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8.22.2011

[ COLOURFUL MADNESS ] Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh








Varanasi has to be one of the dirtiest places I’ve ever encountered. I have to say I’m glad this is my last stop in India, not due to the myriad of smells wafting off of cows, dead bodies and coal fires, making this overpopulated city is so damn crazy, but because it has been one of the high points of this four month trip. Why? Because of its absolutely breathtaking, otherworldly appeal, It's ability to shock, wow, anger, frustrate, excite, upset, and provoke a strange fondness all in one day.
































Thriving off the waters of holy ‘Mother Ganga’, the millions of inhabitants of Varanasi come to its banks to bathe, pray, watch, float, work and even die (yes there were definitely some dead bodies floating down that river). Perhaps, if I were to be so bold, I may even pronounce that this enchanting yet often foul and potentially health threatening (!) city of Varanasi is the REAL INDIA. The juxtaposition of grime and dirt against the vivid hues of sunset orange of the holly men and the vermillion red, paisley printed saris of the ladies doing their daily laundry on the ghats is enough to satisfy anyone's lens, even if the monsoon seasons complete lack of decent light renders your photos a little, well, standard. 



Check out the guy in his USA flag printed towel - even surrounded by all the oddities of Varanasi, even he still manages to stand out (just like our Japanese friends at the Taj!).


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