Varanasi and the Ganges River

Varanasi, the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism, gave me strong memories. It was the filthiest place I’ve ever been, and the whole atmosphere was quite intense. Many Hindu pilgrims, persistence soliciting locals, cows, goats, dogs, and people: everything is powerful in Varanasi. An excellent place to visitors, and especially for photographers. This city on the banks of the Ganges has been a cultural center of North India for several thousand years and has a history that is older than most of the major world religions. The Hindu pilgrims visit Varanasi during their journey to bath in the Ganges.

The narrow streets are connected like a small spiderweb, hard to find the right direction. Sometimes you can walk in the narrow streets for hours and not see the open space. Many of the streets are connected to the ghat, a flight of steps leading down to the Ganges. Through out the day, especially early in the morning, people visit ghat to bathe. Hindus bathe while paying to their ancestors and to their gods by cupping the water in their hands, lifting it and letting it fall back into the river. They also offer flowers and rose petals and float shallow clay dishes. The Ganges River was ranked among the five most polluted rivers in the world, but the fact can’t stop the religious ritual has been continued for thousands of years. They worry about their spiritual hygiene rather than the physical. Evening ceremony at Dashashwamedh Ghat is an important religious event to attend. You can meet many well-dressed Hindus at Dashashwamedh Ghat at night.

Witnessing the life around the Ganges was an important part of my journey in India. From religious bathing in the Ganges to the burning ghat, Varanasi will remain as one of the most memorable destinations in India for sure.

 

A hindu pilgrim in Dashashwamedh Ghat Varanasi, India
A Hindu pilgrim in Dashashwamedh Ghat Varanasi, India
Bathing in the Ganges River
Bathing in the Ganges River
Bathing in the Ganges River
Bathing in the Ganges River
Bathing in the Ganges River
Bathing in the Ganges River
Bathing in the Ganges River
Bathing in the Ganges River
Bathing in the Ganges River
Praying in the Ganges River
Visiting Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India
Visiting Dashashwamedh Ghat in the evening
Flower offering
Flower offerings
Flower offering on the Ganges
Flower offering on the Ganges
Visiting Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India
Visiting Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India
Visiting Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India
Visiting Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India
Visiting Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India
Visiting Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi, India
Ceremony at Dashashwamedh Ghat, Varanasi, India
Ceremony at Dashashwamedh Ghat, Varanasi, India
Dashashwamedh Ghat
Dashashwamedh Ghat – John and Stephen
Chai maker (his store has been here for 70 years since his grandfather)
Chai maker (his store has been here for 70 years since his grandfather)
Snake charmer in Varanasi, India
Snake charmer in Varanasi, India
Manasarowar Ghat
A local store at Varanasi, India
A local store at Varanasi, India
A boy at Varanasi, India
A boy at Varanasi, India
A hindu pigrim at Dashashwamedh Ghat
A hindu pigrim at Dashashwamedh Ghat
Lunch snack at a local shop

5 thoughts on “Visiting Varanasi, India: The Holiest of the Seven Sacred Cities in Hinduism”

  1. I’ve been planning to visit Varanasi, India later this year and thanks you blog about this city. I have some colleagues that have been to this place and they always talk how good this sacred city is. I’ve never been to India and I’m not familiar with their culture, places to visit and etc. There are lots of info all over the net but it’s mostly from locals.

    Can we please suggest what cities should I visit when I travel to India. I was planning for a 1 week visit so I don’t have much time in there.

    Thanks,

    Jerome

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