On the banks of the Ganges, Varanasi is one of the spiritual centers of India. It is at the same time so fascinatingly diverse in how the people use the Ghats and the river. It is part of their day to day routines but also serves fulfill their deep religious and spiritual beliefs. I found a great sense of peace here.
We watched this holy man for a long time. He remained perfectly still and he looked so serene as connected with his spiritual center, the Mother Ganga.
This was out boatman. We arrived at 5:30 am to watch the sunrise on the Ganges. This river is the epicenter of the religious beliefs here. It was an experience that will live with me all my life and I felt humbled and honored to experience the dawn and the spirituality of this stunning place.
Every evening thousands of people gather for the Aarti celebration of faith. It is an absolutely amazing spectacle. There are seven alters set up on the banks of the river and seven priests perform a religious ceremony which includes offerings to the gods through the lighting of oil soaked lamps. We also lit small candles for family and friends and then let them float away on the river. A spectacular site and many hundreds of candles floated on the river. It is a stunning celebaration which defies description and can only be understood by being there.