Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world.
One can go from absolute chaos to ultimate tranquility within walking distance of each other – you either love it or hate it – Varanasi or Banares, as the locals call the city.
At the ungodly hour of 5.30am, join the throngs of people making their way to the ghats, with a carnival type atmosphere, where all the stalls are selling a huge array of offerings for specific rituals, stirring hymns and mantras also pierce the morning calm, with fragrance of incense filling the air, and as the sun rises, it radiates a mystic glow through the mist, on the sacred waters of the Ganges.
Haga Sadhus (holy men) are ever present, while reciting prayers and mantras families consult the Pandas (priests) for guidance, who sit under palm leaf umbrellas, – the ghats at Varanasi, where you’ll mingle with every religion and nationality, all there, to witness or take part in the daily rituals.
At Varanasi both life and death are a celebration, where traditions are revered and saints are still mystical.
The Ganges – river of salvation – a crossing place between the physical and the spiritual worlds, where the most intimate rituals of life and death take place in public.
At sunset, thousands of candles are set afloat upon the Ganges in obeisance to celebrate the waters as the evening aarti or offering takes place.