Going to Varanasi has been always in my mind but i never really found someone to go, so i decided to pack my bags and head there for fews days, Before going there i investigated on the highlights of the city and found out that is a very small town so i started contacted photographers in the area to discover cool and unusual places there.
I stayed in the Brijrama Palace, a palace built in 1812 and renovated few years ago in to a beautiful and picturesque 5 stars hotel right in front of the Ganges river, on the Darbhanga Ghat.
I have always feared Death, it is something i constantly think about and i worry, in short words, i'm afraid of death and all things related to it, part of this trip was to understand and explore more on how other cultures approach it.
Definitely one of the highlights of this city is the burning Gath, where basically Hinduist from all over india come to burn their loved ones bodies. basically the ritual consists in shaving their head, washing their bodies in the sacred river, wrapping the body with cloths and burning the body, after, the attendees bath in the river again and later on they do a ritual in the house of the family that takes about 14 days to then throw the ashes in the magnificent Ganges, that for Hinduism, is what will take you to Nirvana, like a highway to heaven. I was also curious to know that they do not burn monks, animals, children, people bitten by cobras or with leprosy.
Honestly this was one of the highlights for me, facing and understanding how they do mourn death but at the same time celebrate it was enlightening, at the end, maybe we are going to another dimension? cheesy enough but do we really need to "live every day as if it was the last"? dunno but at the end i definitely see things from another perspective now i'd say.
The Aarti in the Dashashwamedh Ghat is something nobody can miss while visiting Varanasi, it is a ritual of the light, a sort of celebration of the sunset. a gorgeous choreography is performed in this Gath that you can watch from a boat or on the Gath itself, i would suggest you to watch it from both sides, to have a different perspective. here you have the chance to lit a candle and do an offering to the Ganges, i made mine and i look forward to seeing it becoming reality :) (when it happens i'll write a post about it).
The sunrise and the sunset are magic in Varanasi, i would strongly suggest you to catch them both, from a boat actually (not more than 300 rupees for like 2 hrs), trust me, its an experience you will never forget. there is the ritual of the sunrise aswell, but honestly is not as interesting as the Aarti (sunset ceremony)
For those who know me, know that im very superstitious, i got my Indian horoscope written in Varanasi with just my full name, place and date/hr of birth, i was left speechless with what the religious man told me. literally - left me speechless!
Just wonder around the little alleys and streets of Varanasi, get lost, go to an ashram, visit a monk, watch the burning gath with respect and reflect about it as i did, and i would say 2 nights in Varanasi are more than enough!
I am preparing a Vlog about this trip! as soon as it's out i will post it here! :)
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