Where life meets death
Varanasi Travel Blog› entry 19 of 52 › view all entries
Reaching Varanasi train station at 4.30 am, after exiting as usual atorickshaw touts pestering. I think I was a bit of an exception as I was always mistaken to be Nepali or an Indian self, most of the time. Though it’s still too much hassle dealing with touts. I wanted to go to Shanti Guesthouse located by Ganges River 4 km from train station with the biggest attraction of the Ghat (steps for ritual bathing), and the first issue to get there, the auto rickshaw tried as possible as he could to steer me away to HIS choice.
Most hotels in Varanasi operate in commission basis where auto rickshaw gains a fat commission out of traveler’s pockets. So this autorickshaw came with the reason that Shanti Guest house was expensive and the one he wanted to take me Yogi Lodge was much better.
You’re not getting my money that easy! After he gave the balance of my money his took off but stopped at the dark corner not far from the scene. And I walked away not to the Hotel he was scamming me in. He followed me and said ‘ Go to the Yogi Lodge, it’s dark and Shanti Gueshouse is 2km far in narrow alley, you’ll be lost’. Haha his mission to rip me was failed. I continued wander around the main street, people started to begin their day, and I caught the rickshaw driven by this young kid to the nearest stop at the Ghat.
It’s amazed me how the locals working really hard to make a living in a rough, cold condition, from the crack of the dawn till midnight. I felt sympathize of this kid cycling on a gentle climb that the burden forced him to walk the rickshaw that riding it.
Rooftop mattress (bed) that I checked in was the best open air accommodation I’ve stayed. Only 50 Rupees ($1) per night. Just above the Manikarnika Ghat, the main burning Ghat and the most auspicious place for Hindu to be cremated. The view towards the Varanasi Old town, Ganges River and the Ghat was insane! India is truly a multidimensional country.
In the morning I walked along the narrow, dirty, stinky, messy alley of the old town where the Manikarnika Ghat always is at the end point no matter which way one took. A line up of dead bodies was handled by outcasts known as Doms, and carried through the alleyway to the Ganges on a bamboo stretcher swathed in cloth. The corpse was doused in the Ganges prior to the cremation (photos not allowed to be taken during cremations).
THIS IS WHERE LIFE MEETS DEATH!
A world class ‘people watching’.
The next day walking along the main street, I was enjoying every second of chaotic street. Surrender to the unknown in India, you’ll remember it as long as you live. It’s nowhere to be found this slice of cultural wonder in this modern world. Rickshaw ride to the train station for outgoing train to Delhi, I had a blissful ride seeing cow, rickshaw,pedestrian,everything you could amagine loaded into the same street, I SIMPLY LOVE IT !