Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On the Road: Varanasi

Our semester may have come to an end but there are more stories to share! Here's another stop on our travel component.

Varanasi is a city that breathes centuries. Its winding alleys open onto ghats that lead down to the Ganges where you can see daily scenes of morning bathers and Hindu priests preparing for worship. As one of India's holiest cities, Varanasi was the perfect place to explore more about Hinduism!

Watching the Ganga Aarti
Our day was filled with a walking tour and an evening boat ride where we watched the Ganga Aarti (Ganges river worship ceremony). It was fascinating to see the priests with their lit lamps moving in synchronicity. We also had ample time to wander the city and observe life there. Students loved discovering the streets and seeing everything from the burning ghats to the many roadside shrines.The burning ghats is one of many intriguing traditions in Varanasi. Hindus believe that to be cremated here will release them from the cycle of rebirth. 

Enjoying the Varanasi view!

Next stop: Agra - home of the Taj Mahal!

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