Shocking India: the sights of the city of the dead Varanasi with photos
Varanasi – city of the dead, the main town of Hindu pilgrimage in the North-Eastern region of India.
It is a kind of Vatican for Hindus, the center of Vedic wisdom and philosophy. Varanasi is considered the holiest place in the Hindu doctrine, and also one of the oldest cities in the world.
Varanasi on the map of India
One of the most ancient cities in the world is like the oldest country on the planet – India.
The city of Varanasi is located in the North-East of India, in the heart of the valley of the Ganges river. Administratively the area belongs to the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Agglomeration of Varanasi has about a thousand square kilometers.
City of the dead located at the highest point between the Ganges and varuṇa. Despite the fact that the city stands on the banks of the Ganges river, the terrain is dry happy and comfortable to visit and the building of settlements.
How to get there?
To reach Varanasi is possible in several ways:
- on the plane – the city has an international airport so you can get there not only from all over India but also from other countries;
- on bus or car from different cities of the country;
- train from new Delhi or Calcutta.
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From Goa to Varanasi can also be reached by the above methods, but if you choose a plane or train, then the path will with transfers to Delhi or Mumbai.
The most convenient way is the train. The fare is not so much as a ticket on the plane, and not so exhausting as on bus or car. But the train ticket must be booked in advance as it is quite a famous destination among tourists and religious pilgrims.
A sacred place - photo
In Varanasi equally combines concepts such as eternity and moment, life and death, suffering and bliss, youth and decay.
Varanasi is a distinction between the physical world and eternity of the universe.
Varanasi is the center of the Universe of Hindu mythology and theosophy, has no equal. The name of the area consists of names of two ancient rivers – Varuna and Assi.
According to mythology, Varanasi was created by Hindu God Shiva of about five or six thousand years ago. But historians say that the city is much younger – he has only three thousand years. Varanasi was an important trading point in those days, the center of philosophical and cultural life.
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In the 18th century the city was the capital of the Autonomous Kingdom of Kashi, the emperors who descended from the ancient dynasty Narayan. Then the Kingdom came under the project-mongering of the British Empire and lost the status of an Autonomous state.
In 1897 here occurred the sepoy mutiny, which ended in a massacre by the British army. In 1910, created a new state, which is administrative against the Holy city.
Varanasi is sacred not only to Buddhists, but also for Muslims and Christians. The main activity of tourists and pilgrims is concentrated along the left Bank of the river Ganges.
Here are the so-called the Ghats – is the stone structure, descending directly to the water intended for bathing and all kinds of religious rituals. In all, there are 84 Ghat, the most popular of them are the following:
For centuries Varanasi was built around thousands of Hindu shrines.
More ancient href="http://tour.liketourist.com/strana/azia/indiya/respublika-dostoprimechatelnosti-2/">dostoprimechatelnosti not preserved because of the attacks of the Muslim army. The most famous is the temple of Kashi Vishwanath (in translation means "temple of gold"), dedicated to Lord Shiva. The roof of the temple is covered with 800 kg of pure gold.
Erected near the temple of goddess Annapurnaworship which protects people from poverty and hunger. Also famous for the temple is Durganand (translated as "monkey temple"), whose walls are covered in red paint.
Varanasi is a place of worship for Buddhists, it is believed that it was here that Buddha gave his first after attaining enlightenment speech. There are shrines of Buddhism, several churches and schools, where trained young monks.
Varanasi is for the most part of narrow streets, known as Gali. Typically, this Gali is contaminated and the surface flow of dirty water from household waste and feces. Therefore, the street is filled with stuffy and not very pleasant smell. The width of some streets so narrow that to pass them is possible only on foot or by bike.
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Several streets merged into a kind of block, called mahallas. They often form the bazaars are extensive points to trade certain goods.
On the outskirts of the city prilagayutsya several routes for religious pilgrims – this way is traditionally referred to as a leprosy. Pilgrims pass the route barefoot, and in absolute silence, taking food only once a day and do not use any tools to protect themselves from rain or scorching sun.
It's quite an ordeal, but for the passage of the pilgrimage of man rises one step higher on the path of enlightenment of mind and body.
The city of pyres
One of the names of the city, Mahamasina, literally translated as "a great place for burial". Indeed, in Varanasi for a thousand years without ceasing lit a large bonfire in which they burn the bodies of dead people.
According to local customs, any pilgrim must undergo a ritual washing in the Ganges river, which can hardly be called clean. Every day it attracts all the filth of the city, as well as local household stool living on the Bank of the people.
In this water people wash clothes and bathe, and she also serves as a place to escape the sewers of the city.
Also the pilgrim should visit the Shiva temple, where the relentlessly burning fire, and bring to God a sacrifice in a ritual burning some food or clothing. It is believed that the flames from the fire purifies the soul of all the people that are nearby.
The shocking spectacle
One of the most shocking spectacle for European tourists is the cremation rite. From all over India believers in Shiva and life after death people carry the bodies of their dead relatives to be burnt on a huge bonfire. Such an event is considered as a gift of worship to Shiva and the deceased a good rebirth in the next life.
Cremation occurs at two Ghats – Manikarnika and Harishchandra. In the last set of electric apparatus for cremation, however it is little used due to the high price of rite.
After the death of the human body bathes in the river Ganges, where the same ritual are all his relatives. With the deceased astrosaurs all the hair, except one strand, the body is washed, rubbed with oils and spices, wrapped in a shroud of white silk.
The body carried on a stretcher to a prepared place and put it there where you already are composed of wood, after removing the expensive shroud which subsequently is subjected to washing in the same river. The eldest of the men of the family lights the fire, beating it five times clockwise.
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The process of burning lasts about three hours, but this ritual are not all dead. The bodies of children under three years, pregnant women and victims from the epidemic burned – their bodies wrapped in a shroud, are brought by in the middle of the river and a dip in the water with any loadto the dead has not surfaced.
The real horror can be seen when body is not burning down and his poluboginey is lowered into the water. This is because some families can't afford to buy enough wood to complete the burning of the body.
Another shocking phenomenon Varanasi are the aghori are representatives of an ancient religious cult, whose responsibility it is to deliver its adherents from the concepts of good-bad, ugly-nice, delicious-disgusting and so on. Aghori, or fearless:
- daubed his body with ashes from the fires of cremation;
- collect the skulls of people;
- engaged in cannibalism of corpses fished fromof the river Ganges.
Also in Varanasi is found the phenomenon of addictive drug.
For the most part they are like beggars, selling hallucinogens, which, incidentally, is popular among fans of various cults.
See the fascinating issue of the TV program "heads and Tails" on the city of the dead Varanasi in this video: