BootsnAll Travel Network



April 5-6: Veranasi

hotel-v.jpg

VARANASI:  (above – hotel we stayed at – inside old pictures of maharajas, the british, etc)

Leaving Kolkata, we took a 12 hour overnight train to Varanasi. This time, we had two sets of three-tiered bunks. It was more of a communal train car, rather than separate “rooms” like Vietnam.  It was real comfortable and we made friends real quickly with those around us.  We were a hit again, because we had a white guy who spoke Hindi!

Varanasi  is THE place for Hindu religious pilgrimages, as it is along the banks of the Ganges River, which was ordained by Shiva to be the holiest place to die, because if you died here, you would go directly to heaven, bypassing coming back to earth for another life. We stayed a ways out of town here, and enjoyed an old colonial hotel. It was an extra surprise, because we reserved it ahead of time sight unseen, and in India, you just don’t know what you might find. But we’ve found having a place reserved when you get off the train saves the gigantic hassle of being besieged by touts trying to get you into their taxi and to the hotel that pays them commission. As we pulled into the street where our hotel was, our hearts sank, because it was the typical dusty street, with trash along the sides and crumbling walls. We pulled up to a rusty old gate, the doors opened, and voila…there was a beautiful, whitewashed colonial building surrounded by green lawns! We arranged a tour here in Varanasi to save us the hassle factor. We went down to the river “ghats” (sort of like stone piers) one evening to see a ritual fire dance that takes place every night, and we got up at 4:30 the next morning to go back down to the river to see the ritual bathing in the river at sunrise and the cremation ghats. Two things hit us here: one was that the rituals we saw taking place happen every day of the year. This is not Disneyland and it’s not something like Christmas and Easter. This is a way of life that goes on every day. The other thing we noticed is that here, death is not something that’s hidden away and spoken of in soft tones. Entire families will bring their deceased loved one hundreds of miles on a train, in order to have them cremated and their ashes spread in the Ganges. Or, if people know they are dying, they may come and stay in a care home in Varanasi so that they are close to the river when they die. We also saw processions through the city where the body is carried by several family members on their way to the river.

After a brief 2 nights in Varanasi, we caught the night train to Delhi. We had looked forward to this trip because it’s somewhat relaxing to be on the train and you have a little of your own space. However, this was one of those times when all went wrong. The only train we were able to find seats on left at 11:00 pm.  from an outlying station about 45 minutes away from the city. We caught a taxi from the hotel with plenty of time to spare, but got caught in a horrendous traffic jam. It’s hard to describe the trip to the station, but I’ll try! There are no street lights, and in some places, no electricity, so it’s very dark, but full of honking trunks and cars. There are cows wandering around and the always pervasive smell of dung and urine) both human and animal! The road is paved but barely, so it’s very bumpy and all along the road, it just looks like rubble.  Even many of the buildings look like they’re being demolished – they’re just falling apart.  It’s so hot, you have to have the windows open, but since so much is unpaved and there are so many trucks, the dust just billows in. We then crossed a bridge that had construction going on, and there were huge piles of concrete and metal just lying in the road, and everybody, including cars, trucks, taxis, cows, rickshaws, are trying to get by and it’s utter chaos! We finally arrived at the train station, but the nightmare wasn’t over. We got out of the taxi and were immediately surrounded by folks trying to carry our bags. There were several people just sitting on the ground where we got out – some begging, some selling things, but all looking a little scary to 3 kids from a little mountain town in California. We made our way through hundreds of people sleeping on the station floor, looking very obvious as the only white people around. We sort of wandered around for awhile trying to find out which track our train was on. At this point, everyone was just ready to get on the train and hide! We finally found our track, only to find out that the train was an hour late. It was now about 11:00 pm and we had been up since 4:30 am (bad planning on our part!) We found a place to sit and wait, and it was decidedly unpleasant. Tim and I are pretty seasoned travelers, but sitting in a train station close to midnight, surrounding by staring people and the smell of human waste (to try to put it more pleasantly), was pretty hard to take. I had the girls on each side of me alternating between anger and tears, and asking to please go home! The only comfort was that it could only get better! Fortunately, Tim found a man who just happened to be travelling on the same train and even in the same car, and he became our sort of guardian angel. Between that, and Tim speaking Hindi, we managed to find our car and eventually chugged towards Delhi, 10 hours away.

Night boat trip – narrow streets – easily can get lost

pujay-7.jpg

on boat – candles are lit and then you make a prayer put into the river Ganges

pujay-1a.jpgpujay-2.jpg

The night boat trip was to see a holy ceremony called Pujay.  – Thousands in the “stands” and on boats in the river.  A very interesting exerience.  Didn’t understand any of it, but it was quite the specatacle

pujay-5.jpgpujay-5a.jpgpujay-5b.jpgpujay-6a.jpg

A Maharaja’s “ghat”  – a palace is built for his end days where he will then be cremated on the steps leading to the river

pujay-4.jpg

A cremation taking place. 

pujay-2a.jpgpujay-3.jpg

The religion is Hindu and the cow is sacred and holy.  Check this bull out.  These cows are just wandering around the city.  We saw a picture of a bull hanging out in a jewelry store.

street-11.jpg

4:00 am wake up to take a river boat trip on sunrise to see the bathing etc that goes on in the river.  Definately a great experience with all its ceremony, prayers, bathings, cloth washing etc.   To get to the ghat you walk through these narrow passages from the main street.

am-1a1.jpg

Looking down at one of the ghats (place of bathing, prayers,cremation).  A yoga (kishna) class taking place below.am-1.jpg

This sign says it all for the river Ganges

am-beginning.jpgam-2a.jpgam-2.jpgam-3.jpg

River side views

am-river-1.jpgam-river-2.jpgam-river-3.jpgam-river-4.jpgam-river-5.jpg

Prayers taking place

am-prayers-1.jpgam-prayers-2.jpgam-prayers-3.jpgam-prayers-4.jpg

Ladies shaved their heads to gain some kind or reward for themselves and those that have gone on before them

am-prayers-5.jpgam-family-1.jpg

We look a little tired

am-family-2.jpgam-family-3.jpg

The cremation – burning “ghats” – different woods are used – the higher ones econmic status the choice of wood changes.

am-burn-1.jpgam-burn-2.jpg

“Ghats” – different pictures of different ghats from different maharajas over the centuries

am-ghat-3.jpgam-ghats-1.jpgam-ghats-1a.jpgam-ghats-2.jpgam-ghats-3.jpg

BAthing – washing scenes

bath-1.jpgbath-2.jpgbath-3.jpgbath-4.jpgbath-5.jpgbath-6.jpgbath-7.jpgbath-8.jpgbath-9.jpgbath-9b.jpg

you will notice the garbage and sewer in the pictures that fill the sides of the river  – that doesn’t include the dead bodies and ashes that enter the river.   You can just imagine what type of bacteria etc is in the river.  The guide books talk about it – basically take your toilet with its usage every day – that is what the river is like – however, the people still bath, drink, wash their cloths every day their for blessings and purification from the river.   

bath-9c.jpgbath-9d.jpg

Hindu temple – our guide gave us a “sermon” on the Hindu religion.  We learned alot – this temple did not have all the erotic carvings that you see on other temples. 

temple.jpg



Tags:

55,965 responses to “April 5-6: Veranasi”

  1. Iphgvj says:

    order azathioprine for sale imuran usa telmisartan 80mg generic

  2. celis [url=http://canadotcphar.com/]onlinepharmacy.com[/url] canadian pharmacy and cialis
    drugs-med.com cialis- canadian pharmacy how to buy viagra

  3. free one on one gay sex chat on camera for masterbation https://gaychatnorules.com/

  4. viagra canada pharmacy [url=http://canadotcphar.com/]canadian online pharmacy viagra[/url] viagra expiration date
    natural substitute for viagra wwwcanadianpharmacy.com viagra purchase online

  5. StephineMaor says:

    free gay chat 803 area code
    [url=”https://gaychatnorules.com”]free seattle wa gay and bi mens chat sites[/url]
    free live gay webcam chat rooms

  6. cheapest viagra prices [url=http://canadotcphar.com/]online pharmacies in canada[/url] online pharmacy usa
    ed drugs online from canada generic viagra online pharmacy new viagra

  7. Kpenet says:

    buy molnupiravir sale cheap prevacid order prevacid 15mg pill

  8. buy brand cialis online canada [url=http://canadotcphar.com/]best online canadian pharmacies[/url] cheapest generic viagra
    viagra canadian pharmacy cialis pharmacy rx one canadian online pharmacy viagra

  9. generic viagra 100mg [url=http://canadotcphar.com/]buy viagra online canada pharmacy[/url] canadian pharmacy no prescription
    online pharmacy cialis buy cialis online canada pharmacy pfizer viagra

  10. Rnggwo says:

    salbutamol 100 mcg sale imuran canada buy pyridium online cheap

  11. AbrahamGer says:

    Incredible quite a lot of awesome info! writing a five paragraph essay [url=https://essaypromaster.com/#]dissertation online[/url] paper writer

  12. AlvenUnato says:

    Thank you, Awesome stuff! [url=https://theessayswriters.com/#]cpm homework help[/url] how to write persuasive essays

  13. RobenaMaor says:

    free gay/bi-sex chat sites
    [url=”https://gaychatspots.com”]google zoom gay chat rooms[/url]
    gay chat with married man

  14. Vvbqsb says:

    acetazolamide 250 mg for sale viagra pills 200mg purchase montelukast generic

  15. Zytyij says:

    cialis cost amoxil ca purchase prednisone for sale

  16. TallouMaor says:

    gay live chat rochester video
    [url=”https://gaymanchatrooms.com”]live gay young male sex chat rooms[/url]
    gay perv chat

  17. Vhaoro says:

    order azithromycin 500mg for sale purchase prednisolone sale prednisolone online

  18. MarilinMaor says:

    free bi-gay chat lines
    [url=”https://gaymusclechatrooms.com”]gay skype chat room[/url]
    gay chat led roulette

  19. Wendellgoolo says:

    Reliable write ups. With thanks!
    canada medication pharmacy non prescription online pharmacy reviews international pharmacy

  20. Alvincrero says:

    Thanks a lot, I appreciate this.
    informative essay writing essays writers custom writers

  21. Vzbyca says:

    metoprolol 50mg us levitra 20mg pills levitra canada

  22. Wendellgoolo says:

    Really plenty of terrific facts!
    buy cialis buying prescription drugs canada canadian prescriptions

  23. Alvincrero says:

    Terrific postings, Regards.
    paying college athletes essay best college application essay ever best college essay writing service

  24. Alvincrero says:

    Excellent postings. Appreciate it.
    how to write a literary analysis essay [url=https://freshapps.space]how to write rhetorical essay[/url] online custom writing services

  25. Bewhzi says:

    purchase albuterol for sale order dapoxetine 30mg pill triamcinolone usa

  26. BruceBed says:

    You said it adequately..
    online pharmacy without a prescription [url=https://online-pharmacy-inc.com]canadian pharmacies online[/url] cialis canadian pharmacy

  27. Alvincrero says:

    You have made your point pretty well!.
    help with writing an essay https://essayssolution.com/ academic writing services

  28. MamClainue
    https://1xbet-ort.xyz
    [url=https://1xbet-ort.xyz]https://1xbet-ort.xyz[/url]

  29. MavisMaor says:

    single friends dating
    [url=”https://online-internet-dating.net”]facebook dating site[/url]
    free dating sites for men and women

  30. Wendellgoolo says:

    Wonderful information. Thanks a lot!
    mexican pharmacies shipping to usa panacea pharmacy canadian pharmacies that are legit

  31. Alvincrero says:

    Superb forum posts. With thanks!
    effective college essays [url=https://freshapps.space]https://freshapps.space/[/url] ghost writing service

  32. Alvincrero says:

    You actually mentioned that perfectly.
    how to write synthesis essay [url=https://essaywriting4you.com]https://essaywriting4you.com/[/url] help writing assignments

  33. JuanitaMaor says:

    free local dating sites
    [url=”https://speedatingwebsites.com”]ourtime inloggen[/url]
    relationship website

  34. Alvincrero says:

    Seriously quite a lot of amazing data.
    is there a website that writes essays for you [url=https://dissertationwritingtops.com]https://dissertationwritingtops.com/[/url] help writing a speech

  35. Alvincrero says:

    Cheers! I enjoy it!
    good essay writers [url=https://ouressays.com]college essays[/url] writing helper

  36. Alvincrero says:

    Very good information, Cheers!
    review of essay writing services best essay writing service reviews cheap essay writing services

  37. Xowpbg says:

    order fexofenadine generic buy paracetamol 500 mg generic buy panadol 500mg generic

  38. MaisieMaor says:

    free free
    [url=”https://virtual-online-dating-service.com”]online dating sites for free 100%[/url]
    local online dating sites

  39. Alvincrero says:

    Terrific stuff. Regards.
    personal essay college essay writer online writing help

  40. Alvincrero says:

    Thanks! An abundance of stuff!
    how to write an literary analysis essay [url=https://homeworkcourseworkhelps.com]writing my essay[/url] best online essay writing service

  41. Alvincrero says:

    Thank you! Excellent stuff.
    essay writing games https://theessayswriters.com/ writing websites

  42. EachelleMaor says:

    dating sites our time
    [url=”https://wowdatingsites.com”]tinder web[/url]
    lesbian mature

  43. Alvincrero says:

    Truly quite a lot of useful advice.
    help writing argumentative essay [url=https://service-essay.com]https://service-essay.com/[/url] essay writing service toronto

  44. Cwmhul says:

    oxcarbazepine brand buy crestor 20mg sale order crestor 20mg

  45. BruceBed says:

    Fantastic stuff. Cheers.
    northwest pharmacy canada [url=https://canadapharmacyspace.com]canadian pharmacies-247[/url] canadian drugstore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *