January 24: Varanasi (also known as Benares and Kachi) is India's most sacred city, and is claimed to be the oldest continually inhabited city (since about 3000 BC) in the world. It's huge, crowded, and fascinating. It's perhaps most famous for the cremations on the ghats along the Ganges River. We went to the ghats twice today. The morning visit is in this post; the evening visit will be in tomorrow's post.
Sunrise over the smoky, hazy Ganges
Gulls swarming a fishing boat
Old men on the ghat steps, preparing to bathe in the Ganges
Cremations, photographed from an allowable distance
Woman toting dirt for a brick path to a monument
Artisan weavers demonstrating their craft