The horizontal line signifies the horizon, the vertical lines show the times of sunrise and sunset. How to use this Sun's current position over Earth Day, night, and twilight times in Varanasi today. The darker blue shadings represent the twilight phases during dawn (left) and dusk (right).
Altitude and heading are displayed in a separate box.
Most Banarasis make their living through divided labor, and many work at cremation ceremonies as woodcutters, layout out bodies, or disposing of unwanted ones.
(Cutting heads off corpses is an actual occupation here: it pays 10 rupees—13 cents—per day.) A popular saying goes: Competitive sport is big.
(It’s also an important stop for Buddhists, because the Buddha is said to have given his first sermon in nearby Sarnath.) It’s one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities.
It has lived more than a hundred cultures, many of which it hasn’t fully let go.
If you are rational, logical, and have little patience with things complex, sublime, and chaotic, Varanasi will not appeal. Goats wearing sweaters, old men taking dips, boys flying kites, and burning bodies are everyday sights.
As the holiest of seven sacred cities for Hindus and Jains, it’s a pilgrim-drawing spiritual capital of India.
Most Hindus are employed by the temples or associated firms, and the Islamic population includes some of the oldest weavers in the country. Little shops line little streets with sweets of all shapes and sizes. Shiva never did, and myth says that whenever a body burns, Shiva will ask the spirits if they have seen his wife’s earring. The Ganges is one of the oldest rivers in the world, and is India’s most sacred.It’s absorbed its various conquests, myths, religions and philosophies into one urban space.I have family in Varanasi and have spent time there since I was a child, but the city still surprises me. There isn’t really a place in Varanasi to wind down and relax.Sometimes you will feel like you are in a storybook. The last time I was there, my friends and I met travelers who complained about hygiene, space, and noise.If you are looking to kick back and drink Caprioscas, go to Koh Tao.