|   HOME  |  BLOG   |  ARTICLES  |  PHOTOS   | VIDEOS  |   ABOUT  |
 
*Sri Lanka*

 

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India


Located on the western bank of the Ganga, Varanasi (or Benares, Kashi), is among the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities and one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. Early Vedic religion took root here. It was the capital of the kingdom of Kashi in the Buddha's time (6th century BCE), who gave his first post-enlightenment sermon at nearby Sarnath (he apparently avoided Varanasi, already a stronghold of Brahmanism). Varanasi has seen many reversals of fortune over the millennia, even as it retained some fame for its muslin and silk fabrics, sculpture, perfumes, and ivory art.

Xuanzang, the famous Chinese traveler, visited here in c. 635 CE. The city, he wrote, "is densely populated. The families are very rich, and in the dwellings are objects of rare value. The disposition of the people is soft and humane, and they are earnestly given to study ... The climate is soft, the crops abundant, the [fruit] trees flourishing, and the underwood thick in every place." He estimated that the city had about 100 temples with 3,000 priests, who mostly honored Shiva—one of whose statues he saw as "full of grandeur and majesty". Some followers of this sect, he wrote, "cut off their hair, others tie their hair in a knot, and go naked, without clothes; they cover their bodies with ashes, and by the practice of all sorts of austerities they seek to escape from birth and death." In the early 11th century, the great Persian scholar, Al-Beruni, visited India and called Varanasi a leading center of the "Hindu sciences". (Read more)

The ghats of Varanasi

Dasaswamedha ghat (1, 2)

Dasaswamedha ghat

West bank of the Ganges


Harishchandra ghat (1, 2)

This is a small burning ghat south of the main burning ghat known as Manikarnika

Funeral pyres


Burning ghat


Burning ghat (more)


Burning ghat


Burning ghat


Burning ghat


Burning ghat


Bathing and ritual


Bathing and ritual


Bathing and ritual


Bathing and ritual


Chousatti ghat


Manikarnika ghat


Munshi ghat


Manmandir ghat


Vijaya Nagaram ghat


Lalita ghat


Scindia ghat


Raja ghat


Built by former royals


Ghat scene


Dhobis


Morning boatride


Panoramic view of the ghats


Bathing and ritual


Bathing and ritual


Offerings to the river


Temples on the ghats


Applying caste marks


Puja (more)


Artist on the ghat


Manikarnika kund


Sewage meets the Ganges


Tilted temple


Old man by the river (more)


River cruise


Boatful of sadhus


Ganges river scene


Boys before a dip


Boys before a dip


Will he connect?


Old city street (more)


Security at Vishwanath temple


Ad for a school


Vegetable seller


Children (1, 2)


Varanasi train station

On the morning after the Benaras bomb blasts (8th Mar 2006)
       

 

 

___________________________________________________________

comments powered by Disqus
 
 
  |   HOME  |  BLOG   |  ARTICLES  |  PHOTOS   |  VIDEOS  |  ABOUT  |

Designed in collaboration with Vitalect, Inc.