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Varanassi, the City of Lights

Possibly the most holy city in India, and a focal point of the sacred river Ganges. This city is perhaps the greatest assalt to one's senses of anywhere in the entire world. I could only take 3 days of it; it is everthing India, good and bad in the extrem I don't know how to describe Varanassi to someone who has not visited India. It is like nowhere else on earth. I don't think everybody needs to visit, but everyone should... but it can be very hard on your mind, your emotions, and for some people, your body (if you go swimming in the Ganges, the most polluted river on earth). My room cost 50 -/Rs (about a dollar fifty in my currency - two chocolate bars at home) but was excellent. I was a little afraid to go outside, though -- not because of anything dangerous at all but two other reasons (1) the serenity of my cheap room was the extreme opposite of the streets of Varanassi, full-on India 110% packed with people everywhere, and (2) I got lost and confused in my directions so my times that I had difficulty finding my hotel room during the day, never mind at night. My hotel was a "fake" ie., not the one I'd planned to stay in, and thus asking for directions took me to many different destinations. I have met people who have lived for 30 days or more as a tourist in Varanassi, to do meditation or prayer or yoga, or drugs, or all of the above, and I believe these tend to be really interesting people. I sure couldn't do it. Maybe one day, if some future girlfriend tries to convince me. No comments for the individual pictures here, except for one. On my third trip to India and six months of backpacking, I visited Varanassi in Uttar Pradesh, a state in north-central India.

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