Every morning the holy river will be awaken by hundreds of people all along the shore, they pray, sing or play music, others take a bath in the brownish waters.
So i got up at 5 to walk upstream away from the main tourist drags, its still dark outside, hardly anyone is up, still some people sleeping at the concrete stairs above the water, many stairs you can find in the city, big and small, long and wide. only a few boatmen are up already asking “Boat? Sir?”, “Cheapest, Sir!” with a smiling “No thank you” i went on, across the small burning ghat which is mainly a crematorium, you won’t see a lot of people burned outside hardly anyone is in visible range, in the distance i see fire burn, it’s still dark outside, voices are dragged by the wind along the fire, after i passed the last big set of stairs it gets really muddy, not even 2 month ago in monsoon time the river level was high up, hardly any of the stairs were above the water, so now all the dirt will be slowly removed for tourist season starting december. that bit however was not cleaned and a small stream of water running across made that area hard to cross.
the fire i saw in the distance is an open covered temple like building with people sitting underneath praying and around them big candles burn, not far away a small stage is located with peaceful music playing – just the right thing to start the day with a beautiful sun rise and a lot of spirituality, next to the river people praying and meditating, sadhus posing for pictures, believers bathing extensively and others just enjoying the moment, a normal start of the day in the holiest of the cities
in the evening the river is put to sleep with classical indian music more boat rides and a lot of singing for a few hours until the morning sun arises for another time…