The Great Ghatsby

The Great Gatsby, otherwise known as, Varanasi.

Varanasi is the holiest of seven holy cities in India. It is landmarked by the river Ganges which is lined with ghats (a flight of steps leading down to a river). The ghats play host to daily rituals, such as washing clothes, and oneself, bathing alongside buffaloes and boats.

As well as this, the ghats are a spiritual platform to religious rituals such as cremations, points of prayer, and meditation.

Varanasi’s ghats are a hive of activity and offered an eye opening insight into the life and death of Indians.

Here’s what we got up to…

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Murals are painted along the walls…

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Lauren got some henna…

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I was anointed with red powder, for Holi festival…

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We saw the magician, Dynamo, with his film crew.

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Took a boat ride, which is the best way to take in Varanasi. At sunset we saw ritual cremations from afar…

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Chilled with the water buffaloes…

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At sunset we saw ritual cremations, and less severe ceremony too. I’m not really sure what was going on, it was interesting to watch nonetheless.

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From my experience, Varanasi can be done in a day or two. We spent three days there which I thought was actually too long.

Two negatives of the city is that all of the decent hotels are a twenty to thirty minute ride out from the main part of town. We also struggled to find decent places to eat, even restaurants recommended by Lonely Planet were a bit of a let down.

Next stop, Bangkok.

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