Home » Photoblog: Varanasi as you’ve never seen it before

Photoblog: Varanasi as you’ve never seen it before

written by Pravin Tamang February 15, 2017

There are only a few places that can rival Varanasi for spirituality, culture, tradition and humanity. Every time I visit I’m struck by the clash of nostalgia and modernism, chaos colliding with calm. It never fails to leave me impressed. I travelled to Varanasi recently with my trusty Leica camera. These are the images I captured on my travels.

Centre of emancipation for for all Hindus, Varanasi has remained pretty much the same for generations. The Ganges washes sins, as well as the morning laundry, despite the pollutants gathered here from all over the northern plains. Villages and cities flourish on these banks, madness and movement on the surface, calm and composed underneath.

The best visuals in Varanasi aren’t the dramatic sunsets or flame-lit waters. They’re the everyday shots. The normal and prosaic. This is where you’ll find the real Varanasi, a secret world of ordinary people living by the water. You can wander the banks in the morning and collect all kinds of treasure. It’s a city that’s detached and compassionate, all at the same time.

Want to visit Varanasi for yourself? Check out our small group tours in India

Images and words by Pravin Tamang. Follow his adventures at @pravin_tamang

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5 comments

Ivar Dahl Larsen April 16, 2017 - 9:48 pm

Good photography.My wife and I travelled extensively from Pondicherry in the south, through Kolkata, Delhi, Varanasi and of course Darjeeling as well as Kalimpong, Silliguri and around. A trip of approx, 3 months with rucksacks on the back and camera in hand. A trip of a lifetime and yours as well as my own photography call me back, to your wonderful country. Thanks for bringing back memories.

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Rebecca Smith February 17, 2017 - 7:07 pm

Just back from India and Varanasi was my highlight by far. Such a surreal, magical, beautiful place. Great photos, takes me right back there!

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Navin Tamang February 16, 2017 - 4:33 am

Awesome photography and a good story…

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Eldon Albertson February 15, 2017 - 2:42 pm

I visited Delhi, Rajasthan , Agra and Varanasi two years ago and came home with about 2,700 pictures. My digital camera kept saying to me…take a picture of that…and I had to obey. There were so many interesting places and things to see. I ate in many different kinds of restaurants and never was sick. I always drank bottled water or beer. I met the Governor of Rajasthan when leaving the hilltop fortress of Jodhpur, the Mehrangarh Fort. He was leaving at the same time and had stopped to visit with a group of people. He asked where people were from and when I said ‘the United States’, I was invited to come forward and speak with him. There was a film crew with him, but I did not see myself on TV that night. I had two pictures of us taken with my camera, a Canon PowerShot SX120 IS. While it is a fairly simple ‘point and shoot with self focusing’ camera, I have taken at least 10,000 pictures of Baja Mexico, India, Peru, South Korea, Cambodia, Japan and Vietnam, in varying light with excellent results. Of particular interest was the ‘Holi’ festival in India. Specially enjoyable was the evening celebration in Udaipur with all of the bonfires throughout the city. It amazed me that the fires caused no damage even though the streets where they were burned were quite narrow. I was able to watch from a rooftop restaurant above the city square where a band played and a quite large fire was burned as well as fireworks exploded. The square was packed with people enjoying the evening. I would highly recommend visiting Rajasthan in March. The weather was pleasant and it rained only a day while I was in Jaisalmer, in the western desert. I rented a car and driver so that I could go where I wanted and I made my own hotel reservation so that I would be in interesting, well reviewed, moderately priced hotels.

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rick be February 15, 2017 - 2:08 pm

I was there some years ago,my foot slipped & some putrid Ganges mud soiled my flipflopped foot-it didn’t come clean for a week.
To catch any early morning train,we had to take a rickshaw through the darkened city…to avoid sacred cow residue.
It was an amazing experience,all India is.A new discovery around every corner.

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