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Varanasi - River pilgrimage site / tourist trap hell

View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

Varanasi is a very nice town, except for the fact that everyone there is either selling, scamming, or both. It is famous as the town where bodies are burned and the ashes end up in the river Ganges, in which pilgrims bathe at the 5 bathing ghats.

After we got off the rickshaw near our hotel, a bunch of people followed us, trying to help us find our hotel (presumably to get commissions, which would be added to our price). We managed to get rid of them all except one, who was near us for almost the whole 20-minute walk through us yelling at him, and even asking a policeman to make him stop following us (he reemerged a block further along our route). It turned out he was working for a restaurant across the hotel, so we felt really bad for being so mean to him, but it also made it clear that people here can't tell when people hate them.

Every night there is a ceremony at the main ghat, which involves 5 young religous people praying, dancing and playing with fire.

The next morning we took a boat ride along the ghats, seeing pilgrims bathe at sunrise against the backdrop of 200 year old buildings.

Cows bathing in the Ganges

Laundry being sun-treated by the river Ganges before being cleaned by dhobi-wallahs who smack the clothes against rocks until they're clean as can be.

Sue in our guest house lobby, with cows in the laneway outside the door

Posted by chrisvasil 02:37 Archived in India Tagged tourist_sites

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