Varanasi City of Ghats

By Ali Karim
This post is part of a series called Jaipur Lucknow & Varanasi India Feb 2012
Show More Posts

From Lucknow, we flew to Varanasi. arrived at the airport and took a taxi to the home stay we had booked. We stayed with Harish and his wife, Malika in their home in the city center off a small alleyway. Very nice and hospitable stay.

Varanasi is the religious capital of the Hindu’s and the Ganga river that flows through it is considered to be very holy to Hindus. To be cremated here is akin to reaching Nirvana. Due to this religious significance, Varanasi is very busy with thousands of pilgrims and local’s; and can be overwhelming at times.

Important Information
Varanasi has lot of Ghats and you can Cleanse yourself in the Holy Ganga from any of those ghats

So having the homestay which was in a semi-quiet neighborhood was very welcome. Varanasi has a number of Ghats (stairs going down towards the river) along the Ganga river to allow the pilgrims and the people to access the river water for spiritual cleansing, performing religious ceremonies  etc.  So there are many of these around, and have a lot of people on them.

There are several crematorium sites along the Ganges where multiple fires are used to do the cremation 24hrs a day. The ashes are then poured onto the Ganges. There are several kinds of bodies that are not cremated; Sadhu’s, children under puberty, pregnant women and Lepers. For these kinds of bodies, large stones are tied to the bodies, and then dumped into the center of the river Ganges. Apparently, several species of fish have evolved over time that consume this human flesh.

Varanasi, traffic jam with no cars

Varanasi ghat, chilling

Varanasi, refurbishing brass pots

Varanasi ghats and buildings

Varanasi Scindia Ghat


Varanasi transportation



Varanasi, laundry

Varanasi, time for spiritual reflection


Varanasi, house



In the evening everyday, an Aarti Pooja is held on one of the Ghats (Dasaswamedh Ghat) that is quite an event with many people attending

Varanasi, prep’d for the Aarti 

Varanasi, Aarti Prep

Varanasi, holy dip into the Ganges for spiritual cleansing

Varanasi, offerings


Varanasi, diva offerings into the Ganges

Varanasi; getting time for Aarti


Varanasi, Aarti Pooja

Varanasi, Aarti Pooja

Varanasi, Aarti Pooja

Varanasi, sadhu relaxing


Varanasi, cafe kitchen


Varanasi Kedar Ghat

Cremation, Varanasi. One site for cremations. There was another much larger volume crematorium where they asked not to photograph

Varanasi Ghats

All in all, a great trip to these cultural centers across northern India

This entry was posted in Asia, India, Jaipur-Lucknow-Varanasi Feb 2012

8 thoughts on “Varanasi City of Ghats

  • Pingback: Lucknow - Ali Karim Travelog

  • Jane Leigh March 1, 2018 at 4:22 pm Reply

    Thanks so much for this blog, which I accessed via Lonely Planet. We are planning our first trip to India and your wonderful pictures and memories have given me lots of inspiration !

    • Ali Karim March 1, 2018 at 7:09 pm Reply

      Hi Jane, thanks for visiting my blog site; so glad it is helping you with your travel planning. India is a wonderful place to visit with so much history and culture. However, be prepared for huge numbers of people everywhere, and poverty and squalid conditions.

      Have fun on your trip. Let me know if I can help further

  • Lepez September 26, 2017 at 3:48 am Reply

    Thank you ever so much for you post.Really looking forward to read more.

  • dani August 16, 2017 at 1:22 pm Reply

    “I really like your writing style, good info, thanks for posting.

    • Ali Karim August 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm Reply

      Thanks Dani, for the nice comments, and for following my posts in India and the world

  • Mirella August 8, 2017 at 1:32 pm Reply

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks

    • Ali Karim August 10, 2017 at 11:04 am Reply

      I hired someone to do this site up for me; on WordPress

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *