Houses of the HolyDelhi, Spring 2012
For our last long weekend of the semester Will, Jayme, and I headed to Varanasi – the holiest city in India. We stayed in a guest house in the old city just inside the ghats along the Ganges. The city is unlike anything that I have ever seen. Standing on the river I found myself amidst the traffic of ancient ritual and contemporary culture, holy men and street vendors, the constant clamor of people bathing, and an undeniable sense of peace. The roads are a thin maze of stone, filled with motorcyclists and wandering cows.
We spent entire afternoons wandering alongs the ghats just people watching and sitting in the shade on the steps. One day was spent visiting the holy sites of the Buddha, including the location of his first sermon: Sarnath. Surrounding Sarnath, Buddhist sects from all over the world have build temples to represent themselves in this revered place. It felt like we were walking over the whole world as each temple takes on the architecture and culture of its origin. My favorite part of the weekend was our sunrise boat trip. For two hours we rowed in silence along the ghats and watched as sun brought a pastel brightness to the buildings.
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