How can one miss the gorgeous golden or organgish sunrises of Varanasi while staying there?!!
If you are looking for an answer from me, the answer is "by oversleeping"!
That would have been the case, if I had really overslept. But somehow minutes before the complete rise of the sun, I woke and got ready and found the boat guy for the morning ride. But then he was sleeping too. But in India, there is a way around for everything! A young boy was sent as an alternative.
You can see, I missed the ball getting off the ground by a few minutes. But it was still beautiful and gorgeous.
The more interesting things were actually happening on the opposite side, the side which was made brighter by the golden sun rays. The ghats! They were very active early in the morning itself, with a myriad of activities.
People were ready to take a dip in the holy Ganges. Some people were having certain lessons on the ghats. Some were practicing their pranayama and other way to get some air into their lungs and brains.
The tourists were also active on the scene, just like me. Going all around in the boats, taking pictures and trying to understand the culture of Varanasi.
The boats were adorning the Ganges which was glittering in the golden rays of morning sun.
The ghats had come to its full glory by then. People were already everywhere on the ghats.
Some of them where bathing, chatting, taking a dip, taking a deep breath and so on. More pictures from Varanasi daily life can be found here.
Apart from taking a holy dip; teaching and learning how to swim from this holy river was also quite common here!
But an uncommon view would be that of the people who work in the burial ghats. People were active there even in the morning itself.
After a couple of hours of floating around in the Ganges, the boat ride came to an end, so was a beautiful morning in Varanasi.
Rest of the day was less eventful. It mainly involved walking around in the nearby market under the scorching heat till the time of the check out from the hotel. After checking out, I slowly made my way to the place I was going to stay for the night. It was a bit away from the Varanasi ghats but still around Varanasi area.
I was going to stay in a place where the owner of the place has built a community around his home. And the owner is just 26 and he is a social entrepreneur now.
The idea of this place is interesting. He bought a house in the outskirts of Varanasi, away from the hustle and bustle and started to live there. He opened the doors to his home to other travelers too. They came, they stayed and they volunteered to make his home a better place. They left their art, their skills and maybe a part of their heart behind. Slowly the place was evolving to be a community living space.
One can call it a social hostel. Of course there are dormitories to make you feel that it is a hostel. There are rooms as well. Staying there is quite economical option for a budget traveller. The positive energy of the community add charm to the stay.
I was there for only one night and I could only enjoy the art left behind by the people who were stayed there for some time.
Anyway it was only 200 INR for a night stay for me and I was happy. Also the train station was around 10 minutes walk, with my heavy backpack. And it was the starting station for my next journey. So everything worked out well for me. It was a good stay there for me in all that aspects.
Next stop was at Patna. My first time in Bihar! I was pretty sure that its going to be very interesting. But till then what are your thoughts on Varanasi?