Cal VA
1 Agra
2 Agra
3 Jaipur
4 Jaipur
5 Rathenborn
6 Varanasi
7 Varanasi
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Ganges Morning Boat
Mulagandha Kuti
Dhamekh Stupa
Temple of Thailand

Up early to take a dawn boat ride on the Ganges River

Boats from the top of the hotel
The dawn shoreline along the Ganges River

Our hotel was the Darbhanga Palace made from the sandstone of Chunar. It was over the top and a great experience. You could not travel to the hotel via the streets so we boarded a boat provided by the hotel and floated down the Ganges to the ghat where we walked up to the hotel.

The palace was beautiful inside - this is the center of the hotel which is an atrium through all the floors.

Tourist boat - a fancy one

We approached the shore and a young girl scampered onto the boat. She brought with her a basket of flower boats.

She carefully lit them
Lighting the boats

All the boats ready for launch

We then placed the little boats into the Ganges River. One for loved ones gone, one for loved ones at home, and one for ourselves.

The little candle boats trailed off on the Ganges River behind the boat.

Mansarovar Ghat

Vijayanagaram Ghat

Tourist boat surrounded by birds

Vijayanagaram Ghat

Vijayanagaram Ghat

Narad Ghat

Harishchandra Ghat is a cremation ghat - smaller and secondary in importance to Manikarnika, but one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi.

The wood is for the cremations
The man in white is the official who performs the lighting of the pyre

Here the fire from one pyre is used to light the next one - and so it goes 24 by 7 by 365.

The sun over the Ganges River - a little hazy

Women by the edge of the Ganges River

A priest at one of the ghats - people traveling to the river on pilgrimage need to see a priest during their visit - so there are many lined up near the river.

Three women listen to a priest after bathing in the Ganges River.

Sadhus of India are wandering holy men. They have renounced their worldly life, said goodbye to both their possessions and their families, and now lead a life of celibacy, ascetic yoga, and a search for enlightenment.

Seems a little touristy but part of the Varanasi experience

A women pooring the holy water of the Ganges during prayer

Boats lined up for fisherman?

Lots of talk on how poluted the river is - while we were standing there a small boy caught a good sized fish with just a line into the river from the ghat.

Murals on the walls of the ghat below our hotel

Doors in the hotel

Virginia Ann trying on a local sari - unfortunately we did not purchase one for her - she is so beautiful

Priest blessing the shrine before entering

A priest giving council to a group of young men

Religious men talking by the Ganges River.

Cows everywhere - this one decided to rest on a platform near the ghat

Women selling items for pilgrims (or tourists) to the sacred river Ganges.

Dashashwamedh Ghat

Manikarnika Ghat and bodies being brought by families for cremation - note the cow wondering about on the ghat.

Man praying in the Ganges River

Scindia ghat, which is also known as Shinde ghat in Varanasi, is famed for the large number of places of worship found here. The Shiva temple at the ghat is a major attraction due to its partial submergence in the water. According to Hindu mythology, this ghat is known as the place from where fire originated. Thus, it is revered as a holy place and many devotees like to visit here

Panchganga Ghat

Hindu shrine of Nandi (Bull) along the banks of the Ganges river

Malviya Bridge, inaugurated in 1887 (originally called The Dufferin Bridge), is a double decker bridge over the Ganges at Varanasi.

The Malviya Bridge carries rail track on lower deck and road on the upper deck. It is one of the major bridges on the Ganges and carries the Grand Trunk Road across the river.

Ruins of Monasteries at Sarnath with the Dhamekh Stupa Sarnath in the background on the left and the temple of Dhamekh Stupa on the right. The temple is where Budda gave his first sermon.

Mulagandha Kuti is the remnant of a huge temple which probably represents the spot where Buddha used to sit in meditation.

Dhamekh Stupa Sarnath is one amongst the four holy places associated with the life of Buddha. This is the place where Buddha, after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya, preached to his five erstwhile companions

Detail of the carving around Dhamekh Stupa Sarnath

Buddhists from the asian countries like to affix gold foil to the religious ruins - which signs say is prohibbited.

Budda outside of the Temple of Thailand - again the gold foil affixed to the statue

Cal and Virginia Ann in front of the The Giant Buddha near the Temple of Thailand

Virginia Ann and Cal next to a replica of the Ashoka pillar capital of Sarnath - a town near Varanasi. The pillars of Ashoka are a series of columns dispersed throughout the Indian subcontinent, erected or at least inscribed with edicts by the Mauryan king Ashoka during his reign in the 3rd century BC

Buddha is believed to have founded Buddhism here around 528 BC when he gave his first sermon

A silk handloom at a factory we visited.

Depending on the intricacy of its designs and patterns, a saree can take from 15 days to a month and sometimes up to six months to complete.

We purchased a very pretty table runner from this factory.
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