No problem and no drama except a few hassles with a grumpy conductor during my 40-hour train journey and I arrived in Varanasi around 6am.
The photo below shows a platform of Varanasi station. Don't ask me why there is a cow (maybe a goat?) in this photo.


A funny thing happened to me on my way from Varanasi station to a guesthouse located near the Ganges River:
As I wanted to catch a tuk-tuk (aka auto-rickshaw) from the station, I started looking for a driver around. Then I ran into an old guy in his 50s and asked him to take me to one of the famous Ghats near the river simply because to my eyes he appeared to be a tuk-tuk driver. He yelled at me: " 100 Rupies! ". I responded: " 70 Rupies! "
Shortly after I settled the fare with him for INR80 (about USD1.50), he grabbed my surfboard bag and I carried the rest of my luggage to a nearby car park. But there were no tuk-tuks in the car park. Instead, a line of cycle-rickshaws were in sight.... Then my instant thought was: "Nah. No Waaaaay! This old man cannot take me with my big luggage all the way to the river!" But he insisted that he could.
Very uncertain about his ability on his retro cycle-rickshaw, I hopped on it regardless by placing my heavy backpack behind my seat and putting my board-bag next to me upright.


As we left the station, everybody stared at me. The reason was most likely to be my surfboard bag, half of which was actually sticking out of the roof of the cycle-rickshaw. Some people might even have thought that I was carrying a canoe, so that I could row along the Ganges maybe. Whatever was on their minds, they kept staring at me anyway. I was so embarrassed and I regretted bringing my own surfboard in this country with me for the very first time.


The road from the station to the Ghat which I told him to take me to was longer than expected.
When the sweating rickshaw guy finally dropped me off near the Ghat, I actually paid him 100 Rupees: it was not for making me as a stupid tourist on public display, but for his great efforts in taking me all the way to the river. This old man really did a good job.


I was somehow expecting Varanasi to be a little oasis of north India as it was said to be a sacred place for Hindus, but I was shocked. Varanasi was extremely hectic: the density of people, bikes, cars, etc. seemed so much higher here than that of Chennai to me.


The photos below prove how hectic Varanasi can be. These sequential photos were taken within 30 ~ 40 seconds on a small road this afternoon.






Like what happened to me on my first day in Chennai, Varanasi already made me suffocate quite a bit. So I dodged the crazy traffic and stumbled into a small street where a few cows were causing traffic then.


Oh...., Varanasi....

Is this really a sacred place???



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