Varanasi & Mumbai Summary

Posted on Apr 7, 2012 in India

India may be the call centre capital of the world, but for every day use internet is almost impossible to come by. Even in the big cities. We’re sitting in a tiny 3rd floor room with 5 custom created computers running Windows XP and opening more than one window at a time bogs the whole system down.

We’ve been in Mumbai for 2 days now, and it is the cleanest city so far, and even though the traffic is insane, it’s tame compared to all the other places we’ve been. As we’re winding down, we’re checking out markets, expertly avoiding pushy vendors and finding some cool, modern cafes. We’ve only visited one historical site (The Gate of India). I think we’ve had our fill of historical monuments, they are all starting to blend together. Tomorrow we take a 2.5 hr guided tour, through a large slum. The tour is let by a resident of the slum. No photographs allowed, but the tours are a way to provide income to the area.

Before Mumbai, we had 2 intense days in Varanasi. Words cannot describe the old city, which runs along the length of the ghats. To get to our guesthouse we had to backpack in, as the alleys are only wide enough for 1 person and a cow. Luckily we had a good taxi driver who was willing to walk us down or we might still be wandering the streets. In our short time, in the confined streets & ghats we saw numerous cremations, 100s of temples, 100s of cows, and hundreds of thousand people. Most of these people were bathing in the Ganges, using the street as a toilet, selling, begging, sleeping, eating, praying, chanting, and smoking hash. Interestingly, we started to get a sense of the old city and wandered the alleys, and found a couple of awesome rooftop cafes to view the chaos that is Varanasi.

I’m thinking this is why we are finding Mumbai such a treat. Happy Easter everyone. As India is predominantly Hindu & Muslim, there are no celebrations here … not even one chocolate easter bunny.

2 Comments

  1. It sounds like it’s been quite an experience for all your senses! Looking forward to the stories and pictures.

  2. So now you are home and I finally got around to reading some more of your adventures. Will there be more along with pictures somewhere? Auntie Ida

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