Saturday, April 26, 2014

On the Road: Varanasi

 Welcome to the holy city of Varanasi on the bank of the Ganges River! We wound our way through the narrow alleys- ducking by cows, avoiding cow patties, past rickshaws, and through crowds to get to our hotel overlooking the Ganga! 
The Ganges River
We spent the afternoon walking through the streets learning about the city and Hindu culture and religion from our guide. We went inside ancient palaces, overlooked the burning ghats, and tried tea from a clay cup. In the evening we floated down the river on a boat tour to see the evening aarti. Aarti is a worship ritual to Mother Ganga involving fire and incense and the ringing of bells. Finally we ended our day with a superb dinner of authentic Italian pizza and amazing apple pie (an ISP tradition)!

Evening boat ride on the Ganges to view the river aarti
The next day was just a free day to catch up on some sleep and explore the alleyways to get in some good shopping. Of course we had to visit our favourite shop- The Blue Lassi for this batch to try their amazing creations! Several students got up early to watch the sun rise over the Ganga and walk along the ghats to watch the morning rituals and commotion. 

Sunrise over the Ganges
Blue Lassi!!

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