Varanasi and Ganges
Candles in the breaking daylight. Quiet mourners at a funeral right on the Ganges. Varanasi is bustling, but a place of silence. Varanasi is a place of holiness, but lively and colorful. Find your spot. A quiet guesthouse with yoga classes. A street corner restaurant with shouts and energy. There is a place for all moods and senses in the mighty town at the holy river.
Ganges flows gently through the town, persistently heading towards the east. The mighty river is far from clean but holy like no other river in our world. Pilgrims immerse themselves in the water. Families cremate their loved ones right next to them. It is all connected.
If you endeavor on a boat ride in the early morning, you will feel as if you are out, far away from the crowd. Where as the sunset ride will bring you right into the crowd as if the whole nation has arrived to see the colorful evening prayers with giant lit up lamps
Varanasi is a traveler’s zone. It is one of those places where travellers love to stay for days in a row. Sneaking around in the bazaars in the late afternoons. Sitting quietly at one of the temples heavy loaded with the intense smell of Incense. Or at the river, seeing the fine rituals at the corpse burnings. Life suddenly appears, as it is fragile. Temporary. Go to Varanasi. It is a place BEYOND life.
Not too far from Varanasi is the silent Sarnath, the witness of Buddha giving his first sermon, right after he got enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya.