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Varanasi

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The Air India flight from Delhi was quick and painless and meant that we arrived in Varanasi feeling like we wanted to explore! The hotel was located beside Assi Ghat one of the most recently built. We had 45 minutes before our first boat ride and decided to take a gentle stroll along the ghats, we picked our way past the herds of water buffalo and through the bustle of the town to the start of the ghats, a series of steps leading to the River Ganges and instanty liked the feel of the place. We were picked up by the boat and rowed to the main cremation ghat, where there were crowds of men surrounding the many bodies being burnt there 24/7, our guide explained to us that often between 100-300 people a day are cremated and the family must pay for the 360kg of wood needed, he detailed the ritual and that finally the ashes are placed in the Ganges.

We spent 3-days exploring the twisty streets behind the ghats and became regular visitors to the Dosa Cafe where we sampled Dosa's (60rps), Idli's, Bonda's and James' favourie the masala Vada's drinking endless cups of masala tea watching the world and his cow walking by!

Despite the pouring rain on several of the days we were in Varanasi we still found it to be a peaceful and powerful place, lots of long walks along the ghats, watching the kites in the sky, the endless cricket games, stepping around freshly washed laundry and fresly laid cow dung, politely declining the many boat rides we were offered.

Jane

Posted by gonetravelling 06:15 Archived in India Tagged varanasi ghats cremation

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