Picture
Upper sleeper bunk

We went back to the train station to take a sleeper train to Varanasi. The train ride was longer than I expected, about 12 hours. Varanasi is a holy city in India and I wrote my final paper on the Ganges River, which flows by Varanasi.  We had a sleeper car but we were not all in the same curtained off area. We tried to talk to other people to switch seats, but some people wouldn’t. At one point I had to move to a different bunk, but it was better since I had a window view and more privacy. There were only Asian toilets on the train, which were basically holes in the floor with no seat. Those were not very fun to use. Our train also got delayed by a few hours, so our 12 hour journey turned into 15 or 16 hours.

When we arrived at Varanasi there were children who swarmed to us and tried to get food and money from us. We ignored them and got in the van. Usually those kids are part of a whole mafia and don’t get to keep the money themselves. We got to the hotel and it was right on one of the ghats with a river view. The ghats are steps that lead to the river. Varanasi was the most crowded place we had been to in all of the places we had visited.

We arranged for a boat ride sunset tour. Our guide spoke English with a strange accent, it was hard to understand some things he said. We got to see the cremation ghat where people burn their deceased family members. Most people in India want their ashes to be scattered in the Ganges River since it is believed to purify the ashes. There are whole ceremonies and certain steps to take for the cremation. It was really interesting and we saw actual cremations happening. Then we saw a nightly celebration that takes place at another ghat. There were tons of people watching from boats and on the ghat itself.

Picture
People on the ghats in Varanasi

Picture
Cremation Ghat

Picture
Nightly celebration in Varanasi

 


Comments




Leave a Reply