Friday Flashback – The Ganges River and Ghats in Varanasi

by Dave on October 30, 2009 · 6 comments


Varanasi is a pilgrimage site for many Hindus in India (and around the world) as it sits along the holy Ganges River.  Along with Old Islamic Cairo in Egypt and the old part of Kathmandu in Nepal, Varanasi offers great photographic opportunities with every step.

These two Varanasi posts include a lot of my favorite shots, while the side trip to Sarnath offers views of the site where Buddha gave his first sermon.

Hot, Hot Varanasi

An Early Morning Visit to Sarnath

A Sunset Stroll Along the Ghats

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Categories: Post-trip
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Jennifer @ ApproachGuides October 31, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Hi Dave. We loved Varanasi, and agree that it is a photographer's dream. The ceremonies that begin at sunset are one of my favorite times of the day – the bell ringing, the chanting and the floating of candles on the water make a memorable experience, which you have definitely captured in your video.

I always laugh at Mark Twain's take on Varanasi (although a bit harsh, it's not entirely inaccurate!): “Older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.�


Dave October 31, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Hi Jen, I've heard a lot of people say they love Varanasi, however it wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe I love the romantic image of it in my mind – the reality of having boots (or flip-flops) on the ground there was a different story. I'd heard enough about it that I probably had the wrong attitude from the start. At least I didn't get violently ill! :)


Jennifer @ ApproachGuides November 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Hi Dave, I don't know if you had the wrong attitude…it is a DIRTY place and takes some extreme focus to see the place differently. We stayed at a guesthouse inside the city, but quite honestly, never found a decent restaurant to go to, so we ended up rickshawing it out to the tourist hotels outside of town. Sometimes you do what you need to do!


GlobalButterfly November 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm

So cool Dave!!! I would have loved to have sat on those steps for a couple of hours, listening to the music, and soaking it all in. Looks like you were the only Westerner there!


Dave November 1, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Andi – there were a few other westerners walking around, looking just as overwhelmed by the scene as I was.

India = sensory overload


Dave November 2, 2009 at 3:26 am

Andi – there were a few other westerners walking around, looking just as overwhelmed by the scene as I was.

India = sensory overload


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