My memory of Varanasi’s ghats where many Hindus cremate their dead or dip into the beloved Ganga are faint. It’s only from other travellers’ photos can I recall the steps I once walked down.
What sticks in my mind are street scenes where famous Benares saris festooned store fronts, being hemmed in on all sides by crowds milling their way to and from the ghats, and the unwanted attention my girls experienced.
We spoke to tourists who took a boat ride on the mighty river and passed a floating dead cow in their wake. I woke in the night hearing what I thought was someone invading the room, but it was two sizable rats.
This is a city I never want to return to, but it’s also a place I’m glad I experienced.
Features image courtesy of Marcin Bialek, Wikimedia Commons.