Where:

Varanasi,

Uttar Pradesh, India

Last Visited:

Jan 1999 (Rob),
Dec 2005 (Clare and Rob)

Why Go:

A busy meeting point on the banks of the holy Ganges River.

Highlights:

  • The Ganges: a sunrise row boat is worth the early wake up. You can get a good price by going down and bargaining with the boatmen on the shore. You should also take some time walking along the river bank observing Indian life - washing bodies and clothes, kids playing cricket and flying kites, people burying their dead and praying ...
  • Markets: a maze of fascinating shops which you can get lost in for hours
  • Massages: available cheap down by the river.

Lowlights:

  • you will get lots of offerings for drugs
  • the train trip to and from Varanasi is renown as a danger to tourists

Eating,Drinking & Sleeping:

  • Accommodation: as you would expect for a popular tourist place there are heaps of places to stay. It is easy to follow one of the many touts that will greet you at the bus or train station. As always, make sure you check it out first before committing.

Other things you should know about:

  • Taking photos of the bodies burning on the banks of the Ganges is not welcome. I thought I would discreetly take a few snaps - and ironically of my whole trip to India these are the only photos that did not work out.

More information:

  • Photos taken in Varanasi and around in 2005
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