corners of earth. It is considered as the most sacred place of pilgrimage for Hindus irrespective of denomination. Sadly, it's also visited by 10 million dirty hippies each year who clog up the streets in their stupid pants and dumb hair.

To be in Varanasi is an experience in itself. The rays of the dawn shimmering across the Ganges, the temples and shrines, the ashrams and pavilions along the banks bathed in a golden hue. We rented a boat at dawn with another couple we met and cruised down the Ganga watching the Ghats come alive. People washing their clothes, their teeth, their animals or simply themselves. It's an amazing sight to behold as it is believed by Hindus that bathing in the river Ganga results in remission of sins and that dying in the holy city circumvents rebirth.

Given the state of the Ganges we decided to pass on putting so much as a little toe in. Floating carcasses, raw sewerage, human remains in the form of ash, and all other types of unidentifiable matter floats by at an alarming rate. Better the Indians than us we thought.

Varanasi is a great city to simply do nothing more than wander the Ghats and the streets of the old city for a few days. The streets are alive with the local populace as well as mad, truly mad cows that seem to get spooked on a regular basis. The Ghats are also full of life and it's here where you'll find the real action happening as it seems that this where your average Varanasian comes to work or play at some stage of the day.

We loved Varanasi, I doubt very much that you could ever get bored here. It is a city however that people either love or hate, it would seem. Come and make your own mind up, unless of course you're a dirty hippy, you should just leave India.

Next Pod - Indian/Nepal Border.


Nath and Kat.
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