The streets of Varanasi

We got off our boat at Dashashvamedh Ghat in midtown.  The ghats were full of sadhus (ascetics) and worshippers. There are many kunds, or tanks, in Varanasi. These were once sacred pools in the ancient city, where a local nature deity (yaksha) was worshipped.  By now they have been walled in and the old gods have been absorbed into standard Hinduism. As we took a picture of the kund, a man who told us he was a sadhu said we weren't allowed to take pictures unless we paid him. I don't think we did. The tricks are too many.

A sadhu Worshipper in a sacred tank

Dashashvamedh Ghat with lepers and beggars along the fence, a truly depressing scene. The ghat leads up to the midtown major market area in Varanasi Attracted by flamboyant colors, we are just starting in on our shopping spree

The streets of Varanasi are remarkable for the traffic, the bazaars, the temples and holy shrines which are found everywhere and, of course, the people.

One should not miss the chance to take a rickshaw ride. Indeed, it seems to be the principal means of transportation. We did feel bad about it, though, when the "driver" (cyclist) had to really strain to go up a gentle hill, standing up to get maximum leverage on the pedals.  Those guys are strong. And they work hard.

The  street at Asi Ghat  Our friend Jean-Max leading us by rickshaw to an ATM

Colorful street merchants and their clients abound in the narrow streets of the old city.

People and ubiquitous cow in the Chowk quarter
Fruit seller in a narrow street in Chowk

Mixture of old and new, close to the Golden Temple - men dressed western style or in kurta and pajama, women always in saris
People are respectfully leaving a lot of room for this holy cow 
Vegetable seller A vegetable seller
A vegetable seller in southern Varanasi More fresh vegetables
A festive float on the holy day of Shivaratri More festivities

On to a different subject...

On our last day in Varanasi, we saw this poster in the street. Bush was due to arrive in Delhi and you can see that not everybody was too happy about his visit.

On to Annapurna Centre and an Indian village or back to the Ghats of Varanasi

Back to Impressions of India