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Today begins like yesterday ended: with a boat trip. At 5 o'clock in the morning we start with the rowing boat directly at our hotel on the Assi Ghat and slowly row along the banks of the Ganges in the dark. The sun rises around 6.15 a.m. and bathes the ghats in a beautiful orange-red. Many people have long been on the move, praying in the direction of the morning sun and taking a bath in the holy river.

The Ganges is not only used for ritual cleansing and body cleansing. A few meters further on, you can also wash dishes and wash your clothes here. Apparently some hotels also have their laundry done here. Did that also purify our soul indirectly?

Later we stroll down the ghats again on foot and again witness the act of burning. Relatives carry the body through the alleys to the cremation site. The body was previously wrapped in beautiful yellow-orange cloths and then tied with string on a stretcher made of bamboo. When you arrive at the cremation site, the cord is loosened and the body is placed in front of the stack of wood. The colored cloths are unwound and remain in place. The corpse is now only wrapped in a simple cloth and is now placed on the wood. More thick branches are piled on top. The head looks out of the pyre up to the shoulder again. The feet, including half of the lower leg, also protrude on the other side. Now sandalwood in powder form is scattered over the stake. The empty packaging is thrown afterwards. Now the grieving men walk around the corpse. Finally, add some fire accelerator and burn the pile with a bundle of straw from below.

A small mourning congregation, consisting entirely of men, observes what is happening up close. You can recognize your closest relative by their shaved head. Only a few centimeters long strand is spared from the shave on the back of the head. Meanwhile, the women stay at home and clean the house.

Burning a dead person takes 3-4 hours. After the ashes have been handed over to the relatives, remains of the beautiful cloths remain on the bank.

The crematorium is used in bad weather and of course during the monsoon season.

You need a lot of wood for the burns. Behind the crematorium, the pieces delivered are crushed by hand. Apparently, the worker does not have to go far from bed to work.

Hindus apparently have a sense of humor: In the holy city of Varanasi, garbage is also sacred.

There is a huge mosque on the bank. However, only a tiny part of the monumental building is used.

As with so many other buildings, you can see here that it must have been beautiful once. How wonderful the bank would look if all the houses on the ghats were renovated.

The streets of the old town are packed again in the evening. Quite apart from the countless number of rickshaws, cars, tuk-tuks, buses and transport carts that share the narrow streets here and it is a challenge to get ahead as a pedestrian, the constant honking is by far the most annoying thing about it. Even a large sign that tells you not to honk is of no use. It just belongs here. While with us you mainly honk your horn because you were annoyed with another road user, this means something like “Hello, I'll play with you too”, be careful, I'm behind you ”or“ Watch out, I'll overtake you ”. It certainly seems nicer than it sounds. No matter how closely you pushed past the vehicle in front and how often you were close to a rear-end collision, you never see a bad face at the wheel.

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