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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Oct 23, 2015 - Surviving India 101: Varanasi

Can I just start by saying that both Fran and I were a bit “skerd” of India? We’ve been to over 100 countries and while India has tons to see and do, it has remained way far down on our travel list. Why? Well, we’ve basically heard that everyone gets sick in India; I seem to have poor defenses and a myriad of illness to my name, so I’m pretty much guaranteed to get sick as well. And I don’t just get sick, I always do it up in style, big ones like pneumonia and campylobacteria and giardia and my newly aquired, dengue fever. You know that you...

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Jul 28, 2015 - Aarti ochtend ceremonie

We zijn op reis en niet met vakantie. Dat gevoel kreeg ik wel toen we om kwart voor vijf werden gewekt om naar de Aarti ochtend ceremonie te gaan bekijken. We hadden het de avond daarvoor bij zonsondergang gezien en dan is het niet af als je het niet ook met zonsopgang meemaakt. We gingen met onze eigen bus, want‘smorgens vroeg mogen bussen verder de binnenstad in. Geen riksja of Tuktuk op de vroege morgen. Die zijn wel makkelijk te krijgen om die tijd. Veel van die mannen slapen in hun bakkie. Het laatste stuk gingen we deze keer lopen en...

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Jul 27, 2015 - Brandstapels in Varanassi

Wat voor de Moslims Mekka is, is voor de Boeddhisten/Hindoes Varanasi. Het is dé heilige stad en pelgrims uit alle delen van India en de wereld willen hier in ieder geval één keer in hun leven zijn geweest. Als het te regelen en te betalen is willen ze hier gecremeerd worden en hun as in de rivier de Ganges laten strooien. Er zijn voor buitenlandse Boeddhisten en die uit verre Indiase windstreken aparte tempels vlak bij of aan de Ganges. Zelfs voor Nepali, die hier politiek gezien toch niet zo geliefd zijn. Varanasi is echt weer een grote...

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Feb 2, 2015 - Impressions of Northen India - the Golden Triangle

I thought it would be a good idea to just capture some thoughts and impressions of the Golden Triangle or our tour of Northern India. We have all commented more than once on this trip ‘how can you possibly describe this to someone else in words’. It has been such an incredible visual experience but I will give it a try. The Streets Take East Hastings or our poorest neighbourhood and crank it up on steroids. Replace the sidewalks and half the roads with dirt and dust. Do not place any garbage cans around but watch as the people try and...

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Trip Journal


JandG-India2015

Feb 2, 2015 - Varanasi ..the holy city

Our flight arrives just a bit late into Varanasi and we have a quick turnaround before we head out for a boat ride. Of course we are all a bit paranoid as Vikas has told us this is a minimum 3 hr boat trip and no washrooms. None the less we take advantage of the 20 minutes available and have a glass of wine after this long day. We head out into the depths of Varanasi which is the second oldest city in the world behind Damascus. It is considered by the Hindus as the holiest of their cities. Situated right on the Mother Ganges it is the sight...

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Trip Journal


JandG-India2015

Nov 26, 2013 - life and death

Varanasi is located on the most sacred stretch of the Ganges. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and perhaps the most intense, atmospheric place we have visited in India so far. For more than 2,500 years seekers and pilgrims have come to visit the god Shiva where he lives. For Indians visiting this place once in their lives is similar to a visit to Mecca for Muslims. Bathing in its waters brings redemption and purification that will last a life time. Those who are unable to make the trip here, visit those who have and gain...

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Nov 25, 2013 - the porn temple

We have seen a number of astonishing temples during our visit to India. The animated, lively style portrayed with stone carvings has been especially impressive. But we had no idea that we would see a temple complex that would leave us blushing. The astonishing temples in Khujuraho were built under the reign of the Chandellas, who controlled a large portion of India between 950 -1300AD. The Chandellas were a warlike people who maintained huge armies to keep control of their territory. At times there were no wars and the soldiers sat around...

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Oct 24, 2013 - Varanasi, India

Hey everyone, Arrived in Varanasi today after travelling down the Ganges from Allahabad. That has been one of the best experiences I've had on this trip.. We had three small row boats, one of which was the kitchen boat. It took a few hours to sail to the sand island where we set up our tents to camp the night, stopping along the way for meals (the men tied the boats together to pass alobg the food) and to stop at the river bank for toilet breaks. One toilet break almost ended in disaster when myself and another girl on tour tried to walk...

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Oct 22, 2013 - India so far

Hello readers, I finally have internet and a computer, instead of my crappy little phone.. A little grumpy today due to lack of sleep on the ironically named 'sleeper train', and having to share my bed with a cockroach who enjoyed my face. I really don't know where to start with India... I've been here for almost a week now and I still find it overwhelming. I don't think I came over here naive to the culture, poverty or intensity of the country, but you really don't 'get it' until you're here. The drive from the airport last week was...

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Oct 20, 2013 - Varanasi and down the Ganges

Varanasi, October 20, 2013 Our wake up call came at 4:30 am. We woke up with a shock; Brian so much so that he, instead of grabbing the phone in the dark, he got the TV remote control, banged the water bottle which tipped over against the water glass that fell and shattered on the tile floor. Talk about a rude awakening! We all filed into tuk tuks again and drove through a much quieter Varanasi to the river. As we got closer to the river me met groups of people chanting and making music on their way to the river for their morning rituals....

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Oct 20, 2013 - River Ganges Boat Trip

4.30am wake-up call today as we climb into yesterday’s clothes for our pilgrimage back down to the ghats for a dawn ‘cruise’ on the Ganges. It is much quieter at this time of day but there are already groups of people chanting and making music as they head to the river and at the river groups of women are sitting around a low table making clay figurines and chanting. This was a magical time to visit as everyone is down at the river living their lives: washing, bathing, haircuts etc. There are boats heading out to scatter ashes (5 types of...

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Oct 19, 2013 - Varanasi

Arrival in Varanasi, October 19, 2013 We all had enough of our "beds" at abut 6am, got up, folded the middle bunk down so we all can sit, ate some cookies for breakfast and bought some chai (tea) which is very sweet, with hot milk. After our stop in Allahabad it begins to rain. It is raining in Varanasi we are told. All we can do now is sit, read, write, try to catch some more sleep or be bored!. We arrived in Varanasi at about 9:30am. The rain had stopped, the sun was out and it was humid! We carried our luggage up some stairs, down some...

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