Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Hanging At The Ghats In Varanasi

Varanasi is the spiritual capital of India - the holiest of cities for Hindus, who travel to the city on the banks of the Ganges river to bathe in its holy water. All the action is at the ghats in Varanasi. Waves and waves of pilgrims come, navigate the packed old streets and fill the ghats, ready to bathe. There's plenty to see in the sea of humanity.

Ground zero of the ghats, everyone into the river.

Sadhus dot the area, whether catching a nap (nice color coordinated background) or perched like a sentry.

The paint scheme can be busier than the bathing scene.

Organized prayer services abound, either groups or individuals seeking their own pooja.

No, this fuzzy image of a sadhu isn't photo-shopped. Between the ash cover he's applied and the large amounts of smoke from the cannabis he's ingested, he's turned into a ghost.

You can snag a quiet moment at the right time of day, when the sun starts to set. A couple of sadhus tucked into a corner at a ghat.

The end, literally. The funeral ghat. The wood is laid out for the various, already-scheduled funeral pyres.

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