Varanasi is the most sacred Hindu city. City of light, life and death. It is said that he was so filled with spiritual power that even the stones underfoot are considered saints. Make a pilgrimage here, and take a dip in the holy Ganges at least once in their life every Hindu should.

And to finish here the journey of life, and thus break the wheel of Samsara, and complete a series of rebirths dream of every believer! Varanasi is also known as Banaras and Kashi - the city of light is considered to be the oldest living city in the world. According to legend it was created by Shiva over 5,000 years ago, and based on scientific evidence of 3000 years. But despite all the above written, is not prepared for the city traveler can cause a state of confusion or even shock, probably more than any other city in India. The greatest impression is made by the processes of cremation of the dead on the banks of the Ganges.

Varanasi

Varanasi is the oldest city on earth, standing on the banks of the sacred Ganges River. Once he was the same age as Luxor, Babylon and Nineveh. Now those great Metropolia were only ruins and Varanasi and is considered the oldest living city in the world.

Varanasi
Maybe he actually protected the great Shiva who created it.

For Indians it is difficult to overestimate the importance of this city, every believer must come here and dip in the holy Ganges at least once in life. And die in the holy city limits all desires for the orthodox Hindu. Not surprisingly, many of them consider it the center of the universe.

Another name from Benares - City funeral pyres. When the British first came to Benares, they were just shocked by what is happening. On the Ghats along the city waterfront lit bonfires, burning the corpses. In place of the dropped in the Ganges burnt embers, there is a tray of new deceased. Campfire sticks stirred unburned human remains from the glowing coals. The smell of burning flesh and hair was all over the city. It was unreal, huge crematorium life which the whole town lived. After seeing the British, we decided to bring all the civilized mind in his understanding of the word. They wanted to move away from all the city, but met fierce resistance and indignation of the people. Fearing revolt, they refused his proposal and left it at that. And to this day in Varanasi, though not to such an extent, occur cremation on the banks of the Ganges. Who it is the main place of cremation ghat Manikarnia. Funeral pyres burning did not stop there, and along the narrow streets of these fires are constantly litter tray with the deceased. For many, all occurring may seem plot of a horror movie, when preventing stick fire with the dead, a corpse can fall off the hand or head. You can see a dog gnawing a human bone. Or boating on Ganges to poke at the bloated corpse surfaced. According to Hindu concepts of virgins, monks and infants are not cremated, and "buried" in the Ganges.
Varanasi course, not unique to each city and it will be clear. But some come back here again and again. I was there felt inexplicable peace and tranquility. A further touch of eternity.

Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition,
even older legend looks twice as old,
than all of them put together.

Mark Twain

Varanasi prices

On food prices: Omelet 2 eggs 30-50 rupees, chicken dish an average of 150 rupees, coffee with milk or tea 15-30 rupees, 35 rupees tortilla with cheese, rice with stewed potatoes with spices 90 rupees a bottle of water 2 liters in the store 25 lakh.
On average meals a day will cost 300-350 rupees.

Prices for accommodation: bed in a hostel about 100 rupees, the price of a room in a hostel on the bank of the Ganga from 150 rupees. Then the price will be higher depending on the level of the hotel. But not always that expensive is better, I personally faced with this and moved from a more expensive and less convenient hotel, which is located 1 km from the Ganga in cheaper on the bank of the river.
Keep in mind that the price of the hotel may be higher if you go will bring a trishaw or taxi driver, since he will receive a commission for it. The best option is not to pay for accommodation at the expense of the commission agreement with the owner of the hotel, which are going to live, what would have met you at the station.

Prices of transport: pedicabs from 50 rupees away from the railway station to the old town. The same distance can cost 250 rupees, depending on time and circumstances.

The average cost of one day stay in Varanasi is about 350 (power supply) 200 (accommodation) = 550 rupees - this is excluding transportation.

Photo trip to Varanasi

Varanasi Day One

Varanasi
The streets of Varanasi

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Almost all the central streets of the city are filled with people, rickshaws, tuk-the fat, cars and buses and all that moves in one column, with the noise and din. Such a crowd of people, transport and sounds, are not prepared person is shocking.

Varanasi
On the central streets of Varanasi, most of the time there is a movement. Around you a whole bunch of people, cars, animals, colors and sounds. Can someone so color attracts, but I missed it by 15 minutes.

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I was a witness when two buses almost crushed flying between humans. The first desire that I had, it is to explore all that hurry and planned to blame for this chaos.

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But when I lived in the guesthouse on the banks of the Ganges with a view of the river itself, burial and firewood for the whole neighborhood. I visited strange tranquility and peace with a sense of touch to eternity. And I found myself thinking that the desire to leave the city completely disappeared.

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On the side window of my guesthouse was a view over the roofs of the ancient Benares. Here is the address of the Gest: Kashi guest house top restaurant with Ganga view ck9 / 5, Manikarnika (Burring) Ghat, Varanasi e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. room price was 150 rupees in 2012. tel: 9305144163 9648993739. You can call and you will arrive. And even better to do so, and even the local taxi drivers love to bring in other Hestia to get a commission for you, and you will get the price of housing, taking into account the Commission.

Benares
The guesthouse was a cafe in the form of not vzrachnoe, but with a view of the Ganges, and ancient temples. And it's not a bad kitchen. At that time, there was a nice group of young French people who smoked marijuana, listen to reggae and beheld the great city of the surrounding views or just lay on the couch. There was also a young Englishwoman who also smoked, and after a few puffs reached for needle and knit something.

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The temple on the banks of the Ganges

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The first colorful characters met me on the way to ghatam and the sacred Ganges. Generally in Varanasi lot of interesting personalities. Some of them are real ascetics or servants of their god. A lot of dress that would make money on photos with tourists.

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On the banks of the Ganges Hindus bathe, wash items are washed and cremated corpses dumped in the river itself. From a certain time and you can earn on tourists. For many, the river whole life.

Варанси

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Eternal City - Varanasi (Benares, Kashi) and its skyscrapers.

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Steps in the streets of the old city.

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Pilgrim

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Prayer of a new day.

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Big Wash.

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Funeral wood on the bank of Ganga at Manikarnika Ghat. Manikarnika Ghat, is considered one of the most sacred ghats (ghats). cremation process takes place almost continually. The charred remains dumped in the river.



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The instructor and the student.

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Boatman.

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Ghats of Varanasi.

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That comes to an end another day in the eternal city.

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Sunset in Varanasi.

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Faithful servant of the Lord.

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And this is a very respected elder. Around him were many people who asked him lots of questions. In them, he replied with a very important type.

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Evenings in Varanasi in the hut Asvamedha occurs fascinating spectacle. Buddhist priests - Brahmins, conduct aarti. Arati is a ritual with lighted candles in protsesseya, who presented offerings of flowers, fruits and sweets. Sacred ritual expresses the worship of Shiva, Mother Ganga, Surya (the Sun), Agni (fire), and the entire universe.

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Ritual cup.

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The ritual of arati, very spectacular, it is visited by a huge number of people, both the Indians and tourists alike. Many pre-occupy a comfortable place to make the most successful and beautiful pictures.

The second day in Varanasi

Varanasi
Ghats in Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges, the most visited place by tourists. But in spite of that life here goes on as usual. Someone has to clean, someone praying, someone erased, and someone smoothes sari, as in this case. India is so good that despite the strict life rules for tourists almost everywhere free access. And the result is as if you yourself plunge into the world and live a life with those around you people, and do not observe all of the tour bus window.

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Ghats of Varanasi. Many residents of the holy city on the Ganges passes all life. Here they are born, live, and hence necessarily need to go to the last journey.

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Indian fakir, snake charmer.

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And here Cobra decided to "spit" on magic and spells fakir and crawl in the right direction to her. But it was not there! Snake important part of contributing to earnings for this Indian.

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But what about the holy city without sacred animals.

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Funeral wood.

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You can see very well how the weighting of the funeral of wood and appear to discuss prices for them. Many do not have enough money to pay that amount of wood needed for the complete burning of the deceased. And then throw in the Ganges all that had time to burn.

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Scales for burial firewood.

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Much of the closest to the Manikarnika ghat streets crowded with wood for cremations.

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The streets of the old town.

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On the right is one of the most revered in India for the worship of the lingam characters (male sexual organ) and yoni (female organ). The combination of these two symbols indicates that the male and female foundations - the eternal and unchanging essence of human existence.

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The tired old man.

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Local men.

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A modest life of inhabitants of Benares. On the right wall is visible swastika. Swastika in India - the symbol of life, light, generosity and abundance.

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These are the doors have a house in the old city.

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And these old windows in the web is not uncommon.

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On the ancient door, you can even see a sign with the address.

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Boats in Varanasi are of great importance. This is not only a way of crossing, but also a way to earn money for locals, tourists ride on them on the Ganges. Price per hour about 150 rupees in 2012.

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Dasha Asvamedha ghat

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Ritual ablutions.



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Not only tourists float on boats on the Ganges, but the Indians themselves like to do it.

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Night Falls on the Benares.

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Night view of Varanasi with the east bank of the Ganges. On the east bank there and it is believed that at one time there were not any buildings. He is considered the world where Shiva forwards the souls of the dead. It is believed that the lucky ones die here completes the cycle of rebirth and death. For a true Indian is the highest good. Many felt the approach of death specially come here. For such people in Varanasi have intended for this shelter.

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Manikarnika Ghat is considered the main Ghat for cremation. In people with the camera sideways glance there, not to mention the fact that freely take photos. You can take pictures only after special agreement and at no small cost. For this I had to take pictures at night from the opposite eastern shore of the Ganges.

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Panorama of the great city of Varanasi, Benares, Kashi. City life, death, and the world, Shiva created more than 5,000 years ago.

 
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