Travel & Vacation Images
India - March 2007

Delhi Miscellaneous India 2007 Sarnath

Let me be very clear about this:  Varanasi is an experience the like of which you will find nowhere else in the world.

It is also one of India's most photographed cities, or, more specifically, the Hindu pilgrims, worshippers and bathers on the ghats (the broad flight of steps leading down to the water) on the banks of the Ganges (Ganga) River are.  Search Google for "Varanasi photo photographs", and the results number more than 500,000. 

These are my contribution to the mass.  Some of them are good, I think.

We first visited the ghats in the evening, ending after sunset.  Varanasi 3-4 are telephoto shots taken of the cremation sites farther along the river.  (Photography is prohibited nearer than a certain distance, but these two were taken beyond that distance.)  At lower right in the second photo may be seen a pile of ash that eventually will be swept into the Ganges. 

We sat offshore for a long time watching, listening and absorbing the evening's celebration dedicated to the goddess Durgha, appearing in Varanasi 6-13.

We returned next morning before sunrise, when the principal subject was the pilgrims/worshippers/bathers themselves.  A Westerner bathing in the Ganges risks severe health problems; even our local guide said she would no longer bathe there.  Nevertheless, it remains a pilgrimage destination for the world's millions of Hindus, much like Mecca for Muslims.

Choosing a favorite among the over one hundred photos taken that morning is challenging, but I think the quintet of women in Ganges Quintet (Varanasi 17) is my best photo of that morning and one of the best of the entire trip.

Pre-sunrise photos (Varanasi 14-20) were taken at high ISO (1600 and 800), hand-held while standing on a large rowboat, so have considerable digital noise and are somewhat soft.

Varanasi 1

Lotus Candle Boat
[Varanasi 2]

Varanasi 3

Varanasi 4

Lotus Candle Boat Girl 1
[Varanasi 5]

Varanasi 6

Varanasi 7

Varanasi 8

Varanasi 9

Varanasi 10

Varanasi 11

Varanasi 12

Varanasi 13

Varanasi 14

Lotus Candle Boat Girl 2
[Varanasi 15]

Varanasi 16

Ganges Quintet
[Varanasi 17]

Varanasi 18

Varanasi 19

Varanasi 20

Varanasi 21

Varanasi 22

Varanasi 23

Varanasi 24

Varanasi 25

Varanasi 26

Varanasi 27

Lotus Candle Boat Girl 3
[Varanasi 28]

Varanasi 29

Varanasi 30

Varanasi 31

Varanasi 32

Varanasi 33

Varanasi 34

Varanasi 35


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