Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India

Varanasi (or Benares) doesn’t need much of an introduction. This Indian city on the banks of the holy Ganga is the holiest of the seven sacred cities and it doesn’t leave anyone unmoved. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves: life along the river has a special vibe here. We witnessed many rituals (including cremations), saw people bathing and drinking from the holy river and met little kids selling offerings.

Man sitting on the steps next to the river Ganga.Impressions of Varanasi, IndiaImpressions of Varanasi, IndiaImpressions of Varanasi, IndiaImpressions of Varanasi, IndiaWomen dancing together.Impressions of Varanasi, IndiaImpressions of Varanasi, IndiaCremation.Personal belongingsDrinking from the Ganga river.Bathing in the Ganga river.Impressions of Varanasi, IndiaBathing in the Ganga river.Women dancing.Kids playing on the river bank.Kiting next to the river.Impressions of Varanasi, IndiaRelaxing on the river banks.

Varanasi trip summary

  • Transport: By train from Kolkata
  • Stay: At the wonderful Alka Hotel: cheap and clean rooms with a private bathroom. They have a restaurant with modestly good dishes. Outside you have a view on the Ganga river (the hotel is located right next to the river).
  • Dinner: The best pizza (and apple pie) can be found at the Vaatika Café, also next to the river on the other side of “town” coming from the Alka Hotel.
  • Breakfast & lunch: Great bread and cheese (!) at the Brown Bread Bakery.
  • Things to do: Yoga at the Yoga Training Center & an early morning boat ride on the river.
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