Sunday, November 25, 2012
Tuesday 25th November
Very early start to our sightseeing this morning – 6.00 am. We booked on the Coremment Conducted Coach Tour (cost 9/- each) and this lasts all day so provided very good value for money. Accompanied by Jim (an American heading for Aus and NZ – he had been to Japan etc). Allen (hitch-hiking from England to Hong Kong and Bach) and Aus couple going to London and two Japanese boys we chose to Dashaswameki Ghat to watch Ghats bathing in the rising sunlight on the Caugen’s banks. Here men and women wash all over in the muddy water – believed to clean the mind and body.
We were rowed up and down the river in a large row boat and finally alighted at the Golden Temple seeing on the way the place were the dead are burnt. Up the narrow winding streets to the Temple and then back to the bungalow for breakfast.
Off again at 9 to see new Bharat Mata Temple and the old Tulsi Mamas Temple. Here were families of monkeys ready to bite an outstretched finger or pinch an open bag.
Then on to the largest university in South East Asia (over 10,000 students and 8,000 boarders) and the new (completed in 1964) Shira Temple. Back to the bungalow via Bharat Kala Bhawam (Art Gallery) for lunch. After a hearty meal of corn beef!! We set off for the holy city of Sarnath. Here are the remains of the temples marking the area where Gautama, the Buddha, preached his first sermon to the world. We saw a museum (containing the famous statue of praying Buddha), a temple and then to an open-air restaurant for tea and biscuits. The last visit of the day was to Ramnagar Fort, home of the Maharaja of Varanasi. Here are displayed beautiful clothes, elegant elephant carriages, fearsome weapons and delicately carved ivory figures. While looking around the throne room, the maharaja and the princesses walk by. So, two lots of royalty in one trip!!
Back exhausted by 6.00. Good dinner of spaghetti and talk with Jim and Allen.