Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Explore River Ganges during day & nightVaranasi, a city on the banks of the Ganges, is one of the holiest sites in Hinduism and the spiritual capital of India. Many religious pilgrims come to Varanasi, specifically to the Ganges, to perform ritual ablutions and to await death. No place along her banks is more longed for at the moment of death by Hindus than Varanasi, the Great Cremation Ground. Those who are lucky enough to die in Varanasi, are cremated on the banks of the Ganges, and are granted instant salvation. Hire a boat with a local guide and explore the river at night and again at pre-dawn – very different experiences. At night you can clearly see the funeral ghats (at a respectful distance) and evening offerings. At dawn you will experience worshipers engaged in early morning prayer as the sun rises over the misty river. Despite the terrible water pollution it is memorable to experience the Ganges by boat. Get a good guidebook as there is much history to learn about Varanasi and the River Ganges.