I visited Varanasi in April to deliver a laptop to a family for Ram as the bureaucracy of the Indian postal service was preventing it from being shipped.

Or as those in Varanasi told me – Destiny and the Ganges called me.

Varanasi is situated in the North of India, on the banks of the Holy river Ganges and is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is how I imagined Chennai would be before I arrived.

The Ganges is considered a pilgrimage destination for all Hindus once in their life. It is even possible to rent rooms to die in the city, such is its importance.

A short blog post wont really do it justice but 4 events are worth telling.

  1. Traveling up the Ganges by boat, seeing family’s bathe in the holy water. At either end of the “Ghats” (steps that face the river bank) are funeral pyres which for 2000rps you can be cremated on. Alternatively there is a industrial cremation service for much less.
  2. Watching the nightly “Aarthi” performance to the river Ganges. Aarthi is similar to what is known as a “Pooja” in the south – a religious ceremony with incense. The syncronised performance with incense, candles and chanting whilst facing the river is quite moving.
  3. With the help of a Hindu priest, being snuck into the Hindu Golden Temple – which is out of bounds for non-Hindus (no photos from this obviously)
  4. Unwittingly spending a large sum of money on silk shawls and duvet covers. Female friends and family – your Birthday and Christmas gifts for the year are sorted.







Western Ghat



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