We spent ten days in Varanasi, mostly with the DISCC. But we did get to take in some of the life on the ghats.
1 Washing at the well below our hotel
2 Bent-over old lady
3 Tulsi and Shyamjee leaving on a motorcycle
4 A flute seller -- those things on his back are all flutes
5 The resident gecko in our hotel room
6 Women gathering around a small temple beneath a tree at Assi Ghat
7 Sleeping with Nandi, Shiva's bull, in front of the Shiva Temple at Assi Ghat
8 Assi Ghat in the morning
9 The Om Cafe
10 A really young street (well, ghat) sweeper
11 Bathing, washing, sleeping in the Ganga and on the ghats
12 Morning bathers
13 Flower sellers
14 School girls in uniform
15 Pilgrims looking at ... is it a seal? No, a swimmer.
16 There he ...
17 ... goes!
18 The backside of the set for the big Bollywood show
19 More fireworks
20 Fireworks over Assi Ghat
21 Assi Ghat all dolled up for the festival
22 The morning after
23 Washing away the monsoon-deposited sand
24 The enlarged Assi Ghat in the foreground
25 Swimmers, zebus (buffaloes) and dhobis
26 Dhobi in action
27 Om nama Shiva ya!
28 On the striped pedestal on the left ...
29 ... dogs sleep on the steps
30 I got stuck in this mud and had to be rescued by a friendly passing Indian
31 Ruins of once-magnificent havelis at Darbhanga Ghat
32 Ruined haveli, detail
33 Ruined haveli
34 A small linga is not neglected
36 A shave in complete comfort
37 I'm so pretty!
38 Young boy selling a range of things, from powders for tilak marks to bangles and other knicknacks
39 Many-armed Hanuman
40 This cow was eating that scarf, bite by bite
41 Parade coming (orange pennants in distance) - cows, people, rickshaws and bazaars, a typical Indian street scene
42 The parade
43 Marching band
44 Why did the clarinet player pick me to play to? Hmm...
45 Safran - the Hindu sacred color
46 Krishna plays his flute for Radha
47 And they're gone away ... the last notes absorbed by the pollution.
48 Narrow street in old Varanasi
49 Typical street kitchen where most poor Indians get their meals when out on the town. And probably not so poor Indians as well.
50 Varanasi traffic
51 What a street scene - probably close to the Crossing where a very busy street goes down to Dashashwamed Ghat.
52 Siv and Ajaya, who is the hotel masseur and also serves breakfasts on the roof terrace
53 Siv and her husband (photo taken by Ajaya)
54 The Durga Temple
55 An old guest house become a post office and now seemingly abandoned
56 Detail of old guest house
57 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.
58 Siv and Choto
59 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.
60 Swedish tourist at Assi Ghat
61 Dawn over the Ganga
62 Women joining hands at puja in the early morning on our last day in Varanasi.
63 Women eating and drinking in celebration of Lord Krishna's birth
64 Ladies celebrating the month of Kartikka
65 Old palaces on Gangamahal Ghat
66 Ladies celebrating the month of Kartikka
67 Some particular ritual is clearly going on here in this circle. The rituals typically varied from one circle to another.
68 Holding a cloth by strings
69 Ladies celebrating the month of Kartikka
70 Butter lamps
71 Worshippers at the Ganga
72 Siv and friends
73 Away from the sound and the fury...
74 Morning sun
75 Ladies celebrating the month of Kartikka, the birth of Krishna
76 Over she goes, getting ready to be repaired, no doubt.
77 Really nice girls selling things and - speaking English!
78 Flower sellers
79 An add for constipation pills -- in French! Les fran�ais sont-ils constip�s?
80 Two goatlets, ignoring the noisy pump behind them, find space to play
82 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)