Varanasi: Images and Adjectives

Real holy man

Varanasi, despite its status as India’s holiest city, shares one other less desirable distinction, at least in my opinion; it is almost certainly its filthiest, which in the world’s filthiest country is quite an accolade.  Nevertheless, it remains a city that I love, and is more than capable of producing some memorable moments and scenes. But rather than write too much about it, I’m trying a new approach; loads of images and adjectives.

Sleeping woman

Languid. Leathery.

real mud on ghats

Mucky. Messy.

real buffalo

Fat. Flatulent.

With burning bodies along the river, and mud and shi* at every step, Varanasi is not for the feint hearted. But it is India at its most wild and unique, and I for one love it. Enjoy!

real burning

Hot. Horrific.

real boy on buffalo

Brave? Barmy?


Cute. Cautious.


Filthy. Fabulous.

Ghats on boat best

Chaotic. Colorful.


Magical. Mysterious.

Cow eating

Delicious. Desperate.

Big cows

Bustling. Beefy.

Man reading

Placid. Peaceful.

real eagle

Lethal. Leisurely.

real pilgrims on steps

Content. Curious.

real pilgrims on boat

Crammed. Calm.

real boys in river

Balanced. Ballerina-esque.

real man on ghat

Contemplative. Comfy.


Multicolored. Meaningful.

real boy by ghat

Bodyless. Friendless.


Contaminated. Consecrated.

Monkey I

Mischievous. Monkey-face.

India is a country that most travelers either love or hate. So Varanasi, then, is a city that you must either REALLY love, or REALLY hate. I’m one of the lovers, but Leslie is definitely a hater, and I quote; “…the dirtiest most disgusting pit I’ve ever seen, and I never want to see or even think of it again.”

So, love, you didn’t like it much then?

What cities do you love or hate, and why? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.


All images by the Nomad!

5 thoughts on “Varanasi: Images and Adjectives

  1. Nice photos Steve, but as you and I know, there are no photos in the world tha really capture. The smells and sounds must be added in a well. For me, places like Varansi fall in the same category as Bosnia. I can’t say that I liked them, and I don’t need to return, But there are lots and lots of places in the world that aren’t like the US and Europe. And I feel that to get a truly global perspective, I need to visit places like this. We draw the line at unsafe places (eg Congo). But, (tip of the hat to Leslie), Varanasi is a serious challenge, and it takes fortitude to tough it out. Take Care. ~James


    • Thanks for the comment James. Yeah it’s a tough place to visit however seasoned you are. However, I still retain a certain unexplainable love for the place which you’ll hopefully read about in upcoming posts.
      Cheers, and hi to Terri.


  2. Pingback: Train Trauma | Chic Adventurer

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