|The seat looked something like this. Except this is for sleeper's (Pic from Google)|
|The berth after it was set up looked something like this (Pic from Google)|
We both had a good rest, and we were expected to arrive Varanasi around 9.30 am. By 5 am je, both of us dah segar bugar and Farah turun to lepak at my berth. Seronok je tengok pemandangan dekat luar. The mist was freaking thick! At some point, tak nampak apa apa pun and a lot of people wearing winter cloth with scarves and thick sweater, the temperature at the time was around 15 degree Celcius. Imagine? Aircond kat rumah pun I pasang around 26 degree Celc je okay.
Bila sampai je Varanasi, both of us were looking for our auto driver. Farah has made earlier arrangement with Monu Guesthouse, which situated near the Ganges River. The auto driver was sent by Monu to us so takde lah kena tipu ke apa ke. The cost for the auto was Rs. 200, which is around RM12.
Traffic in Varanasi is almost like Kolkata. Full of cars. Banyak gila kereta, auto, and motorcycles. But, peringatan awal awal, sesiapa yang travel to Varanasi, please pakai face mask especially kalau you jenis tak tahan habuk because the habuks are CRAAAZZZZYYYYYY. Banyak gila debu berterbangan okay. Jalan dia memang berhabuk teruk, even kitorang pun tutup muka dengan tudung masing masing.
Sampai je kat pekan Varanasi tu, we have to walk to get to Monu Guesthouse because it was situated in the alleys yang auto and rickshaw tak muat nak masuk. And the alleys were infested (LOL) with a lot of cows. So memang at a point tu, maximum empat orang je boleh lalu the alleys at one time.
There are a lot of alleys in Varanasi. At first, you could get lost while walking through the alleys to go to Ganges River but it was nice. You'll find a lot of houses, people, and shrine along the way.
After we have arrived in Monu and checked in, we booked with Monu for our night boat ride alongside the Ganges River. We first get our self freshen, have some rest and whatnots, kitorang pun decide to go embark our journey in Varanasi.
But first, MAKAN DULU.
Since Varanasi is called as Shiva City, so most of the community along the river is Hindu and vegetarians. Kitorang ni dah lah kuat melantak ayam, so sebab tak jumpa any non Veg halal food kat area sungai ni, we decided to eat some veg dish at Ganga Fuji Restaurant. We had some pakora (it's a lot like kuih Vadeh), roti, and omelette. I tried some chocolate lassi too which taste macam Dutch Lady Chocolate yang basi. Tak manis macam yang kat mamak in Malaysia langsung, and you kena minum laju laju like you must devour the lassi kalau tak nanti rasa macam urghhh cannot go.
So, after makan we took a stroll along the river, watching people taking bath, praying, doing meditation, sleep, performing some ritual, and kids playing kites. Banyak budak budak main layang-layang sampai I rasa macam dalam scene cerita The Kite Runner. Because why, there were a lot of kids yang berlari kejar layang-layang yang jatuh tu macam what Hassan did to Amir in the movie. So cute.
Personally, when I jalan-jalan dekat Ganges tu, I rasa sangat calm and relax despite all the hassle around. There were a lot of people will be offering you their boatride for a very cheap price but since we already booked with Monu, we have to decline. But they were not forcing at all. Just decline with a smile on your face and they'll leave you alone.
|The magical Ganges and the ghats taken during our morning boatride|
Bila I jalan along the river, I can see that the river gave life to the people, and vice versa. It's like the river won't be as magical as it is now if it's not for the people, and looking at them praying and showering at the river, it shows how much hope and faith and believe that they have in the river. It shows, how great we are as human, we all need something to believe in. Some faith to hold on to.
I taktahu macam mana nak relate, you have to be here to understand.
Waktu petang tu, there was this square that they were cleaning for the night's ritual. so time tu you kena jalan dengan hati hati lah kalau tak nanti kena simbah air pulak because we did saw a group of people kena simbah air because these people tengah cuci lantai. Also, banyak gilaaa lembu dekat dataran tu and banyak jugak orang jual toys. Holy men were everywhere. But, to take their pictures, you kena pay them some money or else they won't allow you to do so.
Some facts about the holy men, they were actually people who left everything duniawi (family, job, assets) to be a holy men. They are free from any worldly matters and are looked up by the people for their blessings, but are feared for their curses. So, don't make them mad okay.
|One of the holy men resting along the river|
Holy men are not monks. They are different. They are just people yang not attached to worldly matters je. They just live on their own without any attachment. They basically just live there in the river, and sometimes they will walk around in the valley and people will go meet them for and stop them to seek for their blessings.
Okay, I guess that's all for now. The post has been too long. Nanti I sambung lagi pasal Varanasi in the next post. Tak cukup satu post kalau nak cerita pasal Varanasi ni. Sebab best sangat.
Till then. See ya!
Namashkar India (Part 1: Preparation)
Namashkar India (Part 2: Kolkata Here We Come!)
Namashkar India (Part 3: Mystical Varanasi)
Namashkar India (Part 4: Magical Varanasi)
Namashkar India (Part 5: Agra, The City of Love)
Namashkar India (Part 6: A Night Under The Sky, Jaisalmer)
Namashkar India (Part 7: A Night Under The Stars, Jaisalmer)
Namashkar India (Part 8: Starry Starry Night)
Namashkar India (Part 9: Majestic Fort)
Namashkar India (Part 10: Delhi, You Crazy!)