India, Váránasí – Holy Town That Never Sleeps
Along the right bank of the river Ganges, there are more than 100 ghats, which are stairs leading down to the river. They are primarily intended for a ritual bath to cleanse all sins. On the banks of the river you will also find the ghats Manikarnika and Harishchandra, which are used exclusively for cremation. Hindus bring the bodies of their loved ones from all over India so that they can be cremated in one of these ghats. Hindus believe that if one is cremated here, one will escape the endless cycle of reincarnation and get to heaven. And so on the way to these ghats, you may encounter a procession mourning with a stretcher. The borders here burn day and night. If you are curious and brave, you can watch how the cremations take place. There are many priests and guides in the area who will give you a lot of information about cremations. However, please respect the rules, it is not appropriate to take photos in these ghats!!
Take a walk along the river and watch her and her life flow. Watch the prayers of pilgrims and holy men who mingle with the locals, bathing children, laundromats who dry their clothes right on the stones of the waterfront. Sometimes buffaloes come to bathe. During the walk, you will most likely also come across several sacred men called sadhus, wrapped in an orange robe with their faces painted white, who give blessings to the faithful.
While walking through the winding streets of the city, visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple, dedicated to the god Shiva, one of the most famous Hindu temples in India. Finding him in a tangle of alleys will take a little patience. An afternoon boat ride on the Ganges will offer you a different perspective and perspective on what is happening on the banks of this sacred river. After dark, the Aagni fire ceremony takes place on the Dashashwamedh ghetto. The ceremony is performed by "priests" in traditional clothing, who circle the brass lamps clockwise. The lamps thus gain divine power during the ceremony. The ceremony is initially performed towards the river, then to the other three sides of the world. You can either be part of the audience on the mainland or watch it from a boat on the river. Varanasi is also a great place to buy silk (including saris). But don't forget to pay attention to quality, because many products are actually made of fake silk or a silk blend.
Most visitors agree that Varanasi, otherwise known as the "City of Light", is one of the most amazing places on earth at all, but it is definitely not for the timid…
Text and photos: Andrea Meluzínová
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