Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Report II: The Sacred Cities: Varanasi & Vrindavan Photo Expedition

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
Saying that Varanasi is a massive traffic jam is a complete understatement. It took us almost 1-1/2 hours to get from the airport to our hotel, and tempers (at least mine did) got rather frayed since we were all twitching to start photographing.

We grabbed a quick buffet lunch, and set out in two cars towards an ashram reportedly belonging to the Aghori sects of sadhus, but we were denied entry with our cameras despite Kaushik Ghosh's (who's is assisting me on this leg of the photo workshop) pleas and entreaties.

We lost no time to drive off to the Assi ghat, and encountered a funerary procession taking the deceased to the burning ghats. None of the group photographed the cremations that were already under way.

Walking on the ghats for the rest of the afternoon and evening brought us to the Dashashwamedh ghat to attend and photograph the nightly aarti, which took place for over an hour.

Exhausted from the intensity of the event, we were quite happy to return to our hotel...and revive our flagging energies with Kingfisher beer, and eventually dinner.