The first 10 days of India are behind me with lots of new impressions – even when you think you’ve seen it all. Again, our entering point was New Delhi but this year we decided to travel onwards immediately. One night of good sleep and then we were on the train to Varanasi – the holy city of India along the Ganges river.
After arriving at the train station, it didn’t take long to realize that some sort of festival was going on. Hundred, thousands of people all dressed in orange hurdled in ever little street corner. I later found out, that this festival was nothing too special (compared to nation wide once like the Holi festival for example). I guess the Indians just wanted to kill some time before they’re off to the Nirvana and a festival is a good opportunity for that :)
The security during these two days was extremely high. Security precaution double red, which is no wonder when 100.000 Indians are celebrating. Days before the festival, workers hammered and built alleys of paddocks for all the crowds of people.
I took a couple of shots but then decided to hit the road since I didn’t want to be in the middle of hundreds of people screaming holy slogans – not only because it’s damn loud but because there were lots of giddy & loony people around. Some of these have definitely said their good-byes to the Western style of living with rad war paintings on their faces. I didn’t want to be in the middle of this … but I’ve definitely got some new ideas for next years Carnival.
Anyway, I tried marching on but it was almost impossible to get away from all the crowds. Out of the blue I came to another temple with hundreds of people waiting in line … no idea what was inside. Some super God statue I guess. Oh well, as I always say “Religion is what keeps the poor from killing the rich”.
Walking on bravely, feeling like a sardine, I arrived at one of the main intersections in Varanasi where a group of people with cloaked bodies crossed my way. At this point, I was so exhausted that I had to rest for a little while. A basin-selling-man didn’t mind my sitting on his steps. From there, I probably had the best view you could get, front row baby! I saw all the float in and out of the city, which included two more dead bodies being transported to the Ghats. The first one was on a jeep and I would have missed the second one, if it wasn’t for the basin-selling-man who screamed: “Look Misses! This car has body inside!”
After an absolutely exhausting day, with 40° in the shade, sweat running down my spine all the way into my shoes and about 2.000 photos, I decided that it was time to hit Alka Hotel. The shower that evening was the biggest luxury ever … and of course I knew that the next day would again be hard yet spectacular, so a good night sleep was all I wanted (and got).