Dawn at Varanasi

The sun slowly emerges through the morning haze and across the Ganges as I trudge along ancient ghats. Thus, a new day begins in timeworn Varanasi, the holiest of cities in India. As I find my way up and down and across endless ghats in near darkness, my other senses are acuter. I am aware of the creaking boatman's oar, the lapping of water against the worn steps, quiet voices murmuring - no, softly repeating mantras. A potpourri of aromas fills my nostrils like a breeze filling stillness. There’s the scent of woodsmoke from the endlessly burning funeral pyres, the ooze of life and death flowing by, and sweat.

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