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Published: February 8th 2010
What a place Varanasi is! Extreme in everything here, smells, sights and taste (the taste in the air!) you get hit hard when there.
The life of the city is around the river Ganges and seeing the burning ghats is something that both us are never going to forget. It really is in your face here and not for the faint hearted. Just for us to be seeing the daily life and death ritual seriously within ten meters apart from each other was amazing. From the burning of people on the banks of the Ganges and other people been sunk into the Ganges and then walking for a couple of seconds and seeing people drinking the Ganges, bathing in the Ganges and washing in the Ganges. It is all in full viewing, for everyone to see.
It is also where the annoying Indian’s hang out and try to fleece you for all your money. We got to see a very good scan against us, we were walking towards one of the burning ghats and this guy came up to us and offered to show us around saying he is not a guide or anything and doing it out the
kindness of his heart, yeah right. Soon he had taken us up in this view point place where a religious guy gave us his blessing etc and then said 3000 Rupee please. We had a good laugh at him at this point, he must have thought we were stupid but I am sure they get the odd un expecting tourist to pay up. They really make you feel at unease up in this place when asking for money, very good from their behalf to do so!
We did one of the river boat cruises along the river during sunset and it is a great time to be on the river. It is one of the must do’s whilst in Varanasi and can get a good picture of what the city looks like. Each night there is several festivals at the ghats so we choose one and parked the boat and watch them doing there ceremony things.
Some other sightseeing around as well and our favorite place was the monkey temple. Well it does have plenty of monkeys of course, one of the monkeys there we will never forget. The monkeys all always asking for food and we come
along and found on looking at us and he was looking rather angry and them put on the biggest smile we have ever seen showing all teeth and all and it was hilarious. But it is also a worship place and so much activity was going on here. Chanting and singing all the time and everyone pushing to touch the feet of one of the gods.
Also we hit the shopping big time here, got all our things in one place with a lot of hard bargaining which is half the fun. Varanasi is famous for its silk and the 50kg each we are able to take back to Sweden with us, well I think it is nearly covered now.
But overall we spent pretty much all our time along the river watching the daily events unfold and this place, if coming to India should not be missed.
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