The experience of seeing the funeral pyres on the River Ganges at night, surreal, haunting, beautiful. The fires crackling high, women keening over the decreased as the Untouchables wash the body in the holy river for the soul to have safe passage onward. It is a Kubrick film of life and death as seen up close and personal from a skiff on the river.
And then the Hindu prayer is evocative, introspective and yet conversely insanely loud and crowded along the ghat. Young priests chant rhythmically as the incense fills the air and fire plumes and the faithful incessantly ring bells. It is a full on assault of the senses, a mental overload, an exhausting and exhilarating sight to behold that leaves one both spiritually filled and mentally wiped.
And so dinner in Varanasi is a bit of an afterthought. This is not a place known for it culinary splendors, not a destination of chic hotels or rejuvenating spas.
The buffet at the Taj Gateway Hotel proves good enough to fill the stomach’s coffers before quickly drifting off.
And then you awake early to see the river as sunrises above it.
Why go? Convenience.
Monster rating: 3/5 Monsters
Hotel Ganges Gateway (Nadesar Palace Grounds), Varanasi, UP, India