Varanasi Ghats

Day 22 October 24th 2014
Varanasi India to Delhi India

Varanasi-NewDelhi

Today is the last day of the trip before we begin the long journey back to Canada and boy did we use every minute of the day to enjoy it. The day started with a 4:45 am wakeup call so we could see the sunrise on Ganges and Varanasi Ghats.  Waiting to get on the boat, we saw groups of people beginning their daily devotions to the Ganges.

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We got on the river just as the sun was rising and wow are they amazing! The Ghats of Varanasi are these large stone stairways that lead from the street level of Varanasi down to the river. People use them to access the Ganges to perform spiritual rituals.  In addition to that, the river is used for bathing, brushing teeth, swimming, washing clothes, peeing, sewer outlets, water intake, and cremation. Yes cremation! It is believed in India that the Ganges is a sacred river system and when someone dies they must be cremated and their ashes scattered into the river. We saw the dead body burning Ghat were you could see platform’s and ashes where the previous days cremations occurred.

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One of my favorite parts of the boat ride was seeing all the beautiful colors of peoples clothing line the shorelines of the Ghats. Without people the landscape would look brown and dull. I also enjoyed watching monkeys climbing the buildings that line the upper portion of the Ghats.

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We finished our boat ride and arrived back to the hotel by 9 am or so. Our flight to Delhi did not leave till 3pm so Kim, Amy and I spent the morning and early afternoon at the pool of our hotel.
Our journey from Varanasi to Delhi was delayed… go figure. We ended up arriving in Dehli after dark so we didn’t get a chance to actually tour around Delhi… save that for another trip. Our hotel in Delhi however was a memory of its own. Before being allowed into the hotel gates, the vehicle had to be searched, including under the hood! Once we were cleared by hotel security, we had to go through a metal detector. Once we walked through the entrance way we were greeted by a 20 foot tall grand lobby with swanky seats, a truffle store and a massive bar. The lobby was decorated in sheik black, white and purple colors. I have never been in such a high end hotel before. Our room was even more impressive. The bathroom was tiles with marble, there were automatic blinds in the bathroom, mirrors everywhere and to finish it off, there was a posh office area in the room.
We barely had enough energy for dinner but luckily did because we got the opportunity to meet Metteyya’s older brother, sister in law, niece and Aki (Metteyya’s youngest brother). The meal we had of course five star and concluded with a hot cup of Masala Chai tea, made with soy milk! I’m so happy I got the chance to try chai tea in India.  We got to bed at 11:00 pm only to be woken up at 1:35 am for our 5:30 am flight to London.

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One thought on “Varanasi Ghats

  1. Later in the day the ghats will be FULL of colourful laundry drying not just on the shoreline but all the way up to the street level!
    The ghats are built that way to accommodate how high the river gets in the monsoon season.
    The people believe that to be cremated and put in the Ganges is the highest blessing because they are washed clean of all sin. In old age many come live in Varanasi to die at the Ganges.

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