One of the holiest sites of Hindu pilgrimage, and one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, Varanasi is a colourful, frenetic assault on all the senses. Life and death are played out in public on the banks of the Ganges, bathers wash in its holy water while evening ‘Aarti’ draws both worshippers and tourists to the Ghats.

Life in Varanasi centres on the revered Ganges, night and day the ghats are filled with pilgrims coming down to pray in the water, women washing brilliantly vibrant saris and Sadhus meditating on the steps. As dusk falls, the smoke from the incense and chants of the pujas fills the air, as hundreds of tiny candles illuminate the river.

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