Varanasi is one of the holiest place on earth where millions of Hindus pilgrims comes to take refuge, pray and purify their body.
The old part of Varanasi is an extraordinarily colourful place where in the morning, the sun struggles to penetrate its lanes to light the wonderful textures of its walls. In its shady lanes, the crowd of pedestrians, groups of pilgrims, children playing, wandering cows, stalls and shops, markets, street sellers, sound of bells and horns, smell of incense and flowers create a totally unique atmosphere for all the senses. This shady and narrow environment is quite a contrast compare to its ghats.
From the Old City, a bright light at the end of a lane may lead you to a ghat and the Ganges river bank. Here is another extraordinary part of the city where Indian culture and religion mixed together with some scenes of everyday life: pilgrims bathing and doing their puja, families around a burning body attending a Hindu funeral ceremony, Brahmans reading scriptures, sadhus meditating, men washing themselves or doing some morning exercises, dhobbies cleaning linen, women making bricks out of cow droppings, people drying pieces of linen, clothes or saris, souvenir sellers and chai sellers make the life of Varanasi’s ghats. Everything contributes to its atmosphere along with the special feeling created by the Ganges and the wild empty space opposite the ghats.
I visited twice Varanasi and I will visiting it again during my next street and travel photography workshops in India in February 2015.