We got into Varanasi around 3:30 in the afternoon. It took us about an hour and a half to get to our hotel, which if there was no traffic at all should be about 30 minutes. Traffic in Varanasi is CRAZY!! All you hear are horns blaring all over the place, but the strange thing is, no one is losing their cool. Horns are totally accepted here, I guess cause no one ever stays in their lane people honk to let them know that they are in the way. They also gotta alarm the hundreds of cows and dogs to get out of the way! Since it took us so long we had just enough time to check in and head to the Ganga Aarti ceremony. This ceremony takes place everyday, rain or shine around 7pm on the Ghats of the Ganges River. This is perfomed by the Brahmins, to honor the river and the gods and it is usually a huge performance. We were extremely shocked and disappointed when we talked to the owner of the hotel and he told us due to the monsoon weather, the ceremony will take place on the rooftop of one of the buildings and all boat rides were suspended for another 3 weeks or so due to the strong currents. This was the main reason we came to Varanasi. Disappointed was an understatement. Now we had to go an hour early just to get a seat on hard concrete. It was quite uncomfortable.
This is what a normal ceremony looks like:
This is what we came walked up to...majority of those steps you see are currently underwater.
We were sitting behind a Chinese tour group and sorry, but I was getting annoyed with this girl that was taking selfies of herself every ten minutes
We couldn't understand anything they were saying but they did pull up people from the crowd in the beginning so they could (I assume) honor their loved ones
The smoke was kinda stink at times but it made for some cool pics
The ceremony lasted about an hour and a half. My butt thought it felt like 5. We were numb after that and had a hard time getting up. Sucks getting old! Our hotel wasn't far so we walked back and relaxed in our room for the rest of the night. It's way too confusing walking around the Ghats, especially at night. We'd definitely had gotten lost if we went to wander around. Besides, it was still freakin hot and our room had A/C. THANK GOD!