A few Photos from Varanasi

He must be made of stone whose mind does not melt at the sigh of Kashi and its Lord! ~Swami Vivekananda

I wrote a lot in the last blog post on Varanasi… mostly my overall shock with the ambiance of the place hehe

So opting for a more wordless version this time….

A few photos from across the Varanasi…

Varanasi Rooftops
Early mornings from my residence’s rooftop. Quiet, serene river view… a soft sun rising in the East… chattering monkeys doing rounds…. swarms of birds circling …. and boats filled with travelers & tourists doing rounds of the Ganga.

 

Varanasi's Pesky Monkey
Apparently one has to take care of your belongings including specs… these monkeys can jump on you and run away with your specs 😀
Varanasi - Temple
Such a lovely, carved wooden door to a quaint Nepali temple… will write more on this in another blog.. 
Varanasi
Boats cluttered around on the ghatside…
Varanasi - Ghats
Boats, boats.. so many boats. Guess they are all free as it wasn’t still peak season!

One of the main purpose of these boats is to take tourists around the river to get a view of the town. It also serves as transport to certain areas… like a fort or the opposite bank if anyone wants to go. There are also not-so-fun reasons for boats – in case a small child dies then its body is not burnt. Instead a heavy rock/slab may be tied to it and the body is dropped into the river. So families of the baby may take the body this way to the usual spot and drop it in…. There may be other purposes of the boats as well… in Varanasi there is just too much to find out, as there is so much going on!

varanasi - Manikarnika Ghat
A very ethereal atmosphere to be walking around the ghat after visiting the burning place where constantly people are bringing in dead bodies….. cluttered with boats, locals and touts too. It is a place to truly spend some time in. I did not get much time there… but I would love to roam around here a bit more…

 

Varanasi - Manikarnika Ghat
At the fabled Manikarnika ghat. Had seen this sunken temple in many of the Varanasi pictures…. seeing it live, submerged like this was as intriguing.

I couldn’t find a presiding deity at the Manikarnika Ghat. I was very curious as to the diety in this place… From my research I believe the Kaal Bhairava main idol was at Manikarnika Ghat – the ghat where the chitta (fire to burn dead bodies) has been going on non-stop for years. Later on due to a natural calamity the Kaal Bhairava idol was moved to the current new temple….

Opposite this sunken temple, was this other section which was sunken. Quite intriguing.

Varanasi - Manikarnika Ghat
Opposite the sunken temple at Manikarnika.. another sunken section. The city has just grown around as so many older layers fell and were buried…
Varanasi - Ganga Aarti
Ganga Aarti – everyone wants to go here. It’s quite interesting… especially as a community gathering. Also not as crowded as I thought it would be. Probably cause it happens on all different ghats so the crowd gets bifurcated. I frequented the Shitla ghat – here it was quite an amiable setup
Varanasi Ganga Aarti
The Ganga Mata idol at the Ganga Aarti happening at Shitla Ghat