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  #1  
Old Posted May 7, 2013, 5:20 PM
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Varanasi Valence

It's been a minute since I posted my last thread, Trapped at the Taj, which you can see here. I was traveling again and didn't get a chance to wrap up my Asian saga before I left. Apologies for the lapse, but I got too busy before I left back in February preparing for my trip, wrapping up a move from Colorado and finalizing my thesis. However, I'm back and ready to pick up things where I left off. On top stop XII of the Asian Saga: Varanasi.

From the craziness of Agra and Lucknow, I hopped a train to Varanasi, one of the oldest and holiest cities in India. I was ready for a break and Varanasi offered just the soothing and tranquil environment I needed. I was there during August when the summer melt and rain season was in full force. The Ganges river was rising several inches everyday, the water a muddy brown and the flow swollen and fast. Usually one can walk the banks of the river but the water level was so high that all passage about the city had to be carried out on the narrow streets, where cows and monkeys are as common of a site as the wandering babas and sadhus.

The city sees thousands of pilgrims everyday that come to bathe in the holy waters of the Ganges. One temple, the burning ghat, is used as a crematorium for the deceased. Bodies are burned there all day and night and it is not uncommon to encounter a small procession of people carrying a family member's dressed body through the streets to be burned. Witnessing the process of death and cremation was one of the more intense experiences I've had traveling. Despite the chaos and emotional intensity wrought by the city, I felt at peace. So much so that I found myself returning just a few months later. But that's the subject of another thread.

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Hope you enjoyed. Kolkata is up next.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 7, 2013, 5:23 PM
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outstanding photos. just amazing. thank you for sharing these with us.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 7, 2013, 6:35 PM
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Amazing. And someplace I've never heard of. Thanks for that.
Looking forward to Kolkata
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  #4  
Old Posted May 7, 2013, 6:55 PM
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Spectacular shots, as usual!

Thanks for showing that far and incredible side of the world. The beauty of India is really impressive. Your people shots are outstanding. Great job!

Congrats and greetings from Madrid, Spain!
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  #5  
Old Posted May 7, 2013, 7:15 PM
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Wow... it really is an art form with you. Beautiful!
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Old Posted May 7, 2013, 8:16 PM
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An instant classic.
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Old Posted May 7, 2013, 9:21 PM
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Mesmerizing!!!
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  #8  
Old Posted May 8, 2013, 2:42 AM
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Great pictures!
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Old Posted May 8, 2013, 3:49 AM
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these are f*cking spectacular. also looking forward to Kolkata.
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Old Posted May 8, 2013, 3:53 AM
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Youre photos are just incredible!
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  #11  
Old Posted May 8, 2013, 2:11 PM
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Visual overload. I can only take this thread in small doses. Just too much to handle. (Which means it's fantastic.)
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Old Posted May 8, 2013, 2:24 PM
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Doesnt get better than this. You have worked/played hard at getting all this. Thanks a lot!
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  #13  
Old Posted May 8, 2013, 3:24 PM
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wow the city of life and death - and everything in between.

Loving these:









and I have to say, those stupas o the right would make brilliant skyscraper designs

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Old Posted May 8, 2013, 4:10 PM
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Very nice, I love all the step pictures. Cant wait for your kumbh mela Varanasi thread.
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  #15  
Old Posted May 12, 2013, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Xander202 View Post
Very nice, I love all the step pictures. Cant wait for your kumbh mela Varanasi thread.
The next Varanasi thread I have doesn't have much in regards to Kumbh Mela. I visited the city before and after I went to Allahabad where the real festivities were. I'll have a dedicated Kumbh Mela thread as well.

Thanks everyone for the comments.
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Old Posted May 12, 2013, 8:45 PM
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Absolute masterpiece.
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Old Posted May 12, 2013, 9:26 PM
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Fantastic photos.

Probably the best spot in the world for people watching.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 12, 2013, 11:17 PM
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Bravo, a masterful tour.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 2:08 AM
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I was just recently in India. After my visit, I decided it may just be the most photogenic country in the world, and you took full advantage of that opportunity. This photos are publishable. Well done.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 13, 2013, 3:50 PM
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Simply wow.
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