Camping by the Ganges

Varanasi Travel Blog

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I’m a terrible sleeper. Surprisingly, I slept great in the tent...a full 8 hours at least. There was a wedding going on across the river so we heard echos of their music, but clearly, it didn’t keep me awake at all.

Morgan and I woke in time to see the sunrise and take some beautiful pix as the mist rolled across the beach and into the Ganges. Breakfast was porridge (oatmeal) with bananas and honey, and toast with some odd “mixed fruit” jam, which tasted like Hawaiian Punch jam.

We floated back downstream...the guys had to row quite a bit this time for there was no wind at all...and after about 3 hours pulled the boats together for some lunch, including a fantastic sweet eggplant dish, and a lovely cabbage dish, with oranges for dessert. As the landscape started to get populated again, and we saw more and more ghats on the side of the Ganges, we knew we were close. We saw a bunch of cows sitting in the river to keep cool, right by where the boats came to shore. We all ambled out onto the muddy banks and headed back to the hotel for a wash and rest.

As the sun was going down, we all boarded a wooden boat at the same place we had been let off earlier. We motored loudly down the ghats as VJ explained about the different ghats (there’s a Jain ghat, different ones for different castes, etc.), and then he and the boatman lit the candles on the offerings, which were cups made of woven leaves filled with marigolds, and we each had 5 of them to place into the Ganges and make wishes. We motored over to the oldest ghat, where we watched the evening prayers. The prayers go on for maybe a half hour or so, and there is a lot of chanting, some singing, some call and response, and at the end there are big triangular towers of fire that each of the 5 priests wave around. There were actually prayers happened at two adjoining ghats - one was newer and had 7 priests. Fancy. Then back to the hotel for dinner and bed.
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photo by: rotorhead85