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Phil's Mondo India Slide Show
The Holy City of Varanasi

From Mussourie, I took the Shatabdi Express train back to Delhi, then onto the city that most Hindus consider the holiest city in India. Varanasi lies in the northern plains of India on the banks of the Ganges River. People who can afford it are cremated in Varanasi, in the hopes of a final purification at death. Varanasi is so freakin' hot, but so attractive, I stayed for a week...I couldn't leave.

The major tourist activity in Varanasi is to take a boat ride down the Ganges (actually up the Ganges from where I was located), in the early morning to watched the devoted take morning baths in the river, and to view the variety of architectural attractions along the river.

I found that boat rides were actually a quick way to get around Varanasi.

I stayed at the Hotel Ganges View (which I highly recommend) on the Asi Ghat in Varanasi, the southernmost Ghat in town. A Ghat is a set of steps that lead down to the river for bathing. On my first morning, I looked out and discovered that there were a thousand or so people on the ghat and surrounding area around my hotel. I learned that I arrived at a festival that celebrated the Kattika full moon of October-November.



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