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Varanasi (Benares) photos 1999


India facts & history in brief

The Republic of India, forms with Pakistan and Bangladesh, the subcontinent of India.
The seventh largest country and the second most populous in the world, over 900 million.
It consists of the entire Indian peninsula and a large part of the Asian mainland, and bordered by China, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh, the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and divided into the following 25 states, 6 Union Territories and the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Delhi is the capital and the country's largest city is Mumbai (Bombay).
India is very rich in history, tradition and natural and human resources.
A large variety of wild animals exist within its boundary, eg. Bengal tigers, Indian elephants etc.
India, than including Pakistan and Bangladesh was under British rule until 1947.
India and Pakistan were established as independent states mainly on religious grounds, India being mainly Hindi and Pakistan predominantly Muslim.
From the Himalayas to Bombay there's a great variety in climate and culture, nearly 1600 different dialects spoken.

We travelled in and out of India during our 1999 trip to the Himalayan countries.
First we visited Calcutta.
From there we flew to Bhutan.
After spending a couple weeks in Bhutan, our Bhutanese guides taken us to Siliguri in India.
In Siliguri they helped us to get the visitors permit and negotiated a taxi jeep to take us to Gangtok in Sikkim.
After finishing our sightseeing in Sikkim, we got him to take us to Baritnagar in Nepal, through India, to fly to Kathmandu.
We spent some time visiting Nepal and Tibet before we flew back to India to visit Varanasi (Benares).
Spent a few days in Varanasi and Sarnath, a few kilometres from Varanasi and than we went to explore to Agra and the famous Taj Mahal.
Finishing in Agra and the surrounding area, we were to fly to New Delhi.
Our flight got cancelled and we ended up on a long, taxi ride to New Delhi.
Again arriving in the middle of the night.
Taken us some time to find suitable accommodation, we didn't go to bed till 3 a.m. the next day.
(De javu, you may say, see my story about Bagan (Pagan) in Burma (Myanmar).
The next few days we explored Delhi and the surrounds, on foot and by sightseeing tours.
From Delhi we went to Kashmir after some table banging.
It is not the easiest place to visit, due the guerrilla fighting and the ongoing Indian-Pakistani dispute about Kashmir.
We flew back to Delhi from Srinagar.
Stayed on a house-boat on Dal Lake in Srinagar for a few days.
Our Kashmir experience was mind-blowing.
Another few days we spent in Delhi, than flew back to Singapore and Auckland, New Zealand.
We did have some unforgettable experiences.

Varanasi also known as Benares or Banaras

is an ancient holy city of the Hindus in northern India, on the west bank of the Ganges River and the largest city of Uttar Pradesh.
The main products of the city include shawls, saris, gold-embroidered cloth, hand-hammered brassware, and heavy gold and silver jewellery.
It is well known for its fine silk fabrics.
Varanasi is one of the holiest city in India and about a million devout Hindus visit the city each year to its large temples and its monasteries and palaces, but foremost to bathe in the Ganges, whose water they believe to be sacred.

Population is nearly 2 million.

You can click on these photos for an enlargement.

Varanasi Varanasi Varanasi Varanasi

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