Vibrant Varanasi (April 2012)

Varanasi turned out to be another of my favorite cities. I enjoyed a visit to a textile workshop where scores of men were working looms to create blankets, scarves and table runners.

We also took a sunset boat ride on the Gunga River (Ganges) were we saw people taking their holy dips, the local riverside crematorium and kids taking an early evening swim.

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After the sunset crowds of locals and tourists gathered in boats and on the steps of the river to witness the riverside Pujahs.

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The next day I discovered the best Museli I’ve ever had at a place called the Brown Bread bakery. It’s highly recommended in Lonely Planet and rightly so. The service is meh, they tend to not write orders down so you may have to remind them several times to get your food and drinks. But the food is great and worth the hassle. The proceeds of the restaurant also go to a local school.

After breakfast Dushyant arranged a visit to a local school for learning Sanskrit attended by boys of the upper Brahman caste. Here they learn Hindu chants and rituals.

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I did a little more shopping here and decided to send some things back to the States. Mail in India is an art. My box was expertly sewn in linen and sealed with wax, before I took it to the post office. Hopefully it will get to NY in about four weeks. Fingers crossed.

After figuring out the India post system I headed back to the train station with the group and we rode overnight to Delhi.

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Katy my spa angel, arranged for us to recharge at Claridges Spa in Delhi mid afternoon so after we spent the morning checking back into the hotel Sunrise and having breakfast we took a cab out of Delhi to Claridges hotel and had lunch before hitting the spa. It was another amazing spa experience that was the perfect way to unwind after our overnight train journey. We were feeling very decadent and ordered Dominos to our hotel room for dinner. It was the last night of the tour and I was both sad and excited. Sad to say see you later to a great group of women, but excited to move on to Darjeeling, Nepal and the other destinations on my trip itinerary.

 

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