Travel diary India – Part 9 – More Varanasi (video)

More Varanasi

Sunrise

Sunrise over the river Ganges

The ghats along the banks of the river Ganges in Varanasi are a weird and wonderful place, but there’s only so much craziness you can take before you start to go insane. So, we thought we’d try and seek out a bit of normality and spend a day in Varanasi’s city centre.

5D in Varanasi

Advert for the 5D experience

The traffic on all the streets was absolutely mental on the way there, but eventually we made it and found a rather modern looking shopping mall with a McDonalds, clothes stores, coffee shops and an intriguing 5D cinema experience. I know of 4D, which is pretty much the same as 3D but the seats move, water is sprayed on you, fans blow at you to simulate wind, things like that, but 5D? I had to find out what this extra dimension was.

We bought a couple of tickets and waited in the foyer until we could enter the cinema and begin the experience. After twenty minutes of waiting, I asked an attending when the show is going to start, he said it will start when enough people have bought tickets; Anna and I were the only two so far. We sat there waiting for about another twenty minutes and still no one else had arrived and bought tickets, so eventually they started the show with just me and Anna inside. It was very much like a 4D experience but the volume was deafeningly loud; eardrum shattering past the threshold of pain. So I can only conclude that the 5th dimension is pain, as there was plenty of it.

Sunrise over the Ganges

Boat market

Every where you go there is someone trying to sell you something

Watching the sunrise over the river Ganges is a spectacle that cannot be missed during a visit to Varanasi. It was a chilly start to the day so we wrapped up warm and strolled down to the ghats to hire a boat. There are plenty of boatmen offering trips out onto the river and if you haggle then you can expect to get a good price, don’t haggle, and your sure to be ripped off. Even out on the water you can’t escape the hassle of persistent traders. A boy with a boat full of trinkets came up alongside us to sell his wares. Usually you can simply walk away and easily escape from people trying to sell you stuff but out on the river, there is nowhere to go. Only after he’d shown us every single one of his items and we had subsequently said no to each did he finally leave.

From the river you get a great perspective of how it is used by the locals in everyday rituals and chores. Hundreds of people were bathing, as well as starting the days laundry.

Ganges bathing

Groups of people bathing in the Ganges

 

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