Filmed and Edited by: Tom Butler
Varanasi is chaotic, intense, and beautiful. The ancient city is situated on the banks of the River Ganges and is often considered the spiritual home of India. A place where you see and feel the morning and evening rituals, where pilgrimages are made to bathe in the holy waters at sunrise to purify, where many cremations take place along the river’s edge, and where it is believed moksha — an escape from the cycle of reincarnation — can be achieved. It was truly mesmerising to be in the presence of Mother Ganga and experience the weight of Varanasi first hand.
The Ganges (or Ganga is a trans-boundary river of Asia which flows through India and Bangladesh. The 2,704 km (1,680 mi) river originates from the Gangotri Glacier of western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of India and Bangladesh, eventually emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
Varanasi is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C. Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
This film was shot back in February 2020, before the travel restrictions were in place due to the pandemic.