Travel Magazine

Postcards from Varanasi

By Elena @elenatravelgram
India Varanasi Today would like to show you around a bit of another amazing city – Varanasi from my last travel to India.
As told, it is one of the oldest cities on Earth as the first settlements date back to 11-12th century BC. However, I found it to be even more amazing for being the Holy city to numerous religions at the same time – Hinduism, Jainism and Ravidassia religion. On the streets you can meet dozens of pilgrims’ mingled with tourists, sadhus, babas and dark Aghori wandering around the funeral ghats.

Aghori Varanasi India

(c) Mike Behnken

Covered in ashes, caring skulls and bones often used both as ritual and bowls for meals. They are often accused of being cannibals and eating dead flesh, though I believe those are rumors and fear of the locals due to not accepting and understanding this cult.
Aghori are avid followers of the Shiva, the God who once defeated death. That’s why they believe the true power lies in death, rather than life. When facing death each day and denying all the illusory nature you see around you, aghori suppose to be getting closer to understanding the true way of life and gaining ultimate enlightenment
These people believe that the all mighty Shiva lives inside each sole, however to release it, one has to get rid of astamahapasha – 8 bonds or fears that each person possesses. This includes fear, anger, sensual pleasure, obsession and other strong emotions a person may have.
By going down to the darkest, dirties parts of human being, these people try to get higher to understanding the true essence of life.  
I wonder what it is actually like to look deep down inside the eyes of such person?
Postcards from Varanasi

[More stunning Aghori Photos by Joey Lhere Down the Ganges River
Travel to India Varanasi
The city lies along the mighty waters of mother Ganges – brown and turbid, yet sacred. There’s a certain daily routine to be seen each morning – people come to bath, take water for cooking and do the laundry. Bulls swim next to man, children splash in a few miles from mothers washing the dishes and other women doing the laundry, whereas in around 100 meters further lies the funeral ghat with pyres burning day and night.
Did you know that only the Untouchables work there? Their job is to smash the remaining bones and skulls with stones and long sticks. And dip the corpse in the all mighty waters of mother Ganges before it is set on fire. For less than 1$ a day.

Travel to India Varanasi
Travel to India Varanasi

I don’t have pictures from this sight. It’s one of those things I consider absolutely unethical. Being cremated in the Holy city of Varanasi is the biggest gift a family can make to the bellowed one. His karma cycle ends and he will reach Nirvana once the last flame burns down. Though it’s still one of the things I would prefer to unsee in India
When I was slowly going down the Ganges all I could see was this endless cycle of life stretching along the banks like the colorful saris left dry.
Travel To India Varanasi

Travel to India Varanasi

Travel to India Varanasi

Travel to India Varanasi

I hope this post wasn't way too dark and creepy for you, guys? Would you love to have a slow ride down the Ganges river once? 
Would you like to have your Postcards fromany place around the world featured? Drop me a message via Contact form or shoot an email at elenastravelgram {@} gmail com! 

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