Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Holy City

It feels as though it's been awhile since I last blogged so I must catch you up on our happenings and whereabouts! From Hampi, we took an overnight train to Hyderabad which was a rather over-priced, bustling city with AMAZING food. I realize you may think we talk about food a lot... but the food in India is just simply delicious and must be acknowledged! Hyderabad is known for its chicken biriyani and it was to die for! We did do things other than eat in Hyderabad, although that was our main focus.. We saw a few famous monuments, walked and shopped in the bazaars and went to the impressive Golconda Fort.

From Hyderabad, we hopped a 28.5 hr train to Varanasi. I was very nervous for this journey, thinking how will we possibly entertain ourselves for that long? What about food? And sleeping? Will we kill each other after that long in such a confined space? Well, it was quite the opposite of all my fears. We don't know where the time went but it flew by and was actually enjoyable! We had a good time and neither of us were dying to get off the train when we reached Varanasi. I was so relieved to have this trip behind us!

Arriving in Varanasi was a shock. It's the real India. Smelly. Dirty. Over crowded. Fascinating. It's a holy Hindu city along the River Ganges and it is like no other places we have ever been. The river is unbelievably polluted yet the people believe it to be so holy that they bathe in it each day. You can spend hours walking along the river just watching the people.

When people die in Varanasi, their body is burned and the remains are put into the river. There are six kinds of deaths that don't permit burning and these bodies are dropped with rocks into the middle of the river. During our stay in Varanasi, we saw two dead bodies floating in the river and were told that these were bodies of the homeless who cannot pay for the wood to burn their bodies. Again, this place was so different than anywhere we have been. One of the best aspects of this country is how different each state or region is from the rest of the country.

After a very busy week, we are happily relaxing in the little town of Bodhgaya, which happens to be the world's most important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Next stop: Taj Mahal in Agra!

We are both finally healthy and free of any and all rashes, which is a huge relief as we head to Nepal in a week. I am having a hard time parting with India as we still have so much to see. I suppose that just means we will have to come back :)

We will be home in about a month and are looking forward to seeing our families and friends. Miss you!

Love, Allison and Nate

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how different life can be in other parts of the world and yet everyone thinks their way of life is the norm. Sounds like you've had a very eye openeing and interesting journey through India. Safe travels to Nepal!