Monday, March 21, 2011

Varanasi Photos

 Kids flying plastic bags along the ghats.  They were a pleasant bunch and too busy having fun to bother me about rupees or chocolates.

 Preparations for the aarti that started just after dusk.

 Yes that's cow shit.  Yes it's used for fires inside people's homes, even for cooking.  And yes I'm very very thankful it isn't my job to collect and mold it into patties.

 Dawn is a crowded time on the Ganges with locals and pilgrims doing their bathing and tourists of all colors going out on the boats to watch it all.

This is a Shiva temple that's sunk pretty low.  Note that the river is also at one of its lowest points since it's currently the dry winter season.  I imagine during the monsoons it gets completely submerged.

Look close in the middle here.  Your eyes aren't fooling you, there's a TV on that boat.  This guy is out there every morning trying to sell religious DVDs to pilgrims and tourists.  There are also plenty of other "floating markets" out there to harass you a bit as you try to enjoy the dawn scenery.

A view of the burning ghats.  Selling wood, especially the much prized sandalwood, is big business in Varanasi and to my understanding there's a whole sub-caste whose job is to sell the wood and calculate exactly how much it will take to burn up your loved ones.  You're able to walk around and see it up close but photography is forbidden up there.


  1. josh. you are awesome. awesome for picking up and traveling all around india. awesome for doing it alone without whining like a sissy as i would be. awesome for researching the history of places and not just wandering aimlessly without really learning.
    :) have a lassi for meee!

  2. Will do on the lassi front. I picked a great time to travel India weather wise but it isn't mango season :( I'll have to settle for banana or something.

    And many thanks for the compliments, na li na li. I wish I was that awesome, I've definitely bitched about stuff here to a few sympathetic ears. All said it's been a great experience and I'm glad I did it. Less than a week left! But then it's to Nepal and Mainland China so I'll continue the blog there as well, title be damned.

  3. one of my besties family is from nepal. i'll see if she has any recommendations