Cal VA
India  
 
Day
Itinerary
1 Agra
2 Agra
3 Jaipur
4 Jaipur
5 Rathenborn
6 Varanasi
7 Varanasi
8 Delhi
9 Delhi
   
   
   
   
   
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
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Itinerary
Ganges Boat
Ganges Crematorium
Agni Pooja

We flew to Varanasi on the river Ganges


The spiritual capital of India, it is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism. Varanasi has been a cultural centre of North India for several thousand years, and is closely associated with the Ganges. Varanasi grew as an important industrial centre, famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture.
The city is known worldwide for its many ghats, embankments made in steps of stone slabs along the river bank where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions.


Varanasi has at least 84 ghats, most of which are used for bathing by pilgrims and spiritually significant Hindu puja ceremony, while a few are used exclusively as Hindu cremation sites
Boats everywhere fishing, taxi, tourists, and pleasure


On a couple of ghats were cloths and sheets laid out to dry


There are estimated to be 23,000 temples in Varanasi, several on the Ganges. This was a rather colorful one.


Family sitting on a ghat near the river's edge


Bhonsala Ghat


In 1780, Maratha King Bhonsale of Nagpur made this ghat and thus named after him. This ghat is an example of contributions of Maratha rulers to the very lifeline of Varanasi.
Temple on the river near a ghat


Manikarnika Ghat is the primary cremation ghat in Varanasi - we passed it several times while on the river. Here a body is being dipped into the Ganges River before cremation.


Hindu mythology teaches that the ghat is especially sacred and that people cremated there receive freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth.
Another Ghat


Munshi Ghat and the Darbhanga Ghat with the Darbhanga Palace standing over the river.


Colorful boats lining the banks of the river


Little parrot on top of a building


Ladies on top of a boat on the Ganges River


In the afternoon we took a tour of the old town. Our hotel was on the river and right behind the hotel is the old city which was a maze of alleys. No streets were larger than this one. That is Virginia Ann in the white shirt


The streets of Varanasi


Egg market


Small market


Writing near a door


Flowers for burial ceremonies.


Fresh flowers over a door to a temple


Wall next to a temple


Alley to a hotel? Notice the "Welcome" painted on the gate.


Priest in the back allys of Varanasi with a shrine. We gave a donation and received a blessing and marks on our foreheads.


Small shrine


After the city tour we took a night time tour of the Ganges


Manikarnika Ghat is the main crematorium about 80 ceremonies a day. There are 5 being performed during our tour.
Closer look at the Manikarnika Ghat


The Ganges at night


After the boat ride we landed at the Dashashwamedh Ghat to see the Aarti ceremony. Here the stage is set for the pagent.


Priest with incense during the ceremony


Many priests lined up performing Aarti


The highlight of the Aarti ceremony is the lamp with fire being waved about.


A very young priest performing the Aarti ceremony


Virginia Ann and Cal at a small shop where they were adorned with the beads, scarves, and markings. Then we had very good tea in celebration of our 33rd anniversary!!


A selfie of the anniversary couple at the Aarti ceremony


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