12/16/2009 to 12/20/2009 | India , Uttar Pradesh

Return to Varanasi: again for the first time

Varanasi is a place that just keeps drawing me back every time I pass through this part of Uttar Pradesh.   No doubt a combination of things draw me here, cheap comfortable accommodation at the friendly Tiwari Lodge in Assi Ghat, a couple tourist cafes with free wifi where I can rest from the rigors of the Asian road over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, and most of all a fascinating city, especially from the perspective of a photographer, that seems different every time I visit it.  The canvas is the same (the ghats which line the Ganga haven’t changed in years), even some of the colors are the same (I’ve noticed pictures of the same individual taken years apart), but that vibrant mix of pilgrims, hustlers, and holy men, always keeps the images fresh.  Every time I visit I seem to notice something new, and no matter how many times I take that early morning walk from Assi to Dashashwamedh Ghat (the most revered bathing ghat in Varanasi) and back I always have that voice in the back of my head reassuring me “yes, this is a pretty cool place,” gazing at the spectacle of life and death that unfolds on a daily basis in Varanasi, but each time in just a slightly different way.

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