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Honeymooners We travel, we see sights of awe. Home is where the heart is. My heart is with Briel.

Varanasi

INDIA | Sunday, 6 July 2008 | Views [704] | Comments [1]

We arrived to Varanasi - the Holy city of India.  This is THE HOLY city where many Hindu's hope come to die believing that this will end their reincarnation cycle and give them final resting peace.

Here is the famous Ganges river.  It is believed to be the purest waters which will give life, health and vitality to those that bath aand drink from it. By  the river banks the dead are cremated on wood while the male loved ones will pray in the blessed waters.

Varanasi is also the home to the famous hand made silk sarees.  With hand embrodery and each bolt of intricate work can take up to 20 days for a skilled worker.

What we saw:  As one of the oldest cities in the world where the Hindu culture has not changed over the last 5000 years - and neither has the hygene standards changed.  Where everyone throws rubbish, clothes, dead bodies, animals, half burned bodies into their sacred river.  Rubbish is all on the sides of the streets.  Well most of the streets are not even paved but are still dirt tiny alley ways.  All with a tendancy to smell like toilet crap when the wind changes.

When it rains (and it does everyday right now as it is Monsoon season) you are always walking in thick clay mud.  Which wouldn't be so bad except for the rubbish on the roads along with everyones spit, plus cow and human excrement.

In fact on my first day here I had a lucky omen -I stepped in cow dung!  COOL hey.  We were also lucky that we met some this guy who claimed to also be a tourist and just wanted to walk with us - but he knew every local, knew all the alley ways and knew all the temples to show us.  Of course he also showed us the great works of hand made silk sarees and their embrodery.  Where at the end he took us to a great shop to see the finished work where we could ofcourse buy something.

BUT I am saddened to say the garmets we saw where not hand made silks but infact knockoff of differing materials.  We know as it REALLY didn't feel like silk, and our friend who is a textile artist already was conned in this last week in Delhi.  So to their annoyance we bought nothing.

However we did get to see some lovely old temples, a river side cremation which had our stomachs turning and the special ceromony they do every sunrice and sunset by the river which was VERY nice.

On the whole the people we meet are friendly though and helpful even.  The kida are funny in that they always want to be in my photos.  They love attention from foreigners - posing away like crazy.

We still love the food here. However we are still undecided on how we feel about India.  Love it or hate it - it is an experience - a very emotionally draining one !!

Ciao for now.

Tags: ganges river, varanasi

Comments

1

it's really interesting to read about Varanasi as it's the one place i've always wanted to go to in india! sounds like one hugggggge adventure! not sure about the cow dung though haha yuk :)

  shelley Jul 7, 2008 12:50 PM

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