Holy shit! – The Ganges

Varanasi is a very spiritual place – Some would say fanatically spiritual, especially at the crack of dawn.

I was following the crowd of pilgrims, and many tourist, as they made their way to the holy Ganges river for the evening arati which is a blessing ceremony performed in front of thousands gathered at the water.

Walking and talking to Jason and Sam, I suddenly went sliding pass them and glided through the surprised crowd for at least three seconds as if in slow motion. In this flow, my flip-flop (slipper) curled under my right foot and my heel slid through something mushy as I started to lose my balance.

Now, I’m the type of person who breaks their fall by grabbing anything and anyone around them. Unfortunately, the person I slid next to was an indian lady with a beautiful red sari that matched the beautiful long scarf over her head.
In an act of desperation, I grab her head scarf, pulling her down slightly, but slowing my descent enough to throw my right arm under me to not fall arse first into the rather large skid of cow dung.

T, standing up and looking in disbelief at the mess up her arm, on her scarf, her feet and up her trousers – ‘Cow shit? I slipped in COW SHIT!?!’

A crowd gathered around me, giving me the reassuring ‘you’ve been blessed’ speech, but being careful not to touch the dung covered blessed girl.

Being a good sport and not wanting to make a fuss, I continue the holy walk to the holy Ganges river covered in holy stinking cow shit.

At the Ganges, in one of the temples with an amazing view over the performed arati, I wipe myself off with many wet wipes (there is no running water) and sit next to Jason to enjoy the ritual. I was awed at the spiritual vibe that was flowing through the atmosphere and getting into the spirit of things when I notice some dried poo on my forearm that I had missed cleaning.

Jason, watching me – ‘More shit?’

T – ‘Yup.’ starts wiping it off with yet another wet wipe.

Though fully appreciative of the amazing scenes before me as thousands of pilgrims chanted and priests performed rituals with props of fire, water, and feathers, I couldn’t help but wonder if that occasional bad smell that the wind carried was coming from me, or the Ganges?

Lesson- Always watch where you’re walking

Karauli Arati (blessing at the temple)- Magical moments of Karauli

The first morning in Karauli took us to a Hindu temple dedicated to one of the re-incarnations of the God Krishna.

Sitting next to a group of little old indian women who were chanting harmoniously for the morning arati, induced an uplifting joyful environment, their high spirits and faith creating what I can only describe as a loving and welcoming atmosphere.

As my friend Bianca would say, ‘it was like a warm hug.’