Tue 19-Nov Varanasi (on the Ganges)
- train arrived hour late
- Hotel toilets disgusting, no included wifi
- rooms won't be ready until 11, but arrived at 6:30
- front of hotel is a compound, but could get in side road where bus came
- walked down street before most shops opened
- streets have been swept with small piles of dirt and a little rubbish, but disbursed by traffic
- a larger pile of rubbish was being shovelled into a truck
- several motorbike repair shops were open
- their work is done on street, not in shop
- oil seems to just end up on street or in the open gutter drain
Varanasi is the holiest city in Hinduism and Jainism, and important in Buddhism.
- Kerry visits Ganges
Travelled by rickshaw from the Hotel Hindustan to the ghats (river terraces) at the River Ganges.
Walked along the ghats seeing groups of pilgrims (wearing orange hats organized into tour groups) an individual devotees washing in and drinking Ganges water and riding on the river in boats.
saw the cremation ghat with "traditional" cremation.
Returned to the central ghat for sunset service ceremonies. the ceremony has no clear start and devotees came/went/prayed/chatted and bought snacks from vendors.
Had a seat ($1) on a balcony, a lot cleaner and comfortable than the ghats.
Ceremony involved several priests at several altars.
There were offerings of food to the gods, and lots of music, bell-ringing, incense-burning, etc.
People also floated lighted candles down the Ganges
- wedding at hotel - arrival of groom on white horse