The old city is a labyrinth of narrow alleys lined with shops and Hindu temples. You would be lost without a guide. More than 1,000,000 pilgrims visit Varanasi each year. Bathing in the Ganges is said to wash away ones sins and dying in Varanasi is said to release one's soul from the cycle of transmigrations. Varanasi has more than 100 Ghats, most used for bathing, but some for cremation as well.
This area is also important to Jains and Buddhists. It is in nearby Sarnath that Buddha is said to have given his first sermon about the basic principles of Buddhism. Jains consider Varanasi to be a pilgrimage site.
|People leave offerings in the temples... they buy the supplies in stalls along the way|
We arrived in Varanasi late morning and checked in at our hotel and had lunch. Our guide came back to pick us up midafternoon and we headed out to the Archeological museum which has artifacts from the 3rd century B.C to the 12th century A.D. They did not allow any photography. Too bad, they were very interesting. Next stop was a Buddhist temple.
|Beginning of "Agni Pooja" ceremony|
Early to bed... early to rise in the morning for the sunrise ceremony.
Our trip was quickly coming to an end. Only 2 more days left.