Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world, which still is alive, and, most likely, the oldest city in India. It takes just 2 hours from Mumbai and you can explore the interesting ancient world.
There are way too many beggars, people who act like yoga men and different enlightened people. There are even European people in Indian clothes who act like the ones who found the enlightenment (didn't manage to take a picture of them though)
In the middle of the city there is a river Gang. The most interesting stuff is over there.
People do everything you can imagine in this river: swim, bath, wash the clothes, bath the bulls, wash the dead and even take the water into kettles..
The water looks very dirty.
And of course the sail here on boats.
The city is a bit lined along the river. And the parts which face the river are called Ghats. They are completely different from each other. Some are deserted, some are crowded, some are beautiful, some are gray.
In two Ghats they burn dead people. The fire is burning there all day and night long. However it's not really allowed to take pictures of the process. Well, I've heard that it's possible for some "fee", but it's way too high (from 5-10USD for a single shot).
It's really great to take a walk in the Ghats, however the air was extremely humid. The temperature was around +40C, so my clothes got wet quite fast, and it became dry again only after I got into AC room.
When you go a bit aside from the river, it's a maze from narrow streets. Two pedestrians will have a hard times to pass by each other, but they drive there on bikes (!) and a lot of cows simply walk there (and they leave there some shit right on the streets). So you have to be extra careful walking over there. Specially in the dark evening time..
In the evening the temperature goes down and the city feels more alive. Night market, street food, stuff like that.
In Ghats it's also interesting: street performance in place, reading of mantra (it's really very monotonous), a lot of light around.
There are some issues with electricity here. Time to time the light simply switches off (in restaurant, or on the street, on in the shop). Looks like somewhere the wire disconnects and someone quickly connects it back then (well, sometimes up to 2-3 minutes). I think it's quite a common thing here, at least nobody from locals didn't show that something unusual happens. During the dinner t happened around 6 or 7 times..
It's really a big traffic in the evening there (at least on those which are wide enough for the cars). However it's almost impossible to walk there (the air is too polluted, and anyway there is no pedestrian part of the street).
So after a long day the beautiful view on the Gang river was really a relaxation :)
This post is not good enough without a second part.