Varanasi is the most interesting place in India that I have seen until now. I could stay here one or two weeks more. Unfortunately, my journey is limited to about 3,5 weeks.
Yesterday I just went out with my DSLR without any plans. You can just spend hours in this small alleys next to the ghats that are offering many different impressions. You can find many shops, craftsman temples or other things you have never seen before.
Serendipitous, I passed by the Blue Lassi shop and directly tried a delicious Lassi there. A lassi is some kind of a sweet indian yogurt drink which is offered with different flavors such as coconut, banana or mango.
The Blue Lassi Shop in Varanasi is my personal tip, a place you really have to visit when you are in Varanasi. Every Lassi I tried is fresh and live produced. The Blue Lassi Shop is also a great spot to meet other traveller. For myself I’ve met a funny couple from Switzerland and a girl from Spain. We decided after a nice chat to go together to the ceremony at the Main Ghat.
The religious ceremony at the Dashashwamedh Ghat (Main Ghat) is hold every day at the evening and gathers a lot of religious people as well tourists. The atmosphere is with the singers and dancers is quite impressive – you really have to visit this once you are in Varanasi. While the ceremony is hold many peddler also try to sell you some stuff. You have also to care for the pickpockets which are also around the Ghat and its quite easy for them since there are so many people.
We decided to walk around the Ghats and the small alleys after the Dev Deepwali ended. The atmosphere at night is more intense and somehow scary at the small alleys because there is not everywhere some light. Some of them would also be a proper scenery for a horror movie. Additional at night you have to be more carefully for the cow mines that appear everywhere. You should therefore take some head lamp or a flashlight with you.
Also interesting is that many shop owner sleep in front of their closed shop and not inside. Their shops are business and living room at once. Since they cannot afford a their own apartment they are sleeping in front of their shop. But they still seem to be happy at the day. If we think back to Germany many people just keep complaining about their luxury lives because they have one holiday less or 100 Euro salary less. In fact they just should visit India once to overthink their complains.
For the next days I am going to hang around with the tree traveller from the Blue Lassi Shop in order to do some sightseeing. Fortunately it did not rain on the ext day. Rain is some kind of adventure in Varanasi because it makes it not that to walk around the small alleys. Some of them are just flooded and cannot be passed. Without rain I was able to meet the Spanish girl after breakfast to meet also the swiss couple.
A small chai shortened our waiting time for the others before we could start our sightseeing tour. Despite some rain and as a fresh owner of a “High Quality” umbrella we went with a motor rickshaw to checking out some temples.
The swiss couple did know some Nepali people from their hotel which were able to speak hindi. Speaking hindi enables you to get better prices for everything and therefore our group tour with the Motor Rickshaw was quite cheap and not the tourist price. The drive was a nice adventure since we are six people and two of us were siting in the front, four in the back.
Visiting a temple in India mostly means that you have to put off your shoes and that no cameras are allowed inside. After the rain it was not that nice to put off the shoes since mud was everywhere. I decided to take a look only from outside with taking some pictures instead of putting of my shoes. The temple was also from outside quite impressive. One interesting fact was also that there is an ancient template in the middle of the university campus of Varanasi. The campus is that huge could be similar to the size of a small village in Germany.
We had a relaxing evening after the Sightseeing Tour having a small beer in the hostel of the swiss couple. Buying some beer in Varanasi is not that easy since many hostels do not offer any and other places offer only too expensive beer. Beer is also sold secretly because alcohol is not allowed in the old city. Funny that we found some Beer in a muslim quarter. Yes, India makes everything possible when you offer some Rupees.