Pics from Varanasi: Part one

Plenty to write about – Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi, not to mention Diwali in Delhi, but I am feeling lazy so it will all have to wait for now. In the mean time though, here are some pictures from our first full day in Varanasi. 🙂

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Stone cow in the Nepali temple

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Impressively basic but effective scaffolding

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Women eating in front of the Ganges

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Hello water buffalo

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Kids flying a kite from their balcony

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There had been a kite competition in Varanasi earlier in the week. It’s hard to tell in this photo but there were so many kites being flown Saturday night. All the specks in the sky in this picture are kites save the largest – that was a pigeon. 🙂

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We just happened to arrive in time for Dev Deepavali (more on that in a later post). Such lucky timing! All the ghats along the Ganges were filled with thousands upon thousands of earthenware lamps like these. We took a boat ride on the river to see all the ghats lit up and to watch the ceremonies from the water. Magical.

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A woman selling flower lanterns – people light them and set them into the water to float down the Ganges as part of the celebration

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Full moon rising over the river

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People gathering at the main ghat for one of many ceremonies held along the waterside.

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Lighting lanterns on one of the ghats

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Oil lamps and fairy lights illuminating the waterside

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Woman performing a small ceremony at the water’s edge

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It’s not a great photo, but hopefully it gives a sense of the scene. This was just at one ghat. Aside from the box of fairy lights in the upper left hand of the photo, all the little points of light in the photograph are from the small clay oil lamps. And nearly all the ghats were lit up like this. Must have been hundreds of thousands of lamps lit that night.

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Another ghat lit up with lamps, with a firework rising up into the sky

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Boats in front of a ghat

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Cremation at the burning ghat continued even during the festivities. The bright lights at the right of the photo at the water’s edge are funeral pyres.

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Fire ceremony at one of the ghats

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Lamps and spectators on the stairs leading to the river

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Boats on the river in front of the main ceremony

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