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    Another soul searching trip to the land of spirituality - Varanasi - in India. Some moments and images that fascinated me when I went to see the … Read More
    Another soul searching trip to the land of spirituality - Varanasi - in India. Some moments and images that fascinated me when I went to see the Ganges there, and the Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya. Read Less
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Benares and Bodhgaya
A trip to the Ganges and to the birthplace of Buddhism.


After my trip to Ladakh, the only thing I wanted in the next six months was a visit to Varanasi to see the River Ganga and to see the Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya. I spent my Christmas eve in 2014 walking by the ghats of the river Ganga. The architecture is quite rich and multicultural owing to the presence of almost every sect, religion and types of people living here. These are some images of places that I found interesting during my aimless meanderings amidst Varanasi and its filthy lanes.
This structure was built by the King of Gwalior in the early 19th century.
Although the city is old and not maintained there is a certain rawness that pervades it with old fading colours and deteriorating architecture.
Indian red is the colour that dominates the architecture of this building, where a true Indian nationalist 'Chet Singh'  fought bravely in a battle against the British sepoys.
The current local story swears that it is haunted by ghosts, who keep people away from it. The ghosts however, are junkies who need a private spot for their 'rituals'.
Typography at its 'stiffest'. I don't know the name of the ghat where I saw this,
but I do love the way typography is incorporated into the metal grill of this small temple.
A quoorius, queer spelling of the word Curio.
The quoorious cobalt blue curio shop in the market.
Even white strokes of the palette knife on a rustic brown background, or just clothes drying themselves out.
Narayan's Ark? A boat maker busy making his boat.
The Jain Ghat - which is the birthplace of 'Suparshvanatha' the 7th tirthankara of Jainism.
The Pandey Ghat a.k.a. the Korean Ghat has an interesting story behind the change in its name. A bunch of Korean tourists came to live here, and liked the homestay here immensely. 
After that, each year saw an increasing number of Koreans who always had a preference to live here. Eventually the owner of the homestay sent his only son (Seen in this photo) to Korea to learn the language, and he did. Now his son feeds the strays, flies a kite, chews on some 'paan' and converses casually in Korean with the tourists. 
Amen!
The Munshi Ghat was built by a finance minister called Sridhara Narayana Munshi fom the region of Nagpur.
 
'Zagamaga, mala bagha' at the Ahilyabai Ghat. Different gods vying for attention through their bright yellow and red shrines.
 Barbers shops always fascinate me, not just this one. All of them. Don't miss out on the retro looking typography.
Benarasi - isstyle.
The foundation of this temple was damaged during the floods, which is why it is submerged and tilted.
On a more musical note this is where a part of 'Dhoom Pichak Dhoom' an Indian pop song, by Euphoria was shot.  
All-in-one Gods.
Boat'man'
'Building toh ban gayi, ab kissi tarah se tiki rahegi'
True Love ... Amidst shit.
This temple is dedicated to Goddess Lalita after whom the ghat is named.
Hear, Hear!
Harishchandra Ghat - Where dead bodies are continuously burnt, all day, all night.
Bodies on the ghat, half burnt, completely burnt, some being eaten by the stray, clueless cattle, some waiting on benches patiently for thier turns, 
some brought on a bullock cart while some tied atop a rickshaw. You might run out of wood but not dead bodies.
Feeding 'Sev' to the Seagulls
Pink! is my favorite colour.
This particular room is above the ghats and is an extended part of what used to be an old palace. 
Every gully has a history of hidden stories, myths and spaces that makes Varanasi a fascinating story that unfolds something new with every step taken, and every lane explored.
Saffron and Green the two colours from the Tricolour.
Sleep. No, not the eternal one, just the siesta you cannot resist taking in the afternoon.
The wait. The anticipation. The business. The beliefs. All before the Ganga Aarti that takes place every evening.
Me, painting it up.
Stoned.
Performance - of the pandits, during the Ganga Aarti in the evening. 
Trance
Death
 
Birth
 
Starting of a brand new day!
The journey. 
The most beautiful ones are made alone.



The Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya


On the way from Varanasi to Bodhgaya, which is a 8 hour drive by car the entire landscape is covered with brown - green fields. There is a lot of poverty that is visible in both these states, that is heart wrenching. Once we entered Bihar, and touched the small town of Gaya, people from all over the world are seen there due to the Mahabodhi Temple - this town makes most of its presence. 




The Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya.
A Buddhist, a Non - Buddhist or an image-maker, anyone - would find this to be an immensely inspiring place visually and spiritually.
The Bodhi tree under which Buddha was enlightened.
Tara - the female Boddhisattva.
'I am on the way to meeting myself'.