Varanasi must be one of the most, if not the most, chaotic city I ever went too. It’s the spiritual capital of India and one of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
Paradoxically there are few cars in the city center. And while there are rickshaws (auto and cycle), what makes the streets so busy is the number of people. The streets of the old city are narrow, dirty, smelly, full of shops and full of life.
The Ghats (a word describing a series of steps leading down to a river) are a major aspect of Varanasi. They are two kinds of Ghats, bathing (most of them) where people wash their sins in the Ganges and burning where cremation occurs. Every evening there is a ceremony in dedication of the gods at the biggest Ghat.
A boat ride on the Ganges is the best way to discover the Ghats.
While one of the most interesting place in term of culture we went to, Varanasi is definitely not a city where I would stay much longer than a few days (2 were enough…).Check out all the photos related to this post on Flickr »