Set off from your hotel before dawn and join the seething throng surging down to the bank of the sacred River Ganges at Varanasi. You can take a small boat along the river past the ghats where people are bathing, praying and performing a variety of daily tasks in front of vividly coloured temples and pavilions. At the end white clad mourners are saying goodbye to their loved ones and the sweet smelling sandalwood smoke from the pyres drifts across the water.
As the sun rises over the opposite bank, whatever your faith, or even if you have none, you can cast a tiny banana leaf boat with a lighted candle on to the sacred stream representing your prayers or your meditation. In this way you can share a cultural and spiritual experience with millions of fellow-humans.
Varanasi, River Ganges
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