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Filip A

Taj, Tigers and Mother Ganga

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elefromoz

@Filip A, well I think you got the Tiger lot! Mating, running though water, sitting on monuments, walking through monuments, strolling past the lake shore at the base of the Fort....so many photo ops. But then again it doesn't matter what a Tigers doing, every sighting takes your breath away. I agree, Noor may be clocking up the years but she is such a beauty, what a star. I wonder, would you go back to Ranthambore again or try another Park on a future visit? 

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Filip A
32 minutes ago, elefromoz said:

@Filip A, well I think you got the Tiger lot! Mating, running though water, sitting on monuments, walking through monuments, strolling past the lake shore at the base of the Fort....so many photo ops. But then again it doesn't matter what a Tigers doing, every sighting takes your breath away. I agree, Noor may be clocking up the years but she is such a beauty, what a star. I wonder, would you go back to Ranthambore again or try another Park on a future visit? 

 

@elefromoz yes indeed, we were very lucky. 

Ranthambhore has never disappointed us during our three visits and I think the park is fairly easy to reach, so we'll certainly go back there again in the future.

With regard to a possible visit to another park, we were just about to book a trip to Kabini last April, but everyone knows what happened next ...

One thing is for sure : we will go back, a tiger sighting remains unrivalled :)

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Filip A

After a nice breakfast we left Ranthambhore for Jaipur. From there we flew for approx. 1h15min to Varanasi, where we arrived around 2pm.

The transfer to the hotel took more than an hour, for only 25km.

 

We stayed in Suryauday Haveli, a nice hotel situated on Shivala Ghat, on the banks of the river Ganges.

 

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The hotel was built by the royal family of Nepal as a retreat for the aged. The location is superb : close by the river, the ghats and the old city.

The rooms are rather small and basic but clean, staff is very helpful, food (only vegetarian) is good.

The hotel has a nice, quiet patio and a rooftop terrace with a wonderful view on the Ganges.

 

Varanasi (also Benares), one of the oldest living cities in the world, is considered as the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism and also played an important role in the development of Buddhism.

 

The river Ganges is important in the daily life of the people. Hindus believe that dying and getting cremated along the banks of the river allows one to break the cycle of rebirth and attain salvation.

 

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Sunrise over Mother Ganga 

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Filip A

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Filip A

On our first evening we visited an Aarti Ceremony. This ceremony, being held in the evening on the banks of the Ganges, is a surrealistic experience you won't easily forget.

 

The word 'Aarti' comes from the Sanskrit word 'Aratrika' - which means something like a ritual that dispels darkness.

This ritual, which is performed by young priests, has a deep symbolic value for Hindus. 

During this ceremony the place is filled with ancient chants, and sounds of bells and gongs fill up the atmosphere.

 

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Filip A

The ghats are considered as one of the holiest spots of the city.

They are full of sadhus (Hindu holy men) and pilgrims, performing religious rituals and taking a dip into the holy river.

 

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Filip A

Varanasi is also a place where life and death are close together, literally. The rituals of life and death are performed in public.

 

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Filip A

Sarnath is a place nearby Varanasi.

Buddha is believed to have founded Buddhism here.

 

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Filip A

On our final day we did another boat trip on the river. It was a Sunday morning and there were even more people than the previous days.

 

The sights, the chaos, the people, the smells and colours, just everything is, to put it simply, overwhelming.

 

Varanasi offers a magical, breathtaking experience that leaves an indelible impression.

 

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Thanks for reading.

 

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Athene

Thanks again for sharing another very interesting trip report. I very much like your combination of culture and wildlife. This is exactly how I would like to do it. In your opinion, which places would you visit if you go to India only once in your life and which month would be the best for both sightseeing and wildlife? 

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Atravelynn
Posted (edited)

Such classic and lucky shots--the sisters frolicking in the water, then reuniting with Mom for a family encounter, the sisters playing in the photogenic monuments, and even mating.  Hoping for a large and healthy litter from that coupling.  Ranthambore was a roaring success for you in October!  Did you say why you picked that month?  It seems you have chosen Oct before.   I see the post above mine also asks about timing.  Thanks for sharing this and glad Wild World India worked out.

Edited by Atravelynn

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