Where life meets death

Varanasi Travel Blog

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The view towards the Varanasi Old town, Ganges River and the Ghat was insane!

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.

Manikarnika Ghat
And he promised he won’t charge for extra ride after seeing Yogi Lodge then decided not to stay. It was really early morning and the only vehicles on the road were rickshaws and the auto one. Arrived at main road, Yogi Lodge located further walk inside narrow alley, the owner says there’s no single bed or dorm available. I knew he’s playing along with this notorious scam. OK fine, bring me to Shanti Guest House, the one I wanted in the first place. But this autorickshaw again cornered his word and reluctant to bring me reasoning narrow alleys the vehicles not allowed for another 2 km. I couldn’t believe he was in every effort to let me stay at that place for fat commission. A dead end that I paid him 30 Rupees for the ride by a 50 Rupees note. They always perpetually do not have small change similar as travelers! And later asked for an excuse to change it, he sneaks into the alley to the Yogi Lodge discussing about his shares to the owner.
Blissful ride seeing cow, rickshaw,pedestrian,everything you could amagine loaded into the same street, I LOVE IT !
He was thinking I’ve surrender to his game.

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.
Rickshaw rider
I found the hotel with the help of another kid who were sort of touts as well, offering for other hotel close by.

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).
Piggy-back riding
Huge piles of firewood are stacked along the top Ghat. They were weighed for the price of cremation can be calculated. The corpse was laid on top of woods, then some more woods on top of the corpse, fire ignited, the corpse cremated.


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 !




 

herman_munster says:
Too extreme that I extremely valued every moment!
Posted on: Jun 07, 2010
naj81 says:
tough life in india...
Posted on: Dec 23, 2009
Transitory says:
That is a challenging trip. Good on you man.
Posted on: Dec 23, 2009
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The view towards the Varanasi Old …
The view towards the Varanasi Old…
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Blissful ride seeing cow, rickshaw…
Blissful ride seeing cow, ricksha…
Rickshaw rider
Rickshaw rider
Piggy-back riding
Piggy-back riding
Face of India
Face of India
India a multidimensional country
India a multidimensional country
Persuading for Ganges river boat r…
Persuading for Ganges river boat …
Bathing
Bathing
Persuading for Ganges river boat r…
Persuading for Ganges river boat …
Face of India
Face of India
Monday shopping in old town Varana…
Monday shopping in old town Varan…
Face of India
Face of India
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
The view towards the Varanasi Old …
The view towards the Varanasi Old…
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Bathing on the rooftop
Bathing on the rooftop
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Kite surfing
Kite surfing
Kite surfing
Kite surfing
My Rooftop bed at Shanti Guest Hou…
My Rooftop bed at Shanti Guest Ho…
My Rooftop bed at Shanti Guest Hou…
My Rooftop bed at Shanti Guest Ho…
Narrow, dirty, stinky, messy alley…
Narrow, dirty, stinky, messy alle…
Narrow, dirty, stinky, messy alley…
Narrow, dirty, stinky, messy alle…
Narrow, dirty, stinky, messy alley…
Narrow, dirty, stinky, messy alle…
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Ganges river
Ganges river
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat
Varanasi Old Town
Varanasi Old Town
Blissful ride seeing cow, rickshaw…
Blissful ride seeing cow, ricksha…
Cows resting nicely at the corner
Cows resting nicely at the corner
Blissful ride seeing cow, rickshaw…
Blissful ride seeing cow, ricksha…
Blissful ride seeing cow, rickshaw…
Blissful ride seeing cow, ricksha…
Blissful ride seeing cow, rickshaw…
Blissful ride seeing cow, ricksha…
I LOVE IT
I LOVE IT
Indian women
Indian women
Rickshaw ride
Rickshaw ride
Varanasi
Varanasi
Sari Shopping
Sari Shopping
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
Autorickshaw
Autorickshaw
Old town Varanasi
Old town Varanasi
The Ghat by the Ganges River
The Ghat by the Ganges River
Varanasi
photo by: rotorhead85