Raw, Rawer, Rawest Varanasi

By Daniel

My next stop after Delhi and Agra was Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India. I think if I have to use one word to describe this magical place it would be ‘Raw’. And it already started on my way to get there. A long train ride in the non-airconditioned sleeper class; entire families squeezed on my couch, crying babies and an abundance of local foods, yes it was quite the ride.

When I got to Varanasi I was (again) overwhelmed by all the new impressions surrounding me. Compared to this, Delhi was just a warming up. People everywhere, small alleyways and random cars and Riksjas trying to pass you and many cows minding their own business in the middle of the street (and not getting out of the way). This city is situated on the Ganges, the holy river, and therefore draws many Hindus. The Ganges is a lifeline in everyday business and serves many purposes in Varanasi. People come there to swim, wash their clothes, wash away their sins but it also serves as a graveyard (all at the same place!). Varanasi has several burning Ghats where up to 200 Hindu’s are cremated per day in plain sight, giving a first hand encounter with the Hindu religion and its rituals.

For a photographer, Varanasi is an absolute treasure, everywhere you look, something is happening, and it’s impossible to capture it all. I gave it a try and below you will find the result. I hope you enjoy my captures of Varanasi and let me know what you think!

My curious little buddy on the train to Varanasi

The contrasts between messy alleyways and beautifully dressed girls can’t be bigger. What a sight!

For Hindus, the river Ganges is holy, and in Varanasi that shows very clearly

A good way to see the beautiful waterfront of Varanasi is by boat during sunset

When it turns dark, people light fires and let them loose on the river Ganges

Daily life in Varanasi

A typical scene in one of the uncountable alleyways, buzzing with life

Believe it or not, this woman and I had a very friendly encounter

Beautiful smiles all around

Street life

Hi there little buddy

The sunrise over the Ganges gives some spectacular sights

Local kids enjoying a swim

And also the elderly are waking up for their morning prayers

Daily life in Varanasi

Me and my friends were invited by some local kids for a game of Cricket in the alleyway. Obviously we got our (..) kicked

Daily interactions at the barbershop


Faces of Varanasi

Faces of Varanasi

Again, daily life in Varanasi

A game of Cricket next to the river Ganges. This sport could almost be considered religion as well in India

Washing clothes in the river

The sun is getting ready to set and Varanasi is preparing for its daily ceremony

The river Ganges attracts all kinds of people

The evening ceremony

While street life goes on at night..

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One thought on “Raw, Rawer, Rawest Varanasi

  • pig May 15, 2017 at 11:00 am Reply

    Daniel I love your all pictures

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