A spiritual and multi-coloured dip into ancient rituals of life and death in Varanasi.
If you’re looking for a complete sensorial, spiritual and otherworldly experience, take a boat down the holy river Ganges in Varanasi, the longest continually inhabited city in the world. At dawn, the Ghats are bustling hives of activity as devotees perform their ablutions in the river and offer prayers to the rising sun. It is the cross roads of life, death, the mundane and the supernatural, which will leave you filled with wonder.
Stop at the Tulsi Ghat and witness the Hindu martial artform, Akhara; taste a traditional Benares street breakfast, the heaviest meal of the day; and experience a personal Puja, a thanks-giving to Mother Nature and the five elements, in a temple on the Ghats of the Ganges. The Havan is a small vessel in which the fire is burnt, fire being the purest of all material elements as it cannot be polluted. It’s a Hindu ritual of honour, respect and devotional observance.
Words cannot do justice to a place Mark Twain once described as “Older than history, older than tradition and older even than legend.”