I wasn't two steps off the auto rickshaw before I stepped into a pile of cow dung. "Holy city"?!, how about dung city, it's like a minefield here. The reason for this is the amount of animals present, mainly cows, whom seem to be present everywhere and more so compared to other Indian city's. The cow is sacred for the Hindu religion, so they are allowed to do and roam wherever they please. It was often a case of actually physically having to scrape by a large horned cow or physically having to push it away to make your way through the winding, narrow streets close to the Varanasi ghats (steps leading to a body of water).
The main attraction of Varanasi is the River Ganges, which is highly sacred to the Hindu Religion. Rising in the western Himalayas it travels south before emptying in the Bay of Bengal. This river is also highly polluted and considered "septic" in this particular city.
There are temples in every corner of Varnasi, they seem to be everywhere. These temples range in sizes, colours and shaper and all religions are catered for. One of two intriguing sites I witness here was the Puja ceremony which takes places on the water front every evening (6:45) and the cremation of the bodies at the burning ghats. The Puja ceremony runs for about 45 minutes and the whole city comes to life. Singing, chanting, incense, flowers, lights, flames you name it. Crowds gather on the streets, the steps and even fill a lot of the river, view from their boats.
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