The highlight of our visit to Varanasi this year was a boat ride with our Indian friends on the evening of Dev Deepawali, when the Ganga ghats are covered with thousands of lighted candles.
We arrived in Delhi at the new airport. The columns in front reminded us of the hypostyle (pillared) hall in the Egyptian temple at Karnak. The day after our arrival in Varanasi was the festival of Dev Deepawali. People thronged the ghats, some in celebration, some for begging. The cow is some sort of purported freak. The Ganga has a metallic glow in the morning at Assi Ghat. This looks wonderful!
Getting shaved and trimmed for the festival There was lots of mud at Assi and Tulsi Ghats this year. Galantry Old age praying for ... what, release, maybe?
John, Siv, Deepika, Vimla, Sampa and Tulsi, ready for a boat ride As the sun slowly sinks in the west (where else?), our boat leaves Assi Ghat. As the sun goes down, the lights come out, as here, at Dashashwamedh Ghat. Candle lamps galore
At Panchganga Ghat, as far north as our boat went, the facade of Aurangzeb's mosque, just visible in the top-left corner, maintains a dignified silence. Myriad lights on Scindia Ghat The funeral pyres at Manikarnika Ghat ignore the festival. Lights and plants
Sampa and Vimla watching the spectacle at Dashashwamedh Ghat The aarti ceremony at Dashashwamedh Ghat was carried out by many more priests than usual for the occasion. So many boats were drawn up close to the shore in order to view the aarti ceremony at Dashashwamedh Ghat, it would have been possible to walk from one to another. Heavy-looking candelabra!
More modern type of lighting (not candles) on a palace being restored (finally!) at Darbhanga Ghat Lights and crowds Crowds with a giant "om" at Jain Ghat The next day, we visited the DISCC's Annapurna Center and wer welcomed by a message of flower petals!
Dr Tulsi addressing the young ladies of the Annapurna Center Young ladies at work in the new building Reading is an important educational aspect of the program of the Annapurna Center. In the streets of Varanasi, brightly-colored yarn on sale
Fascinating old building The magnificent old palace at Darbhanga Ghat is finally being restored. Steep steps for a small child Viewed on the building under construction next to our hotel, a chipmunk