This is the blog of journalist, Lonely Planet author and photographer Stuart Butler. It features news and travel updates from the regions in which Stuart works, including northeast Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan), Yemen and Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

24 hrs in Varanasi, India

SadhuVaranasi GhatsPilgrimEvening ceremonyWelcomeLassi Shop
Golden Temple queueSunrise boat ridePilgrim 2Evening pujaTourist SignsBoatman
ShivaShop ownerPilgrimCrowds for evening pujaVaranasiFemale pilgrim
Owner of pilgrim hostelTeaCamp fire

On the way to Allahabad for the Maha Kumbh Mela I stopped off for a day (along with what seemed like millions of others) in fascinating Varanasi. India is full of places of religious importance but few come bigger and more spiritual than the city of Shiva. To bathe in the Ganges here is to wash away a life of sins and to die here is to break free of the cycle of reincarnation. It's a filthy dirty city, crowded, noisy, in your face and intense but few cities on the planet can claim to be as interesting. Next time I'll be there for longer than 24hrs...

Here are my photos from that all too short stay (but hey I had to get home - my wife gave birth a few days later!!)

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