Traveling to Varanasi – the city in which they go to die

Hi, my name is Igor. I am 35 years old, I am from Moscow. In the past, I am directed by the TV channel "My Planet" and "Russia-2", and now – a traveler-philosopher. I will tell you about my journey to India, in the Holy City of Varanasi. This is the place where the bodies of the dead are burned, and the dust is discharged in the water of Ganges.

In 2016, I decided to go on a great trip to India, one of whose items was Varanasi.

Varanasi is here / Yandex

It was my fourth visit to India. The first 2 times I flew in Goa on ready-made vouchers. This time I decided to do everything yourself. The only thing I turned to the agency services was an annual visa – I was done to "Buddha Tour" for 5,000 rubles.

Varanasi – the sacred city, which goes many legends. This is one of the oldest cities in the world.

It is located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on the coast of the river Gang. Varanasi has 2 historical names – Kashi and Benares.

Especially popular city in Svivizma adherents. Shive temples here are more than a thousand, and instead of the usual greeting "Namaste", people use one of the 108 Names of Shiva – "Mahadev" (SanskR. "Great God").

There is a legend that in Varanasi there is a stone sculpture of one of the avatars (accrements) of Mahadeva, who is named Calawer. It is believed that Shiva’s God in this avatar wears a beard, walks with a black dog, drinks alcohol and smokes Chillum (marijuana smoking device).

If you pay a local large amount, they will show the place where the statuette is located. You put a scoop of alcohol, bring to this sculpture, and Shiva will drink it.

I wanted to see this city: see how the dead bodies burn, get acquainted with a special caist Aghor, drink water from ganggie, find out what is Kali Pouja (sacred ritual eating corpses) and find confirmation of the existence of Scripture "Vamanika Shastra".

"Vymnika-Shastra" is a Scripture of Vimanov, some ancient aircraft. Around the "sastra", like around Benares, walks many legends.

About the way

I planned a trip on December 5.

If Varanasi was the only place I was going to visit, I would choose another season. The season in Varanasi and Russia is about the same. However, then my way was lying in Goa, where in winter warm and sunny, and in the summer there are endless rains.

Ghanta on the shore of Ganges

I bought a plane ticket to Delhi for 12,000 rubles, and from there the bus went to the mountains. After I visited all the places of interest to me in the north of India, I arrived in Haridwar.

From Haridwar to Varanasi, I decided to get a class of Sleeper class.

As a rule, all train tickets sell in advance, but several tickets leave for foreigners. They can be bought in a special Reservation Office. He is located there, where and the station, and opens at 8 am. To purchase, you need to fill in a special form: specify the name, age, dates and later travel items.

The ticket cost me 515 rupees (at that time, about 95 rupees were given for 100 rubles).

The train was serving late in the evening, but I did not find a car, the number of which was listed in the ticket. It turned out that the car trails to the composition in front of the segment. In anticipation of this, I watched a fight of monkeys, as well as how the homeless tried to drive out of the "House" (Parking Parking Places), my wife. The latter tried to measure the policeman.

Sleeper class is something like our placentar, only more exotic.

Throughout the way, the Indians ask questions – where are you, what is your name, what do you have in your homeland, the first time in India. They are constantly trying to sell something. Especially highlighted sellers of tea, which scream to the entire car: "Tea! Tea! Tea! Tea!". On Hindi tea will also be, as in Russian.

In addition to the sellers of tea from the rut, I knocked out a little boy who hardly noticed the floor around when I ate, hoping to get money.

In Sleeper class cars not 2, and 3 berries of sleeping beds.

Top bedrooms are under the most ceiling. It is worth noting that despite the fairly poor making of the train, restrooms are equipped hygienic shower. In India, it is not customary to use toilet paper.

For the next day I came to Varanasi.It was December 19.

The train is not the only way to get there. 2 days before departure to Goa, a spouse joined me. From Delhi, she traveled to Varanies by plane of local Airlines Indigo. The ticket cost 3000 rubles.

About housing

As soon as I descended from the train, the local and offer various ways of exploring.

I went frightened to the exit. On the way I met a polite man with a mustache about 55, dressed in a woolen vest and shirt. It was a driver Tuk Tuka (Local two-stroke old scooter, like our ant, only with the roof). He kindly offered to give me a 50 rupees in the old town.

According to Varanasi, 50 rupees for Tuk-Tuk – a wonderful price. Typically drivers take from 150 to 500 rupees, so I agreed.

I asked him about inexpensive, but a good place for overnight. He advised me Elvis Guest House in the old town, almost on the shore of Ganges. There he delivered me.

A small room with a bed, a well-working shower, moldy walls, a view of the brick wall and grazing at the bottom of the lamb, cost me 300 rupees per day. Later I found out that Guest-House specifically paid the Tuk-Tuk’s attacked driver to "catching" customers at the train station, making them a good discount on the passage.

Here I lived 9 days.

This guest house is located in the Muslim quarter. Every morning, I walked Azan, who sang different people: children, men, old men, but not women.

Azan is a call for prayer that sounds around the world without stopping, moving down the hourly belt. In Varanasi Azan sounds from 6 am and lasts about 5 minutes.

Then I met an Australian named poppy.

His friend, also Australian, shot a room on the outskirts of the city is much cheaper than in guest house. Typically, such "apartments" gives the local who come to Varanasi to study. The room on the 6th floor of a unfinished house (in India, at home is often not completed, so as not to pay the tax) I cost me 120 rupees per day.

House in the non-Russian part of the city, which was above the flow of Ganges, rather than the Old Town, and therefore, the water was cleaner there. From the roof and from the window was a view of the river and Indian houses.

At first I took the room at the top, but it was blown as a tent, and my attempts to insulate her tape did not work much, so I moved to the room down.

Especially popular among enthusiasts enjoyed in ashrama, which in the territory of Varanasi is enough.

Ashram is the semblance of the temple in which the guru fills. In essence, it is a commune or a community in which you can live for free, following all the rules and listening to the mentor.

I did not take advantage of this way, I did not want to feel due. Moreover, it would be necessary to get up at 6 am and help monks.

For almost a month of living in the city at the housing, I spent about 4500 rupees.


By Varanasi, you can move on a Tuk-Tuka, on a velaikche or on foot.

Tuk-Tuk – expensive, on foot – tedious. Very common Boorikshi, But looking at them, the heart is bleeding: a little Hindu presses on the pedals, and he has a fat tourist from behind in a carriage. Sometimes traffic jams are formed because of such velaiks. Buses, cars, people, cows and funeral processions stop due to the fact that the poor does not cope. Then some people help and pushed Ricksha.

I found another way of movement – a bike for which I was taken from 15-20 rupees per day.

At the very beginning, there is still a guest of Elvis Guest House, I tried to protect one European from the attacks of a local chef. The European has to be careless to advise in the presence of the cook there are street foods, and not from the guest-khaus.

After rice that this cook prepared for me, I first learned what kind of stomach disorder in Varana. Most likely, the cook added a little water from Ganges into a dish, and I was unwittingly "blessed".

Glory to local pharmacology, it helped me a miraculous remedy called Sat-Isabgol. It is a natural husk of Indian plantain seeds, which is sold in pharmacies in strange packages with the image of the phone. According to rumors in Pharmacies, Varanasi can find anything, so the city is particularly popular with lovers of any "substances".

Street food in Varanasi is really tasty and inexpensive.

Sometimes I went to the cafe and ate there Thali for 35 rupees.

Thali – Indian Kushan, which is served on a special tray with numerous saucers. On the tray plays rice and thin pellets Chapati. In savagers all kinds of additions to rice.

The most popular additives: gave (Indian pea), curry, vegetables and chuts (Indian vegetable or fruit sauce).

The eating Thali was sometimes accompanied by observing the funeral processions passing by the cafe.

Indian dairy tea on the street you can drink 2-10 rupees.

I especially loved the place where Lassi was sold, Kert and milk in clay pots.

Lassi – Indian sweet milk drink, which is prepared on the basis of yogurt, with sugar, spices and fruit. Here it is watered with pink water and sold for 35 rupees.

In the evenings, the shop built a whole queue of frozen local residents, baked in blankets and those who wish to buy for 5-10 rupees of fresh, warm milk.

Pots are made from local clay. She is collected from the shores of Ganges and do not burn, so after eating the drink, the pots are simply broken and thrown into a bunch.

Drinks can be served on a bench in the form of the letter "P", sitting back to the insane flow of local transport and admiring the image of Shiva behind the seller’s back.

Along the urban roads are constantly traded by fruits and vegetables.

1 kg of tomatoes accounted for me in 5 rupees. In my new dwelling it was cold, as the humidity on the shore of the Ganges is very high. So I built a small stove of bricks, which were just lying on the roof.

Furnace I folded right in the room. It was a little smoke, but warm.

I bought a small saucepan, spices and began to prepare food on coals, and warm bricks served me with a heater. After I found a broken gas balloon on the roof. With the permission of the owner of the house, I took a cylinder, watered it on a bike and went to look for a place where he could repaired.

Applying all your artistic abilities and proves three times that I know the content of "Mahabharata" and "Bhagavad-Gita", I achieved the location of the locals who pointed me the road to a shop where gas cylinders serve. For repair and refueling I paid 210 rupees.

The owner of the house in which I rented a room was my own economy, so I began to buy milk from him. 1 liter of fresh buffalin milk managed to me in 40 rupees.


Through a familiar Indian for 300 rupees I bought a local version of the Vodafone operator. Despite the fact that this British company is one of the largest providers in the world, I had to catch a connection somewhere higher and preferably in the evening.

About people

In Varanasi, you can very often meet the woman.

Baba is called the Adepts of Shivaizma, which spend life in wandering. They have no family, nor at home, but there are a lot of knowledge and experience.

They are also called Sadhu. It is believed that after a man has fulfilled his duty to society and family – approximately after 60 years, he may leave the house, go to the journey and become a sage.

In Varanasi there are real sadhu, from staying next to which, becomes good. At the same time, at every step there are all sorts of inhabited and non-rude women, painted with white ashes and renounced from everything.

Just do not be surprised if the phone will sound under Ryasa. There are naked characters at all. And rather you will be embarrassed than they are at the sight of you. As a rule, Naga Baba, namely, so called such gentlemen, is not one, and surrounded by their associates, the same nagich. They negatively belong to the photo, but If the photo still did – you need to pay money.

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If you were invited to drink tea, know – after a cute conversation You will most likely require payment. If you do not give money – new friends are instantly turning into not friends. Then it is better to leave as soon as possible.

You can go to a woman who has red teeth from an unknown substance to me, hug and start reading blessings. Then he smiles and asks for money for it.

So happened to me. After numerous blessings, Baba said he needed money and that he was heading to the temple. Instead of money, I also hugged him, sang the Cossack song and also demanded the payment of my "Labor". So on Khokhma and diverged.

Once I met a very poor driver Tuk Tuka.

He had a wife and 5 children, and they lived in something like a box of boards and metal shields. He complained that he was not at all what to live. To my questions: "Why do you give birth to so many children? What will you raise them?"He answered:" I can’t do anything. This is God for me children gives ".

And the children in Varanasi are really a lot.

They are constantly asking for money on a new flying snake. Ropes from these most snakes are lying on Earth, it’s not difficult to cling to it and fall.

Traveling to Varanasi - the city in which they go to die

In the city you can watch a picture like an Indian lady in the beautiful green silk sari collects a cow manure and makes cakes from it. They are laid in a special way and dried. Then they serve fuel for furnaces.

Oh Ganges

Varanasi is a city that is located along the Ganges River.

Basically, the whole life proceeds to Hhata – stepped structures that seem to enter the river. Here erased, bathe and burned corpses.

Those who wish to walk along the river Everybody will bother with a proposal to ride a boat. It is said that the city is especially beautiful from the opposite sandy shore of the river.

Consciously water from the river I still drank, but it was in the mountains.

There she is a lazuri color, and in Varanasi, a shade of coffee with milk. Considering the moment that the Hindus lives with the river so close that all their waste goes there and go, their desire to "wash" in the river deserves separate respect. I have not seen anyone so much so often and carefully, how are these Hindus do.

On the banks of the river, you can observe the ritual of chivazma adept. They come to Varanasi with long dreadlocks and beards, and here they cut them. The river bank is covered with confused hair.

About cremation

There are 4 kinds of people in Varanasi:

  • Those who want to bury their relatives in the holy place;
  • Those who want to earn at the funeral;
  • Those who want to take pictures of the cremation process;
  • Those who want to make money on those who want to take pictures.

On Hhata, where cremation occurs, always full of people.

These are families of the dead and people who are engaged in the organization funeral. These are crowds of tourists and bloggers who want to see and fall out the legendary ritual. And these are the Hindus who want to make money on tourists.

Creaming passes almost continuously, at the same time a few fires burn. After the body is burned, the dusts are thrown into the river, where people are quietly bathing and erased their belongings.

Firewood, which remain after the burning, are considered sacred. Relatives are squeezed by their colors of the collar of saffron and take home to cook on them cakes.

It is believed that the person who is cremated in Varanasi is exempt from the cycle of rebirth.

During the set of years, the Indians wink money for the funeral. To be burned, you need a large number of firewood, and they are not suiced in Indian standards.

To be sure to be "buried" in Varanasi, many people come here in advance. They will settle in special boarding houses, pay for them and are waiting for their death so that their body will carry in the sacred city, the dust dispelled over Gangom, and the soul, finally, would have come out of the Circle of Sansary.

To take a picture or shoot a video like on the shore of Ganges, the dead, Need to pay a sorrowful family 1000 rupees. If the money did not pay – you are surrounded by policemen with weapons, insist on deleting photos and ask to leave.

You may have seen the famous photo session from Varanasi with a specific image content. I did not see any corpses or skulls in the waters of the river.

About cows

In the city lives a lot of cows.

They go through the streets, eat garbage, can sit in the middle of the roadway and relax. When the animal dies – a special service comes, which removes the skin from the cow, gives it a master or buys, and the corpse burns and send it there, where and everything else is to the Holy River Gang.

About attractions

The embankment of Ganges is covered with historical monuments that are not engaged in. They draw graffiti on them and disassembled on souvenirs.

There are many antique shops in the city in which old things trade. Here you can cheap (in the area of ​​300 rupees) to buy a silver ring, in which the stone is inserted at your discretion.

10 km from Varanasi is a small suburb – Sarnath. According to the legend Buddha spent his first sermon.

Part of the temple complex, referred to as the Dhamek, has a characteristic type of stupes of Yaga women. In general, the place is very different from Varanasi with its essential.


In India, they are constantly trying to use you (not to fool), because you are their only way to earn. It is necessary to understand. This front employs a separate structure, which is clearly shown in the movie "Millionaire from Slumb. There are many of them and they want to eat.

However, as the Hindu, the story of the trouble, which happened with your girlfriend, will not listen to none of your friends. Do not try to deceive the Hindu. Show him the real state of things – if it is really bad, you will not leave you in trouble.

I recommend going to Varanasi to mature people who wondered about the unexpected concept of "death". It is likely that after visiting Varanasi, your attitude to this phenomenon will change. To death here are very different.

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Book a hotel, hostel or apartment on Booking.Com – This is the most convenient and popular tool. We have on our site selections of interesting housing.

And here – Instructions for airbnb

Do not forget insurance:

Travel insurance is needed in case of disease, injuries, and theft. Authors of the DOROGI-NE-DOROGI site.Ru never travel without insurance. To search for insurance companies, we use the service Cherehapa.Ru

Optical guide and an interesting excursion:

Use Tripter – They have the largest selection of unusual excursions worldwide.

Traveling to Varanasi - the city in which they go to die

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