Boats along the Ganges in Varanasi, India

Boats along the Ganges in Varanasi, India
Boats along the Ganges in Varanasi, India
Boats along the Ganges in Varanasi, India

Taking a sunrise boat ride along the Ganges

The Ganges river is  2,525 km, begins in the Himalayan mountains of India and is the most sacred of rivers to Hindus. The Ganges is also the world’s fifth most polluted river. Varanasi contributes to that pollution but you’d never think that consider the amount of people that bathe, wash, brush teeth, eat and get cremated by this famous river.

The story behind this photograph

The Ganges is personified as the Hindu god Ganga. The river is said to take sins away and helping the soul during the transition from death to reincarnation or afterlife. Varanasi has been the cultural center point in India for several thousands of years.

I arrived in Varanasi on an overnight train at dawn. For those that don’t know the vast majority of the historical area is used as ghat where cremations are held constantly. There’s a thick smell of smoke in the air. It’s obvious as it is a curiosity.

While many cultures cover up the sights, smells and sounds of death in Varanasi it is on show for all. All alone the ghats by the river people are involved in ritual bathing, cremations and prayer.

In the mornings and evening you can take boat out to witness it all happening before you. There’s a silence on the boats no matter how crowded they get. There is, without doubt, something deeply spiritual about being on the Ganges. One of most revered and holy sites in the world.

This is an additional photograph feature from my world travel photography gallery, documenting the story behind the picture 

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