Agra & Varanasi

«you should see india without brain because with brain it is a big problem» (comment from our host in varanasi)

going to see the breathtaking taj mahal in agra was definitely worth traveling there. all the dirt on the streets and the messy people, annoying cab drivers and spitting indians everywhere made it easy for us leaving agra just after one day. we could not believe that the surrounding streets of one of the most frequently visited unesco world heritage places are the dirtiest we’ve ever seen.

arriving in varanasi was like a relief for us. you can feel the spirituality of that place already by arriving. the touristic areas in varanasi are very clean compared to other places we’ve been to in india. varanasi is for hindus what mekka is for muslims. a lot of people from india (and as well all over the world) come to varanasi to purify their karma in the ganges river and to die. children, sadhus (sanskrit: साधु / «good man, holy man»), people suffering lepra, people bitten by a cobra and pregnant women get stringed to a stone and thrown into the ganges river without cremation. all the others get cremated and the ashes and leftovers from their bodies get thrown into the river. for hindus the ganges river is very holy but this does not keep them away from throwing all the rubish into it. very controverse for us…

anyhow, varanasi is our favorite place until now in india and definitely a highlight.