Monday, 10 November 2014

A boat trip down the river Ganges

We arrived in our final destination, Varanasi, before we return back to Dehli. We took a rickshaw down to the river Ganges, where our eyes were fully opened to the Indian lifestyle of the people from this area. 

As we arrived there were lots of piles of wood and fires being burnt. These were cremation points, where families (however only men are allowed to watch due to the horrific sights and that woman make too much noise when they cry) could lay their lost ones to rest. They would wait until the fire were completely out before they would be able to collect their ashes. As a sign of respect, men who had lost a close relative (mother, father, brother or sister) would shave their head or part of their head. Whilst we travelled down the river on a boat we did encounter another cremation area (there are 3 in the Varanasi area). The atmosphere surrounding these areas were hard to describe, and the men all dressed in white of pale blue. For the first time I saw a dead body and felt the sorrow for the family and friends that surrounded him. I took no pictures up close to respect the families and people there.

On a brighter note, we travelled down the river on a boat where we saw people bathing in the holy water hoping it would wash away their sins.

We were also present for a prayer which took place at 6pm along the waters edge. The Hindu people were worshiping the Sun and Fire God who gives them life. Tomorrow there is a majorly festival where they celebrate this Gods existence and they fast all day from sunrise to sunset, many more will arrive at the river tomorrow to pray. However today there was easily thousands of people on land and on boats praying. They would lighten candles to float on the river (making their own prayer when they put the candle in the water), we tied our boat up to others and lit our own candles. It was a truly spectacular sight to watch.

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