Varanasi & Bodhgaya
Location: Varanasi, IndiaMy last week in India - a swift swing by hectic Varanasi and then a little bit of peace as I toured the Buddhist pilgrimage sites
Varanasi is a tumble of ghats and jettys on one side of the river Ganges
Everything happens on the river, Water Buffalo are washed...
Laundry is done...
Ritual bathing takes place... and all in a river which is sceptic and poisoned. Needless to say I didn't dangle my hand in the water from the boat!
This wellfed chap is a Brahmin - the highest of the Indian Castes - you can tell from the sacred string over his shoulder. He won't eat his food if an Untouchable's shadow passes over it and 'pollutes' it. The wonders of modern India.
Laundry is laid out to dry on the ghats after washing.
Morning boat rides are the best way to see the city
Flower petal residue from thousands of Puja ceremonies - probably the most benign residue in the river!
The Stupa at Sarnath, just outside Varanasi where Buddha gave his first sermon.
The Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya - the most important Buddhist site of all.
Lotus stones to mark where Buddha paced in Mediation next to the Bodhi tree.
The Bodhi (Peepal) tree under which Buddha sat, refusing to move until he reached nirvana.