Forty seven years on, and our recent trip to Varanasi felt the same. Of course, the population has increased and new suburbs have expanded outward since our first visit, but the old city, the crowded Ghats along the river, and the ominous haze from the burning pyres generated the same powerful, emotional impact. The highlights were a dawn boat ride along the Ganges, the Aarti ceremony at the Dasaswamedh Ghat, and walking the alleyways of the old city. I have written an illustrated article at http://www.artphototravel.net/india/varanasi-india/ that provides information, photos and map for planning purposes.
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