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The beating heart of the Hindu universe, Varanasi

Posted: 06 Apr 2010

When I crossed the bridge that spans across the Ganges River, the old city looked rather tranquil and sleepy.

Image for Varanasi 1
A holly man gazes across the Ganges River

That moment quickly passed when we had to navigate through the labyrinth of narrow lanes to find our guesthouse.

The network of small narrow lanes added some shade from the hot sun during the day, leaving the mornings and early evenings free to stroll along the Ganges.

The Manikarnika Ghat was mind blowing. Being meters away from families burning their beloved ones, in a cycle of death and rebirth will stay with me for a long time.

I also will not forget having to move out the way for busy "outcasts" carrying dead bodies through the small alleyways towards the Manikarnika Ghat.

Being in Varanasi was a perfect time to re-watch Ron Fricke's amazing "Baraka" film, which features footage of the Manikarnika Ghat and burning ceremony in high definition glory.

Onwards to Agra!

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Illustration of Jon Leverrier

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