#FollowMeTo - Varanasi
Murad Osmann

This is probably the most popular subject for discussion in our family. We have traveled to a lot of places, but India will always be a special place, which once left an indelible impression on us, and we still feel the same way about it.

Photo: @muradosmann

When we were planning our trip to India, we decided that Varanasi would be our first stop. While still being in Moscow, we started gathering information about the city, and frankly speaking, every time the stories we found terrified us. With a fainting heart we were waiting for our arrival to Varanasi.

Photo: @muradosmann

The plane landed at night and we felt the smell of something burning with our first breath. Varanasi is the city where cremations are performed 24 hours a day. This is the most sacred city of India (you may try whispering this part with a pride in your voice). I must admit we were terrified and curious at the same time. Curious to know the ways of how people live in this city, or to be precise, dream of dying here. Curious to look into their eyes, listen to their stories. According to Buddhism, a man deceased and cremated here, in the sacred city of Shiva, puts an end to the circle of reincarnation, and his soul can enter the Nirvana.

Photo: @muradosmann

Our route was very simple. We arrived to Varanasi Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport from New-Dehli. Need to warn you here that on your way out of the airport, you will probably find a lot of taxi drivers trying to convince you to use their services. From our own experience, I would advise you not to agree with the first possible proposition you get, but instead try to walk away with a cold look on your face (kind of a game between a passenger and a driver).

First time we came to Varanasi, we decided to stop right on the bank of the Ganges, in the Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort Hotel. Taxi driver took us to the city center just for 10 dollars, but then to our great surprise, the taxi stopped and we were asked to walk the rest of the way by feet. Hundreds of people, salesmen of all possible and impossible goods, workers, poor people, crying children... But this is another story...

During our first visit we only stayed for a couple of days, but what we experienced that time, has changed us forever.

Photo: @muradosmann

Hundreds of Hindus dream about dying and being cremated there on the bank of the Ganges River. The time stops in Varanasi as if you were in a different reality. This is the place, where we are definitely going to come back, to look one more time into the eyes of happy Hindus.

Surprisingly, in India laundry and ironing are considered to be a hard job that only men can do. And they do their laundry right in the Ganges, covering it with soap, beating, and rubbing it over stones! (Process as a note or an advice)

Photo: @muradosmann

Where are we right now?


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