india: varanasi: life on the ganges river

in varanasi i found much needed respite from the calamity and tumult that is everyday life in india. compared to mumbai, jaipur and delhi, varanasi was sleepy and quiet. i ended up staying an extra two days. it was just what i needed at the end of my journey. my room was directly overlooking the ganges river. i literally could have spit into the river, but that would have been extremely disrespectful. it is a holy river, after all. the river is the center of hindi and hindu life in varanasi. life, death and everything you do in between is entwined with the river. bathing, laundry, prayer, death and transportation all rely on the river.

these kids were swimming in the river all day everyday.

watching boats go by.


they were seriously intense tho.

people aren’t the only ones who bath and cool off in the river.

weighing the wood for a funeral pyre.

the river was so high that the ghats were completely covered.

pilgrims being guided through a very complex puja.

drying laundry by the river.

a boat man.

holy water.

cricket in the street. they let me give it a swing baseball style.

this woman was moaning with pain as she walked.

walking his dead child through the streets to the burning ghat.


~ by jacobbmurphy on October 7, 2010.

5 Responses to “india: varanasi: life on the ganges river”

  1. Ah, that last photograph is heartbreaking.

  2. Hey there,

    I have been following your blog for a few weeks now and am in love with your photos…

    You are amazzzziinnnggg…. I love the way your photos convey so much emotion, I desperately want to look away from the unhappy pics but they captivate me!!

    I returned from India a month ago, and am going back in a month…

    Any places I shouldn’t miss?

  3. I really liked your descriptive narrative and the pixs–they both conveyed to the reader a very real sense of life in a smaller place in India. The last pix is so memorable because the viewer gets a sense that this is but one sad pix but many other photo opps like this are there if you stay around long enough–sad. Always look forward to reading your blogs.

  4. these are absolutely beautiful shots.

  5. That last pictur is soo haunting, just seeing the poor man carrying a small bundle. Truly harrowing.

    Your blog comes through on my google reader and I love your pics. Please keep them coming

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