On my last day in Varanasi I did a boat-ride for one hour along the Ganges to see how Hindu people would bath themselves in this filthy river, and also to see Manikarnika Ghat (aka Burning Ghat) where cremations were supposedly taking place. It was INR100 per person for this boat-ride departing at 5:30 in the morning and I did it with Megan from Perth and two young German guys from Munich.

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Apart from witnessing the harsh reality of cremations, the boat-ride itself was surprisingly a lot better than expected. It was very peaceful floating along the river as the air was presumably fresh and we were away from the mad traffic and the chaos of pilgrims in town.

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It seemed that there was no set-way in particular for Hindus to properly take a bath in the Ganges; some still kept their clothes on, others were almost naked. They were doing however the way they wanted.

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Did I also give it a try?

Nah!

Mind you, I have tried swimming in the Antarctica before, but this murky and poopie Ganges never looked inviting to me. I even saw some Indian people collecting the water. Was it for drinking??? Yuck!

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!!!!! Note !!!!!
Kautilya Society Guesthouse was where I stayed while in Varanasi and it was quite nice and clean; INR300 for a single private room with a shared bathroom.
A great thing about this guest-house was that, once I paid the membership fees of INR200 (valid for six months), not only I could stay in this clean home-away-from-home 4 story building, but breakfast and lunch were also included in the price. I highly recommend this place for your "great shelter" from hectic Varanasi.

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