We spent ten days in Varanasi, mostly with the DISCC. But we did get to take in some of the life on the ghats.
Washing at the well below our hotel Bent-over old lady Tulsi and Shyamjee leaving on a motorcycle A flute seller -- those things on his back are all flutes
The resident gecko in our hotel room Women gathering around a small temple beneath a tree at Assi Ghat Sleeping with Nandi, Shiva's bull, in front of the Shiva Temple at Assi Ghat Assi Ghat in the morning
The Om Cafe A really young street (well, ghat) sweeper Bathing, washing, sleeping in the Ganga and on the ghats Morning bathers
Flower sellers School girls in uniform Pilgrims looking at ... is it a seal? No, a swimmer. There he ...
... goes! The backside of the set for the big Bollywood show More fireworks Fireworks over Assi Ghat
Assi Ghat all dolled up for the festival The morning after Washing away the monsoon-deposited sand The enlarged Assi Ghat in the foreground
Swimmers, zebus (buffaloes) and dhobis Dhobi in action Om nama Shiva ya! On the striped pedestal on the left ...
... dogs sleep on the steps I got stuck in this mud and had to be rescued by a friendly passing Indian Ruins of once-magnificent havelis at Darbhanga Ghat Ruined haveli, detail
Ruined haveli A small linga is not neglected Yeaaa...! A shave in complete comfort
I'm so pretty! Young boy selling a range of things, from powders for tilak marks to bangles and other knicknacks Many-armed Hanuman This cow was eating that scarf, bite by bite
Parade coming (orange pennants in distance) - cows, people, rickshaws and bazaars, a typical Indian street scene The parade Marching band Why did the clarinet player pick me to play to? Hmm...
Safran - the Hindu sacred color Krishna plays his flute for Radha And they're gone away ... the last notes absorbed by the pollution. Narrow street in old Varanasi
Typical street kitchen where most poor Indians get their meals when out on the town. And probably not so poor Indians as well. Varanasi traffic What a street scene - probably close to the Crossing where a very busy street goes down to Dashashwamed Ghat. Siv and Ajaya, who is the hotel masseur and also serves breakfasts on the roof terrace
Siv and her husband (photo taken by Ajaya) The Durga Temple An old guest house become a post office and now seemingly abandoned Detail of old guest house
And everywhere street workers do their work with very primitive tools. Women are often seen doing road work too and carrying very heavy loads on their heads. Siv and Choto A shrouded body  is being carried down to the burning ghats, where pyres are constantly burning, night and day, and the wood merchants are making good money. Swedish tourist at Assi Ghat
Dawn over the Ganga Women joining hands at puja in the early morning on our last day in Varanasi. Women eating and drinking in celebration of Lord Krishna's birth Ladies celebrating the month of Kartikka
Old palaces on Gangamahal Ghat Ladies celebrating the month of Kartikka Some particular ritual is clearly going on here in this circle. The rituals typically varied from one circle to another. Holding a cloth by strings
Ladies celebrating the month of Kartikka Butter lamps Worshippers at the Ganga Siv and friends
Away from the sound and the fury... Morning sun Ladies celebrating the month of Kartikka, the birth of Krishna Over she goes, getting ready to be repaired, no doubt.
Really nice girls selling things and - speaking English! Flower sellers An add for constipation pills -- in French! Les fran�ais sont-ils constip�s? Two goatlets, ignoring the noisy pump behind them, find space to play
Clapping! A decorated Shiva-Linga, symbol for the worship of Shiva. "The use of this symbol for worship is an ancient tradition in India extending back at least to the early Indus Valley civilization. The interpretation of what the symbol represents is the source of much debate." (Wikipedia)