# The mighty Ganga is not only the river but much more to the millions for whom the Ganga is a symbol of faith, hope, substance and sanity. Therefore the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared on November 4, 2008 that henceforth the Ganga would be known as India's 'national river'. The Prime minister has also announced the proposal to set up a separate high powered Ganga River Basin Authority to stop its pollution and degradation. Chaired by the Prime minister, the authority would have as the members the chief ministers of states through which the river flows, besides working closely with ministers of water resources, environment and forests, urban development and others as well as agencies working on river conservation and pollution management. The first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in his book "The Ganges, above all, is the river of India which has held Indias heart captive and drawn uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history. The story of the Ganges, from her source to the sea, from old times to new, is the story of Indias civilisation and culture, of the rise and fall of empires, of great and proud cities, of adventures of man." The Ganga will be pure and free of pollutants by 2020, the Centre promised before the Supreme Court on October 23, 2010. Without dwelling on the past when nearly 1,000 crore was spent under the failed Ganga Action Plan initiated in the late 1980s, attorney general G E Vahanvati assured a Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar that the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) headed by the prime minister would deal with river pollution in a comprehensive manner. In a significant step on November 1, 2010, the government has given in-principle nod for declaring the 135-km stretch of the Ganga between Gaumukh and Uttarkashi as an eco-sensitive zone seeking specific activities to protect the rich biodiversity of the region. The National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in its meeting held on November 1, 2010 also approved discontinuation of 3 hydro projects,-Bhaironghati, Pala Maneri and NTPC's Loharinag Pala proposed on the river. The work has been entrusted to a consortium of seven IITs -- Kanpur, Delhi , Madras, Bombay, Kharagpur, Guwahati and Roorkee. Vahanvati said discussions have been initiated with the World Bank for long-term support for NGRBA's work programme. The National River Conservation Directorate under ministry of environment and forests in its affidavit said, "An assistance of $1 billion has been indicated in the first phase by the World Bank. A project preparation facility advance of$2.96 million has been sanctioned by WB."

In the Uttarakhand Himalayas where glacial water flowing from a cave at Gaumukh, is the origin of the Bhagirathi river. Gaumukh has been described as a desolate place at an altitude of about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Twenty-three kilometers from Gaumukh, the river reaches Gangotri, the first town on its path.
Thousands of visitors come to Gangotri each year, from every part of the world. Gangotri is situated at a height of more than 10,000 feet in Uttarkashi district, is one of the four shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri commonly called Chardham. So far nearly 3.50 lakh tourists have visited the shrine this year 2010. The shrine, dedicated to Goddess Ganga, is closed in October-November every year as the area remains snow-bound during the winters. The idol of Ganga is kept in nearby Mukhba village for worship during the period. The shrine reopens for pilgrims in April-May next year.
The river which joins the Alaknanda river at Devaprayag, also in the Uttarakhand Himalayas, to form the Ganga. The Ganga then flows through the Himalayan valleys and emerges into the north Indian plain at the town of Haridwar.

# Recent pictures taken by Google Earth via satellite have confirmed that an eight-km stretch of the Bhagirathi river has dried up. The river is shown snaking through the Himalayan mountains as one long, sandy stretch minus any water. Other rivers emanating from the Gangotri glacier, including the Bhilangana, the Assi Ganga and the Alaknanda, all tributaries of the Ganga river, are also drying up. Since the river Ganga (Bhagirathi) is still emanating from the ice cave (Gaumukh) of Gangotri Glacier, no steps are required to be taken at present for bringing back the flow of river Ganga. As far as the recession of the glacier is concerned it is a part of natural phenomena and cannot be stopped by using short term artificial measures. This information was given by Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Kapil Sibal, in a written reply to a question by Shri Vijoy Krishna in the Lok Sabha on April 29, 2008.

On its 1,560-mi (2,510-km) course in plains, Ganga flows southeast through the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. The Ganga passing some of the most populous cities of India, including Kanpur , Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, and Kolkata. The Yamuna, which originates less than a hundred miles east of the Bhagirathi, flows parallel to the Ganga and a little to the south for most of its course before merging with the Ganga at the holy city of Allahabad, also known as Triveni Sangam. New Delhi, capital of India, and Agra, site of the Taj Mahal, are two of the major cities on the Yamuna river
The largest tributary to the Ganga is the Ghaghara, which meets it before Patna,
in Bihar, bearing much of the Himalayan glacier melt from Northern Nepal. The Gandak, which comes from near Katmandu, is another big Himalayan tributary. Other important rivers that merge with the Ganga are the Son, which originates in the hills of Madhya Pradesh, the Gomti which flows past Lucknow, and then meets with the river Chambal.
On its way it passes the towns of Mirzapur, Varanasi, Patna and Bhagalpur. At Bhagalpur, the river meanders past the Rajmahal Hills, and beings to change course southwards. At Pakaur, the river begins its first attrition with the branching away of its first distributary, the River Bhagirathi, which goes on to form the River Hooghly. Close to the border with Bangladesh, the Farakka Barrage, built in 1974 controls the flow of the Ganges, diverting some of the water into a feeder canal linking the Hooghly to keep it relatively silt free.
After entering Bangladesh, the main branch of the Ganges is known as Padma River
till it is joined by the Jamuna River the largest distributaries of the Brahmaputra. Further downstream, the Ganges is fed by the Meghna River, the second largest distributaries of the Brahmaputra and takes on its name. Fanning out into the 350 km (220 mi) wide Ganges Delta, it empties out into the Bay of Bengal. The delta of the Ganga, or rather, that of the Hooghly and the Padma, is a vast ragged swamp forest (42,000 sq km) called the Sundarbans world's largest Ganga delta

# The Ganga at Allahabad Sangam at Allahabad the holy confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati revered by millions and the site for historic Mahakumbh held once every 12 years- seems to be under threat. With the ongoing Magh Mela, thousands are taking a dip into the Ganga to rid themselves of sins. But, the fact is that the river water has become toxic and unfit for bathing. The untreated water from various nullahs in the city is flowing into the Ganga, thus polluting the river water. Besides, the ever-increasing human settlements in Kachar (catchment area of river) area have added to the burden of the river. Mission Clean Ganga On February 8, 2011: Ganga-Yamuna Jal Pradushan Nivaran Pradarshini helps in creating awareness among the public for saving the rivers. Ganga Pradarshini is a confluence of dedication, innovation and resolution, said Harichaitnya Brahmchariji Maharaj while speaking at `Sant Samagam', a programme held on the campus of Ganga Yamuna Jal Pradushan Nivaran Pradarshini in Magh Mela area.Prem Das Mauniji Maharaj, Dudhadhari Ashram, Ranikhet said the potential of saints in this regard should not be underestimated. Everbody needs to take the initiative for saving the Ganga. Sant Ram Balak Das Ji Maharaj said that science and technology alone cannot alone save the river. For this public cooperation too is needed, he said. Swami Parmanand Ji Mahraj, Shivagarh Ashram, said every Indian should take efforts to save the Ganga. On January 16, 2011: Shankaracharya Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati asked the common man to come forward to safeguard the sanatan dharma. Lauding the efforts of Maa Ganga Pradooshan Mukti Abhiyan Samiti, he said that the holy Ganga is life generating stream with which sentiments of millions across the globe are attached. Apart from providing means of livelihood to crores of people, it also provides water for irrigating the fields. However it is very unfortunate that water of the holy river is being stopped at several places during the last two decades with the construction of dams. On the other hand effluents discharged by tanneries and other related factories are making the water unfit for drinking as well as bathing. On October 23, 2010: The World Bank has agreed to provide $1 billion for the Mission Clean Ganga being implemented by the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for restoring the "wholesomeness" of the river system by minimising its pollution level, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court. On October 2, 2010: Magsaysay award winner and environmentalist Rajendra Singh began a three- month tour on Friday to constitute 'Ganga Panchayats' in towns and villages along the river Ganga. On September 2, 2010: A campaign in Kanpur from Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, 2010 to make the banks of the Ganga, and the areas falling within 500 m radius of the river, free from polythene, would be initiated. A division bench of the Allahabad High Court had directed the Ganga Basin Authority and the state government to take appropriate action to ban use of polythenes in the vicinity of Ganga in the entire state. On July 26, 2010 :Under his 'Swachha Ganga, Samridh Bharat Abhiyan'-- a foot march from Gomukh to Ganga Sagar organised by Acharya Neeraj a lawyer of the Supreme Court. He said the main objective of the 3000-km foot march was to create awareness among people to keep the Ganga clean and maintain its purity. On July 20, 2010: Prof G.D.Agarwal has been on fast-unto-death in Haridwar since July 20, 2010 in protest against the hydropower project on Bhagirathi. On July 6, 2010 seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have plunged into a government effort to clean the Ganga, promising to recommend a slew of river management and technology strategies to improve its ecological health. An IIT consortium will develop a Ganga River Basin Management Plan within 18 months under an agreement signed today by the Union environment ministry and the IITs at Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Chennai and Roorkee. On June 17, 2010 the environment ministry has rejected a major hydro project planned on river Gori Ganga in Uttarakhand, saying it would destroy the valley's fragile ecosystem. On May 20, 2010: the central government has invited global consultants to formulate an action plan to clean river Ganga, a senior environment ministry official said. The official said about$3 million has already been received from the World Bank for preparing a management plan for cleaning river Ganga. Ganga was designated national river in February last year. Nearly Rs.900 crore have been spent on the Ganga action plan so far. A parliamentary panel recently observed that the action plan has shown no considerable results in improving the quality. On April 4, 2010 BJP leader L K Advani launched the Uttarakhand governments clean Ganga campaign and asked people all over the country to play an active role in the conservation of the holy river. Speaking after the launch of the campaign christened "Ganga Sparsh Abhiyan", Advani said On March 22, 2010, World Water Day thousands of people held each others hand and reaffirmed their pledge to save the national river, Ganga due to its alarming pollution level at Varanasi. Students, men and women formed a 7-km long human chain this morning at the world-famous ghats on World Water Day . On February 23, 2010, VARANASI is all set to witness establishment of National Ganga River Basin Research Institute for sustainable development of the Ganga river basin in the region. The Centre has expressed confidence that by 2020 the polluted River Ganga would be cleaned and Rs 15,000 crore will be spent on it.

1 Rishikesh also spelled Hrishikesh; Rushikesh; or Hrushikesh; is a city and a municipal board in Dehradun district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.It is surrounded by two other districts namely Tehri Garhwal and Pauri Garhwal. It is located in the foothills of the Himalaya in northern India and attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year; from within India; as well as from other countries. Rishikesh is a vegetarian city by law; as well as an alcohol-free city. Rishikesh has also banned use of plastics bags by shopkeepers and vendors. Rishikesh; sometimes nicknamed "the world capital of Yoga"; has numerous yoga centres that also attract tourists. It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha; as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it. Rishikesh is world famous for Rafting and Adventure. Rafting season starts from the month of March and ends in July. Rishikesh is also home to the 120-year old Kailas Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham; an institution dedicated to preserve and promote the traditional Vedantic Studies. Prominent personalities such as Swami Vivekananda; Swami Rama Tirtha and Swami Shivananda have studied in this institution. In February 1968; The Beatles visited the now-closed Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in Rishikesh.[6] John Lennon recorded a song titled; 'The Happy Rishikesh Song'.[7][8] The Beatles composed nearly 48 songs during their time at the Maharishi's ashram; many of which appear on the White Album. Several other artists visited the site to contemplate and meditate.
2 Ram Jhula is an elegant suspension bridge which was built in the 1980s. Like it's brother bridge upstream; it's a pedestrian bridge. But this being India; the definition of 'pedestrian' is flexible. You'll find bicycles; mopeds; motorbikes; goats; cows and the odd handcart all fighting for space on the bridge. I've seen videos of the rush-hour chaos and I'm glad to not have experienced that. I have a bad history of monkey attacks so I was expecting trouble on the bridge. It seems that monkeys take one look at me and can't resist the temptation to mug me for all I'm worth. But this time I was forewarned and forearmed. I'd very carefully emptied my pockets of anything that could possibly be of interest to a furry fiend in search of a snack. My camera was held tight to my body and there was nothing in my bag to tempt. As we approached the bridge you could see the would-be muggers lined up on the bridge just waiting for me to appear.The bridge monkeys are entirely shameless. They swing between the wires confident in the knowledge that they are smarter and faster than you. The little babies are quite capable of distrcting you with their cuteness whilst their uncles and grandpas sneak up behind and grab bags of food from unwary passers-by. I should hate them; I should probably be scared of them; but I just can't resist hanging about with monkeys. Rishikesh is a town that splits itself across the river Ganges with most of the 'action' on the left bank (assuming you're looking downstream) but still plenty of hotels; ashrams and temples on the right bank too. To get from one side to the other there are boats but most people use the two suspension bridges – the Lakshman Jhula and the Ram Jhula (or Shivandra Jhula). Jhula just means bridge. Our hotel was sandwiched between the two bridges; although I didn't realise there were two until it was almost time to leave. We only used the Ram Jhula; it being closer to the place where the nightly Ganga Aarti takes place.
3 Trayanbakshwar TempleShri Trayanbakshwar temple was built by the organisation of the Guru Kailashanand. Rishikesh is a holy city for Hindus located in the foothills of the Himalaya in northern India in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is also known as 'land of the Rishi'.
4 The Ujali colony; located 1 kilometre outside Uttarkashi; houses over 500 sadhus and sanyasins. Some scholars and theists of great repute live here. Uttarakhand’s best-known ashrams such as the Kailash Ashram; the Shivananda Ashram; the Baba Kali Kamli Ashram and the Punjab Sindh Dandi Kshetra all have a presence in Ujali. Lord Vishnu and Parsuram; the 24th reincarnation of Lord Vishnu; are worshipped here. The idol of Parsuram in this temple is said to date back to the 8th century AD. It is said that Parsuram beheaded his mother; Renuka; on the orders of his father Sage Jamdagni. The latter; pleased with his son’s obedience; granted him a boon. Parsuram asked for his mother’s life to be restored; which was done. Nevertheless; he was guilty of matri hatya (mother’s murder) and was told by his father to go to Uttarkashi to repent. Uttarkashi is then his tapsthali (place of meditation). There are very few temples dedicated to Parsuram in India and this is possibly one of two in the entire country.
5 1.5 kilometres from Uttarkashi. Situated on Hari Parvat on the opposite bank of the Bhagirathi from the centre of town; Kuteti Devi is the main deity of Kot Gram Khai in Uttarkashi. Legend says that Kuteti Devi is an avtar (reincarnation) of Durga. This temple was built by the daughter of the Maharaja of Kota and her husband (Raja Banswala) on the spot where they discovered three stones with a heavenly aroma; as guided by the Devi in their dreams. The Maneri-Bhali project; which supplies 93 MW of power to Uttarakhand; is located on the left bank of Bhagirathi; close to Uttarkashi. Roughly 13 km upstream of Uttarkashi is the village of Maneri. Here; a lake – of an unbelievably beautiful and clear colour reflecting the surrounding conifers-- has been formed by damming the Bhagirathi; which is fast becoming a popular tourist attraction. There is camping site here on the banks of the river. hairon Chowk is considered one of the oldest sites in Uttarkashi. It was referred to by ancient texts as ‘Chamala ki Chowri’ in connection with Barahat –Uttarkashi’s ancient name. Chamala ki Chowri was named after a Champa tree that used to grow here and the chowk was used to hold village councils; and for pilgrims to gather and pray here before undertaking the difficult journey on foot to Gangotri.
6 Uttaranchal is a state of natural beauty and some of the untouched and un spoilt natural places such nainital; valley of flowers; dehradun; himalaya; kausani etc. Also famous for it's lakes; mountains; forests; national parks; santuries and is also a favorite destination of wildlife lovers. The State is carved out of Uttar Pradesh was formed on November 9th; 2000 as the 27th state of the Indian Union. International borders touched by the border of state are Tibet; Nepal Neighbour states are Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh

7 Gangotri is a very nice town and is fairly popular with foreigners; many who have come to make the trek to Gaumukh; or further. Unlike most of the other towns on the Char Dham route; it is a nice place to stay for a while. The Bhagirathi River rushes by and is extremely loud; giving the place a peaceful atmosphere. Gangotri is located about 250km from Rishikesh and 230km from Yamunotri. The bus trip via Tehri and Uttarkashi from Rishikesh takes 10 to 12 hours. At Gangotri the Kedar Ganga River merges with the Bhagirathi River at Dev Ghat; which is next to the main bridge; on the other side of the river from the temple. There is a falls called Sahasradhara about 100m below this confluence. Just before the falls the river squeezes itself into a narrow gorge about one metre wide. The actual source of the Ganges is Gaumukh; a hard 19km climb from Gangotri. Bhagiratha is said to have prayed at Gangotri to save his relatives. The Pandavas are said to have visited this place to atone for the sin of killing their relatives during the Kurukshetra war. At this point the Ganges River flows north; giving this village its name; Gangotri; which means “Ganga turned north.” Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita; Of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.
8 Gangotri is the origin of River Ganga and one of the four sites in the Chardham Yatra. Here; Ganga is known as Bhagirathi; named after the ancient king Bhagirath; who performed penance to bring her down from the heavens. It is believed that bathing in her waters brings deliverance from sins committed in the present and past births. Onwards Devprayag It acquires the name GANGA where Bhagirathi meets the Alaknanda. This temple was made with white stone by Amar Singh Thapa; Gorkha captain in the early 18th century . After Diwali the door of the temple are closed & reopened in May. During winters when Temple is closed due to the heavy snow fall; the idol of the Goddess is kept at Village Mukhab village near Harsil. The actual source of Holy river Ganga is at Gaumukh; set in the Gangotri Glaciers and is a 19 Kms trek from Gangotri. According to Hindu mythology; Goddess Ganga – the daughter of heaven; took the form of a river to absolve the sins of King Bhagirath’s predecessors; following his severe penance of several centuries. Lord Shiva received Ganga into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall. According to legend; a Suryavanshi king Sagar decided to perform the Ashwamedh Yagna (horse sacrifice). His 60; 000 sons conquered the territories that the horse crossed. Indra felt threatened by their success. He stole the horse and tied it in Kapil Muni’s ashram. Sagar’s sons followed the horse into the ashram and were disrespectful to the seer; who cursed them. All 60; 000 of them were turned into ashes. The king beseeched the seer for forgiveness; but the curse could not be reversed. However; Kapil Muni suggested that if the holy Ganga; the river of heaven; were to come down to the earth; the touch of her waters would ensure the deliverance of the princes. Many descendants of Sagar failed in their efforts to bring the holy Ganga to earth; until Bhagirath was born. He persevered in his prayers until Ganga agreed to come down to the earth from the heavens. But such was her power that her descent was sure to cause havoc. Thus Bha¬gi¬rath prayed to Lord Shiva; who agreed to contain Ganga in his locks; from where he released a few drops of her celes¬tial waters. The river thus flowed on earth; cleansing all that was impure in her path and delivering the sons of Sagar from their curse.
9 Gangotri; the source of the Ganga (Ganges) River and seat of the goddess Ganga; is one of the four sites in India's Char Dham pilgrimage. Gangotri can be reached in one day's travel from Rishikesh; Haridwar or Dehra Duhn; or in two days from Yamunotri. More popular and important than its sister site to the east; Gangotri is also accessible directly by car and bus; meaning that it sees many more pilgrims. A small village of guesthouses and restaurants serves the pilgrim community. Ritual duties are supervised by the Semwal family of pujaris. The aarti ceremony at the Gangotri is especially impressive; as is the temple; a stately affair that sits on the banks of the rushing Ganga (Ganges River). Adventurous pilgrims can make an overnight 17 km trek to Gaumukh; the actual source of the Ganga.
10 Gangotri; the origin of the River Ganges and seat of the goddess Ganga; is one of the four sites in the Char Dham pilgrimage circuit. The river is called Bhagirathi at the source and acquires the name Ganga (Ganges) from Devprayag onwards where it meets the Alaknanda. The origin of the holy river is at Gaumukh; set in the Gangotri Glacier; and is a 19 km trek from Gangotri. Gangotri can be reached in one day's travel from Rishikesh; Haridwar or Dehradun; or in two days from Yamunotri; the first site in the Char Dham circuit. More popular and important than its sister site to the east; Gangotri is also accessible directly by car and bus; meaning that it sees many more pilgrims than Yamunotri.
11 The hill stations of Uttaranchal are famous for their scenic ambiance and temple attractions. Among the most important cities of Uttrakhand; one must visit the famous holy cities of Rishikesh and Haridwar. For some peace and solace go the the capital city; Dehradun. The popular honeymoon destinations include Mussorie and Nainital. Take up popular hill station tours of Uttaranchal and enjoy a placid stay among the snow clad mountains; Ganges ghats and plethora of wildlife attractions. The capricious beauty of these hill destinations attract the tourists to spent their holidays on these fabled hill stations; is equally ideal for several day's retreat or for a day's excursion. Uttaranchal is as famous for its adventure sports all over the world. Adventure lie skiing; trekking and river rafting are the major attraction of the state. There are snow mountains in Auli; where one can enjoy great skiing. All the water sport lovers can go to Rishikesh to try their hands at rafting in the turbulent water of the Ganges. Other important adventure sports in Uttaranchal includes trekking as well as camping. Among the mountain sports; the options include mountaineering and rock climbing. One should take up adventure tours of Uttaranchal during the time when many international competitions are held. The adventure world of Uttaranchal is inviting all the tourists to sojourn in the state and enjoy the best of holiday attractions.
12 Uttaranchal is an important adventure and pilgrimage destination in India; that was crafted out of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000. With its layers of green and snow mountains; Uttaranchal is ideally located at the foothills of the Shivalik. Being a perfect combination of nature; wildlife; adventure and pilgrimage; the state tourism board promotes all these facets. All the tourists are recommended to take up tours of Uttaranchal to enjoy the most exotic hill stations of India.
13 Gangotri is the highest and the most important temple of Goddess Ganga. Gangotri is a small town centered around the Gangotri Temple of Goddess Ganga. The present temple of Gangotri was built by Amar Singh Thapa; Gorkha General in the early 18th century. The origin of Bhagirathi River; Gaumukh glacier is 18kms from Gangotri and one must cover the distance on foot. Gangotri offers scenic vistas of rugged terrains; gushing water of Bhagirathi River and snow clad peaks. The place holds great importance amongst Hindus. Gangotri remains opened from May and get closed on the day of Diwali festival. Gangotri temple remains closed during winters as the region is prone to heavy snowfall. Gangotri is situated at an altitude of 3; 048mts above sea level in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state. Located on the banks of the holy Bhagirathi River; Gangotri is one of the Char Dham of Uttarakhand. Submerged Shivling: There is a natural rock Shivling in Gangotri submerged under water which can be easily seen when winters are on their way as the water level decreases during that time. According to myths and legends this was the place where Lord Shiva sitting when he received Ganga in his matted locks.

14 Seller at Mansa Devi Temple. To visit the temple; pilgrims have to follow a queue for the 'darshan' of the Goddess. Mansadevi is said have born from the mind of Saint Kashyap. She is regarded as the wife of Nag Raja Vasuki. This temple is one of the most prominent temples of North India. Mansa Devi is one of the famous Siddh Peethas (Holy Places where one's wishes are fulfilled) along with Chandi Devi and Maya Devi in Haridwar. People usually tie threads on a holy tree that is located in the vicinity of the temple asking the Goddess to fulfill their wishes. On the fulfillment of the wishes; people come to untie the thread from the same tree once again. The temple is of great importance to the followers of Hinduism. One can have a panoramic view of Haridwar from the top of Bilwa Hill.
15 Seller at Mansa Devi Temple. Mansa Devi is one of the most popular and most visited temples of Haridwar; Uttaranchal. The temple is dedicated to Mansa Devi; a form of Shakti (Power). Located at the top of Bilwa Parvat (Hill); Mansa Devi Temple can be reached by taking local buses; rickshaws or by hiring from Haridwar. In order to reach the hill-top; one can either go for trekking or for cable-car. Mansa Devi Temple is an ancient temple that attracts people from both far and near due to its significance. It is believed that the Goddess fulfills all the wishes of a sincere devotee. Actually; the term 'Mansa' is the altered form of word 'Mansha'; which means 'wish'. On the top of the hill; there are many shops where coconuts; fruits; marigold garlands and incense sticks are available. These things are offered to the Goddess.
16 One of the most famous and most visited sites of Haridwar; Har ki Pauri is considered as one of its five main holy sites. Ganga Aarti takes place on the ghat in the evening; after sunset. A group of Brahmans hold huge fire bowls in their hands and offer their holy mantras to river Ganges; Shiva - the Hindu God of destruction; Surya - the Sun God and the entire Universe. The devotees then offer flowers and earthen lamps - diyas - to river Ganges; in order to pay due regards to their ancestors in heaven. The scenario at Har ki pauri at the time of Ganga-Aarti is mesmerizing. Har Ki Pauri is the place where the divine nectar fell from celestial Kumbh. The Kumbh mela is held here (last held in 1998; next in 2010). The holy river Ganga; enters Brahmakund from one side and exits from the other. Though the water here is around waist-high; one has to be very cautious while bathing on the Ghats since the flow is swift and speedy. Chains and rails have been provided to enable devotees to catch on safely while they take a holy dip. Famous temples - Ganga Mandir and Haricharan mandir are also located here. Har Ki Pauri gets its name from the feet (Pauri) of lord (Hari). Vishnucharanpaduka; the footprints of the Lord; are believed to be imprinted on the wall beneath the waters of Ganga here and with the guidance of a priest; it is also possible to touch it.
17 One of the most famous and most visited sites of Haridwar; Har ki Pauri is considered as one of its five main holy sites. Har ki pauri is always crowded with devotees and priests; offering prayers to the Sun God and the holy Ganges. This place is the perfect destination for people deeply in love with religion; philosophy and spiritualism. The auspicious fair of Hindus; the Kumbh mela; is held at Har ki Pauri; after every 3 years. This sacred ghat was built on the bank of Ganges; by King Vikramaditya; in the memory of his brother Bhartrihari. Har ki pauri is famous for Ganga Aarti; a holy ritual of offering prayers to the Ganges. Ganga Aarti takes place on the ghat in the evening; after sunset. A group of Brahmans hold huge fire bowls in their hands and offer their holy mantras to river Ganges; Shiva - the Hindu God of destruction; Surya - the Sun God and the entire Universe. The devotees then offer flowers and earthen lamps - diyas - to river Ganges; in order to pay due regards to their ancestors in heaven. The scenario at Har ki pauri at the time of Ganga-Aarti is mesmerizing.
18 One of the most famous and most visited sites of Haridwar; Har ki Pauri is considered as one of its five main holy sites. Har ki pauri is believed to be the exit point of the river Ganges from the mountains and its entry into the plains. A dip in the holy water of the ghat is said to relieve a person of all his sins. The place is surrounded by some ancient and some newly build temples. Throughout the year; religious rituals like 'upanayan' or the initiation ritual; 'mundan' or the head tonsuring ritual; 'asthi visarjan' or immersion of the ashes of the dead and 'shraddha' or prayers appeasing one's ancestors take place here.
19 One of the most famous and most visited sites of Haridwar; Har ki Pauri is considered as one of its five main holy sites. It is believed to be the sacred place where Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu; two great Hindu Gods; appeared in the Vedic era. This place is considered equivalent to the Dashashwamedh Ghat in Banaras; in religious terms. It is also said that Brahma; the Hindu God of Creation; performed a yagna at the Har ki Pauri. The ghat is also said to have the holy footprints of Lord Vishnu.
20 Har ki Pauri This sacred Ghat was constructed by the king Vikramaditya in the memory of his brother Bhratrihari. It is believed that Bhratrihari eventually came to Hardwar to meditate on the banks of holy Ganga. When he died; his brother constructed a Ghat in his name which later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri. This sacred bathing ghat is also known as Brahamakund. The reflection of golden hues of floral diyas in the river Ganga is the most enchanting sight in the evening during the Ganga Aarti (Worship). The ghat is regarded as the most sacred in Haridwar and this is the most auspicious point to bathe in the Ganga. A clock tower was also constructed here by Seth Birla which is worth watching.
21 Haridwar is famous for its Ganga Arati; worship of Ganga Maiya; held nightly at Har-ki-pari Ghat. Every night; (except for a short period during the summer when the ghat is cleaned & repaired; ) thousands of devotees & pilgrims gather about an hour before sunset. As the sky begins to darken; devotees bathe & offer diyas (leaf-boats with camphor flames) to the River. Chants are played over loudspeakers; such as Sri Hanuman Chalisa & others; as the spiritual energy continues to grow. Then; just as darkness descends; numerous priests; (I have counted as many as 16); come out from the ancient Ganga Mandir carrying huge flaming ghee lamps. It appears as though they are carrying campfires in their hands! The Ganga arati song is then played over the loudspeakers while all the thousands of pilgrims join in the singing & the priests wave their flaming lamps to Ma Ganga; swooping down to just skim the surface of the water: "Om Jai Ganga Mata / Maiya Jai Gange Mata!" The spiritual vibration & upliftment of consciousness one feels simply is beyond description. You will just have to go there & feel it for yourself! In just a few minutes the Arati is over & everyone dispersses -- until the next night.
22 This old guy will then row you out over the river behind the Taj; and you’ll get a magical view; across the back of the water; all to yourself. If you want to disembark on the far bank; just ask him. It’s muddy; but sometimes there are interesting things on the bank; which would look great in the foreground of a photo – kids playing; buffalo; flocks of birds etc. Agra's Taj Mahal is one of the most famous buildings in the world; the mausoleum of Shah Jahan's favorite wife; Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world; and one of three World Heritage Sites in Agra. Completed in 1653; the T?j Mahal was built by the Mughal king Sh?h Jah?n as the final resting place for his beloved wife; Mumt?z Mahal. Finished in marble; it is perhaps India's most fascinating and beautiful monument. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years (1630–1652) of labour and 20; 000 workers; masons and jewellers to build and is set amidst landscaped gardens. Built by the Persian architect; Ust?d '?s?; the T?j Mahal is on the bank of the Yamuna River. It can be observed from Agra Fort from where Emperor Sh?h Jah?n gazed at it; for the last eight years of his life; a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb. It is an acknowledged masterpiece of symmetry. Verses of the Koran are inscribed on it and at the top of the gate are twenty-two small domes; signifying the number of years the monument took to build. The T?j Mahal was built on a marble platform that stands above a sandstone one. The most elegant dome of the T?j Mahal has a diameter of 60 feet (18 m); and rises to a height of 80 feet (24 m); directly under this dome is the tomb of Mumt?z Mahal. Shah Jah?n's tomb was erected next to hers by his son Aurangzeb. The interiors are decorated by fine inlay work; incorporating semi-precious stones.

23 Taj Mahal in River Yamuna; Agra; India The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra; India; built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife; Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture; a style that combines elements from Persian; Ottoman; Indian; and Islamic architectural styles. In 1983; the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."
24 Camel and Indian boy beside the river at the Taj Mahal in Agra. An Indian boy with his camel rides on the banks of the Yamuna River with the Taj Mahal in the background. Visiting India's most famous destination; the Taj Mahal in Agra; Uttar Pradesh. The Taj was comissioned by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his third wife who died in 1631. Begun in 1632 and completed in 1653; the Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the eight wonders of the world.
25 The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum complex built by Shah Jahan (reg. 1628 - 1658) in memory of his favorite wife; Arjumand Banu Begam (d.1631); better known by her title "Mumtaz Mahal;  or ; the exalted one of the palace." The construction of the complex began shortly after Mumtaz's death; and accounts of this process were popularized by foreign travelers who visited Mughal courts. The tomb's fame increased tremendously following the British occupation of India in the late 18th century. The Taj Mahal complex is organized in a rectangle; measuring approximately 310 x 550 meters. It comprises a number of buildings and structures; all functioning together as the funerary monument for Mumtaz Mahal. From the south; the first part of the complex consists of a (former) bazaar; the forecourt and entry gates; the second part consists of a large garden and garden pavilions; axially arranged along a riverfront terrace with the three main structures: the mosque; the mausoleum and the mihmankhana (literally; "guest house,"; probably used as an assembly hall).
26 The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum complex built by Shah Jahan (reg. 1628 - 1658) in memory of his favorite wife; Arjumand Banu Begam (d.1631); better known by her title "Mumtaz Mahal;  or ; the exalted one of the palace." The complex was planned on the basis of a unit called a gaz; approximately 32 inches (81.28 cm). Multiples of this "gaz" unit were used throughout the Taj Mahal complex. Overall; the complex is organized in 3 linearly arranged modular squares; each measuring 374 gaz per side; or 374 gaz wide by 1; 122 gaz long. The caravanserai (Taj Ganj) and entry forecourt (jilaukhana) areas are organized on a module of 17 gaz; whereas in the area from the entry gate (darwaza-i rauza) to the riverfront terrace; the complex follows a 23-gaz module. This 17-gaz jilaukhana module multiplied by 22= 74 gaz (the width of the complex). The caravanserai measures 416.5 gaz in length; or 17 x 24.5 gaz; and the jilaukhana measures 153 gaz; or 17 x 9 gaz. The garden is further divided into 23 x 16 gaz; and the riverfront terrace measures 138 by 23 x 6 gaz. These gaz modules lend themselves to an axial arrangement; with a cascading hierarchy: each building in the complex is further organized on a smaller grid based on the gaz module. For example; the mosque; mausoleum and mihmankhana are based on a 7-gaz grid; while the great gate (darwaza-i rauza) is based on a 3-gaz grid. This grid functions not only in plan; but also in elevation.
27 The Taj Mahal complex was planned on the basis of a unit called a gaz; approximately 32 inches (81.28 cm). The Taj Ganj market aligned on axis with the southern entrance gate of the Taj complex once served as a vital part of the entire complex. From present images it is difficult to see that this market; irregular in appearance; was once a busy marketplace and caravanserai. A small-scale bazaar; it was incorrectly referred to as 'Tage Gunge' or 'Tadgundy' by foreign travelers. This bazaar was a shopping district in the 1640s; but due to a decline in trade; it lost its prominence by the 1650s; nevertheless; it was still functioning when the first colonial travelers arrived in the region. In contrast to the formal organization of the Taj complex; this bazaar is now a mix of residences and commercial establishments; including small hotels and restaurants. The Taj Ganj area leads to the southern gate (Sidhi or Sirhi Darwaza) into the forecourt (jilaukhana) of the Taj Mahal complex; although the eastern (Fatehabadi Darwaza) and western (Fatehpuri Darwaza) gates of the jilaukhana are more frequently used by tourists. The latter two gates are identical; with central pointed-arch pishtaqs flanked by octagonal pilasters crowned with guldastas (ornamental flower pinnacles). The red sandstone parapet of the gateways contains multi-cusped crenellations carved in relief that contrast with the buff sandstone of the spandrels. True to the overall hierarchy of detail within the Taj Mahal complex; the inner walls of these gates; being closer to the mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal; are more lavishly decorated than their outer faces. The southern gate is similar to the east and west ones in its verticality. Due to the natural gradient of the site; which slopes toward the riverbank; this gate lies 2.4 m above the ground elevation of the jilaukhana itself. Two bazaar streets begin at the east and west gates and lead to the jilaukhana. Formerly an integrated part of the complex; these bazaars contributed financially to the maintenance of the mausoleum. The bazaars consist of individual rooms (hujra) along an arcaded verandah of multi-cusped arches that are supported on slender columns. The stone overhangs (chajjas) projecting from this arcade are supported by voluted brackets.
28 Ourside Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a wonderful piece of art. The beauty of the Taj Mahal is not limited to just the outside view but the art works and carvings inside the Taj Mahal are even more beautiful and fascinating. If one says that the works in Taj Mahal interiors are no less than jewellery; it is not exaggeration! The works and decorations inside the Taj Mahal are so exquisite that there is hardly any space for criticism. They epitomize perfection and beauty. As soon as one enters the monument; one can see an elevated central chamber below which is the burial chamber. Four octagonal rooms in each corner surround the crypt. There are two levels in the Taj Mahal that consist of eight rooms each. These rooms were to be used to bury other members of the royal family. The crypts of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal lie side by side with the heads facing in the direction of the holy city of Mecca. They are decorated beautifully with inscriptions from the holy book of Muslims; The Quran and once were studded with semi-precious stones and gems. A masterpiece inside the Taj Mahal is the marble screen or "Jali" that surrounds the graves. It has been intricately carved by artisans and is a delight to look at. It is carved so finely that it seems as though the screen is made up of fine cloth. The walls are intricately decorated with drawings like vines; creepers with flowers and other beautiful designs. At one point of time; these decorations had semi-precious stones and gems studded in them.
29 The real Taj Mahal consists of the mausoleum that is situated approximately 900 feet (275 m) away from the main entrance. Standing at the opposite end of the magnificent Taj gardens; it rises to a height of almost 200 feet (76m). At the lowest level of the Taj is a red sandstone platform that was built to level the land. Above that is the marble podium that serves as the base of the mausoleum. On the corners of the marble platform are four minarets that are almost 138 ft high and capped with eight windowed cupolas. As far as the view inside the Taj Mahal is concerned; it is as magnificent as its exterior. All the porticos of the tomb consist of huge iwans (a sort of arched gateways) that are adorned with exquisite calligraphy. The angles of the tomb consist of semi-octagonal arched alcoves of equal size. Attached pilasters rising from the base of the tomb demark each of the porticos; on both the sides. These pilasters rise above the fresco and are topped with beautiful pinnacles with lotus buds and finials. As we move further to get Taj Mahal inside look; we will come across an elevated central chamber; a crypt immediately below this and four octagonal corner rooms. These rooms were initially meant to house the graves of the other members of the royal family. In the central chamber is placed the cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal and that of Shah Jahan; to the left and a little higher than hers. Both the cenotaphs are inscribed in Persian and that of Mumtaz Mahal even has texts from the Koran. Interiors of the Taj Mahal of Agra also boast of a Cairene lamp above the tombs. The flame that burns in that lamp is supposed to never burn out. The; there are perforated marble screens surrounding the tombs that are inlaid with semiprecious stones. One thing is for sure that if you visit Taj Mahal once; its memories will remain etched in your memory forever.

30 Taj mahal front view. Built in the early 1630s by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his second wife; Mumtaz Mahal; the Taj Mahal stands as one of India’s most iconic beauties. Its precise symmetry and impeccable detail&#8212; it’s decorated with calligraphy from the Koran and with carvings of flowers inlaid with precious stones&#8212; make this white marble structure one of the world’s most breathtaking pieces of architecture. Located by the Yamuna River; the Taj took 22 years and 20; 000 workers to complete. It contains a tomb (for Mumtaz) and a mosque; as well as gardens; gateways; and fountains. The main structure is surrounded by four minarets; which were built to lean out slightly so that an earthquake wouldn’t cause them to fall on the palace.
31 Taj mahal front view. The Taj Mahal represents the finest and most sophisticated example of Mughal architecture. Its origins lie in the moving circumstances of its commission and the culture and history of an Islamic Mughal empire's rule of large parts of India.The distraught Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the mausoleum upon the death of his favourite wife; Mumtaz Mahal. Today it is one of the most famous and recognisable buildings in the world and while the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar part of the monument; the Taj Mahal is an extensive complex of buildings and gardens that extends over 22.44 Hectares and includes subsidiary tombs; waterworks infrastructure; the small town of 'Taj Ganji' and a 'moonlight garden' to the north of the river. Construction began in 1632 AD; (1041 AH); on the south bank of the River Yamuna in Agra; and was substantially complete by 1648 AD (1058 AH). The design was conceived as both an earthly replica of the house of Mumtaz in paradise and an instrument of propaganda for the emperor.
32 The Taj Mahal complex is bounded on three sides by crenellated red sandstone walls; with the river-facing side left open. Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world; and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. The Taj is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals; the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description; particularly at dawn and sunset. The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon. On a foggy morning; the visitors experience the Taj as if suspended when viewed from across the Jamuna river. Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim; Emperor Shah Jahan (died 1666 C.E.) in the memory of his dear wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal at Agra; India. It is an "elegy in marble" or some say an expression of a "dream." Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. In the tradition of the Mughals; important ladies of the royal family were given another name at their marriage or at some other significant event in their lives; and that new name was commonly used by the public. Shah Jahan's real name was Shahab-ud-din; and he was known as Prince Khurram before ascending to the throne in 1628. Taj Mahal was constructed over a period of twenty-two years; employing twenty thousand workers. It was completed in 1648 C.E. at a cost of 32 Million Rupees. The construction documents show that its master architect was Ustad ‘Isa; the renowned Islamic architect of his time. The documents contain names of those employed and the inventory of construction materials and their origin. Expert craftsmen from Delhi; Qannauj; Lahore; and Multan were employed. In addition; many renowned Muslim craftsmen from Baghdad; Shiraz and Bukhara worked on many specialized tasks.
33 The Taj Mahal complex is bounded on three sides by crenellated red sandstone walls; with the river-facing side left open. Outside the walls are several additional mausoleums; including those of Shah Jahan's other wives; and a larger tomb for Mumtaz's favorite servant. These structures; composed primarily of red sandstone; are typical of the smaller Mughal tombs of the era. The garden-facing inner sides of the wall are fronted by columned arcades; a feature typical of Hindu temples which was later incorporated into Mughal mosques. The wall is interspersed with domed chattris; and small buildings that may have been viewing areas or watch towers like the Music House; which is now used as a museum.
34 The Red Fort and the Taj Mahal bear an exceptional and complementary testimony to a civilization which has disappeared; that of the Mogul Emperors. Agra's history goes back more than 2; 500 years; but it was not until the reign of the Mughals that Agra became more than a provincial city. Humayun; son of the founder of the Mogul Empire; was offered jewellery and precious stones by the family of the Raja of Gwalior; one of them the famous Koh-i-Noor. The heyday of Agra came with the reign of Humayun's son; Akbar the Great. During his reign; the main part of the Agra Fort was built. The Red Fort of Agra is a powerful fortress founded in 1565 by the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) on the right bank of the Yamuna; it is placed today on the north-west extremity of the Shah Jahan Gardens which surround the Taj Mahal and clearly form; with them; a monumental unity. This bastioned fortress; with walls of red sandstone rising above a moat and interrupted by graceful curves and lofty bastions; encompasses within its enclosure walls of 2.5 km; the imperial city of the Mogul rulers. Like the Delhi Fort; that of Agra is one of the most obvious symbols of the Mogul grandeur which asserted itself under Akbar; Jahangir and Shah Jahan. The wall has two gates; the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate. The original and grandest entrance was through the Delhi Gate; which leads to the inner portal called the Hathi Pol or Elephant Gate. But now the entrance to the fort is only through the Amar Singh Gate.
35 Taj Mahal- As Seen from Agra Fort Window. Near the gardens of the Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses; within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls; the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces; such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal; built by Shah Jahan; audience halls; such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques. The Red Fort and the Taj Mahal bear an exceptional and complementary testimony to a civilization which has disappeared; that of the Mogul Emperors. Agra's history goes back more than 2; 500 years; but it was not until the reign of the Mughals that Agra became more than a provincial city. Humayun; son of the founder of the Mogul Empire; was offered jewellery and precious stones by the family of the Raja of Gwalior; one of them the famous Koh-i-Noor. The heyday of Agra came with the reign of Humayun's son; Akbar the Great. During his reign; the main part of the Agra Fort was built.
38 The Red Fort and the Taj Mahal bear an exceptional and complementary testimony to a civilization which has disappeared; that of the Mogul Emperors. Agra's history goes back more than 2; 500 years; but it was not until the reign of the Mughals that Agra became more than a provincial city. Humayun; son of the founder of the Mogul Empire; was offered jewellery and precious stones by the family of the Raja of Gwalior; one of them the famous Koh-i-Noor. The heyday of Agra came with the reign of Humayun's son; Akbar the Great. During his reign; the main part of the Agra Fort was built. The citadel comprises a large number of fairy-like palaces: the Khas Mahal; the Shish Mahal; the octagonal tower of Muhammam Burj; as well as reception rooms: Diwan-i-Khas; built in 1637 and the many pillared Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience); constructed in 1628; under the reign of the luxury-loving Shah Jahan (1630-55). Within the palatial complex; there are two very beautiful mosques of white marble; the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque; constructed in 1646-53 by Shah Jahan and the Nagina Masjid built under the reign of Aurangzeb (1658-1707). Several of the buildings are made from pure marble with beautiful carvings; all of these monuments mark the apogee of an Indo-Muslim art strongly marked by influences from Persia which already manifested itself in Timurid art. Emperor Shah Jahan; who built the Taj Mahal; was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in Agra Fort; from which he had a view of the building erected for his deceased wife. Shah Jahan is said to have died in the Musamman Burj; a tower with a beautiful marble balcony.
39 Varanasi sadhus. While sadhus can be divided into a zillion different sects; most follow either the god Vishnu (the preserver) or Shiva (the destroyer; and thus; the rejuvenator). While many followers of Vishnu manage to find reasons to smoke charrus (hash) for enlightenment; it's the latter group that really has a ready excuse. Shiva is generally pictured meditating alone in the Himalayas; his eyes half closed from the effects of his hash habit. As Dolf Hartsuiker puts it in his authoritative book Sadhus; the Holy Men of India; "Mythologically, charas is intimately connected with Shiva: he smokes it, he is perpetually intoxicated by it, he is The Lord of Charas."; Or as one young sadhu less eloquently put it; Shiva is a cooool god!; This perception goes a long way in explaining the Indian government's lax attitude toward marijuana and hash. Thousands of backpackers descend on India each year; some of them lured by easily available cannabis and hash. While the police have cracked down in Goa; where only foreign tourists are partaking; they stay out of the way elsewhere; especially in pilgrimage areas. Dry up the supply of hash and they'll have some very unhappy sadhus to deal with. And since the sadhus are thought to be representatives of the gods… well; no Hindu cop wants to be on the God of Destruction's. So by becoming social outcasts and smoking ganja or charas; the sadhus can claim that they are only trying to emulate Shiva. If even the most devout Hindu man were to sit down to talk with a group of sadhus; he would have no choice but to join in if the chillum came his way. To refuse the pipe would be to pass up the chance; the obligation really; to share a holy experience with the ascetics.
41 Dasaswamedh Ghat; Famous Among ALL Ghats of Varanasi. Among all ghats of Varanasi; the most important and pious one is Dasaswamedh. This ghat is of paramount importance. Here; bathing and performing various rituals is supposed to cleanse all sins of a person. The early morning sun was emerging above the river Ganga like a big crimson ball. The misty atmosphere was adding glamour to the scene. The reflection of the rising sun was simmering on the water surface and the colour of light was gradually shifting from light pink; pink; crimson red to orange and deep orange. Gradually; as the time progress the colour of the solar ball also changed and so was the temperature of the atmosphere and activities on the ghats. It was the winter morning on one of the famous ghats of Varanasi - a city said to be the oldest and eternal; situated on the trident of Lord Shiva.; The ghats of Varanasi (India) are the most eye-catching ones and people from all walks of life; from different parts of the globe come here to take solace and enjoy the beauty of the place. From Rajghat to Assi the ghats in all eighty in numbers and they are built along the river Ganga. It seems as if they have embraced the holy river. Ganga at Varanasi flows in a crescent shaped curve. The crescent has very important and pious role in Hindu mythology; and this is probably the cause why river Ganga has got so much importance here.
42 Flowers seller for blessing - Varanasi - India. Dasaswamedh Ghat falls second in line of the Panch-Tirtha Yatra. When you start moving from Assi towards North then falls past the plain; flat-roofed building that houses the shrine of Shitala. The name of Dasaswamedh Ghat indicates that Brahma sacrificed (medh) 10 horses here. Conveniently central; it's one of the most important and busiest ghats and therefore is a good place to linger and soak up the atmosphere. Dasaswamedh is an extremely popular pilgrimage. Even in the rainy season when Ganges is on spate; people can be seen visiting the temple on boats. It is interesting to know that Shitala represents both benign and malevolent aspects of life; ease and succor as well as disease. Dasaswamedh can be safely adjudged as the most popular and easily accessible Ghat of Varanasi. It is very easy to locate this Ghat because of its typical environment that consists of rows of pandas sitting on wooden platforms under bamboo umbrellas. This is the most featured scene of Varanasi all over the world. This place is featured in every possible paintings and stills of Banaras. The place looks like a mini India in itself. Masseurs share space with sometimes irritating boatmen who jostle for customers all along.
43 One of the other major boat cruise specialties at Varanasi is the grand Ganga Aarti ceremony at the Dasaswamedh Ghat of Varanasi; which is quite close to the venerated Kashi Vishwanath Temple - a prime attraction at Varanasi. Performed at 7 pm every evening; just after sunset; the Aarti ceremony at River Ganges casts a magical spell on all viewers as thousands of young men donning saffron robes and ceremonial attires swinging huge lamp holders; each holding a number of lit lamps at once; in choreographed rhythmic movements and everybody present join their chanting to offer homage to the river deity. The flowers and lit lamps floating in the river present a pretty picture; especially when you are cruising along side them too.
44 The continuum slideshow like visuals of men; women; children; and sadhus bathing in the river; people doing exercise and Yoga in the fresh cool air of the Ghats; and priests worshipping River Ganges and various deities in the temples that rise above Ghats in several tiers seem to have an unearthly quality. The magical spell of pilgrims standing waist deep in the molten gold of River Ganges with folded hands to seek blessings from Sun God seem astounding. A shutter bug’s delight; our innovative luxury boat ride allows you to capture some of the most memorable and magical moments during the cruise that speak volumes about city’s culture; traditions; and lifestyle. A little known fact about Varanasi is that it is the center of Indian arts and music. Several internationally renowned classical music maestros have been born and resided in Varanasi; including the famed Pandit Ravi Shankar. TNS thoughtfully added the trademark soft melodious Benarasi music to accompany you during your boat ride on River Ganga. The yearning tones of the sarangi and rhythmic beats of the tabla along with chanting of Mantras on the Ghats and tinkling of bells in Temples really add to the quality of experience and make it indescribably divine. Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities of the world. Over 3000 years old; it resonates with the old-world charm of a deeply religious town. You will be surprised to known that there are over 25; 000 temples in this city. As the world brightens up; vendors selling wares on boats can be seen cruising along side the tourist boats. Some of the Ghats that you will cover during your Varanasi boat cruise are hundreds of years old. Manikarnika Ghat is the main Ghat to cremate the death that is believed to have a portal that can transport souls directly to Heaven.
45 Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the most important Ghats of Varanasi. Dasaswamedh literally means the Ghat (river front) of ten sacrificed horses. According to legends ten horses were sacrificed by Lord Brahma to allow Lord Shiva to return from a period of banishment. In spite of the fact that Dasaswamedh is one of the oldest Ghats of Varanasi; dating back to many thousand years; the Ghat has remained unspoilt and clean. Dasaswamedh provides a beautiful and colorful riverfront view. A large number of Sadhus can be seen performing religious rites on this Ghat. Devotees must not miss the opportunity of visiting the Dasaswamedh Ghat in the evening when after Aarti; thousands of earthen lamps are immersed in the waters of the holy Ganges and the floating lamps give a divine look to the river at dusk.
46 Manikarnika Ghat has a great significance not only in Hindu mythology and way of life but also in the philosophies of life and death. Manikarnika is basically a cremation Ghat. It is interesting to know that cremation Ghats are usually placed outside the main town; as they are considered inauspicious. Nevertheless this doesn't stand true in the case of Varanasi where Manikarnika is situated quite in the middle of town itself. This is precisely because the entire city of Varanasi is considered a "Maha-Shmashan" or the Great Cremation Ground. Manikarnika Ghat is perpetually crowded with funeral parties. You will find shops lined up with things used during the cremation such as Ghee; wood; offerings and clothes. These cremations are felicitated by Doms who are considered the guardian of dead. Seeing bodies being cremated so publicly has always exerted a great fascination for foreign visitors to the city who find it utterly amusing and deviated from the one practiced in Semitic religions. It is worthy to note that photography is strictly considered a taboo. So please avoid doing that as this might be seen as a provocation and act of hostility and might lead to unwanted troubles.
47 The philosophical aspect of Manikarnika lies in the fact that this Ghat is an optimal amalgamation of both life as well as death. Manikarnika that lies at the center of the Panch-Tirtha symbolizes both creation and destruction; epitomized by the juxtaposition of the sacred well of Manikarnika Kund and Manikarnika Ghat. While Vishnu has dug the former at the time of creation of earth Shiva; the destructor; inhabits the hot and sandy ash-infused soil of the later. Manikarnika Kund is considered to be even older than Ganges and as legend has it; Vishnu cared the kund with his discus; and filled it with perspiration from his exertions in creating the world; at the behest of Shiva. When Shiva quivered with delighted; his earning fell into this pool; which as Manikarnika - "Jeweled Earring" - became the very First Tirtha in the world. Manikarnika Devi who is worshipped by millions every year inhabits the place. There is also a small Vishnu Shrine that is marked by the paduka (footprint) of his. This too along with the Tarakeshvara Lingam remains flooded with people yearlong. Strictly speaking; Manikarnika is the name given to the kund and to the Ghat; while the constantly busy cremation ground is actually called Jalasi Ghat. The place can be easily identified because of a dark; smoke-stained temple that stands there.
48 The children; sadhus (holy men); and pregnant women are considered pure so they don't need to be burned in order to purify them. The lepers are not burned because superstition has it that the leprosy will go into the air. So all of these folks have large rocks tied to them and they are dumped in the middle of the river. The great holy Gange river; full of sewage; waste; and carcasses; also houses an untold number of dead bodies tied to stones; and the ashes of all of those who are burned on her shores. Varanasi apparently also has a bad element. In the hostels they strongly suggest; they close and lock their doors; that you are in by 10 or 11. This makes a lot of sense because the city has constant black outs and it is really a huge city with an incredible tangle of back alleyways. It is so easy to get lost in this city it's frightening. There are no straight streets. And when people try to help you find your way it usually ends up worse than if you had just tried to figure it out yourself. Oh; and then there''s all the drug dealers and crooks. But that's just a side note. Varanasi is one hell of a city. I really quite enjoyed it. A very holy and spiritual place. A good place to stay a while and learn. If I had more time I might have stayed longer.
49 Manikarnika Ghat is the main cremation Ghat of Varanasi. Manikarnika Ghat is one of the oldest and most sacred Ghats in Benaras. According to the Hindu mythology; being burned here provides an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and rebirths. Lying at the center of the five tirthas; Manikarnika Ghat symbolizes both creation and destruction. At Manikarnika Ghat; the mortal remains are consigned to flames with the prayers that the souls rest in eternal peace. There is a sacred well at the Manikarnika Ghat; called the Manikarnika Kund. Manikarnika Kund is said to be dug by Lord Vishnu at the time of creation while the hot ashes of the burnt bodies makes one remember the inevitable destruction of everything in the world.
51 Vanarasi pilgrim. "Benaras is older than history; older than tradition; older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together"- this is how Mark Twain has described Varanasi; which is one of the ancient cities in the country and has had been the holiest spot for the Hindus for hundreds of years. The epitome of Hindu renaissance; the city has been the abode of knowledge; wisdom; culture; philosophy and worship since ages. People go the city to attain salvation by serving the mythological Gods. The pilgrims take bath in the water of the River Ganga flowing through the city believing that it will wash off their sins.The city is believed to have been the adode of the Hindu mythological gods Lord Shiva and Parvati. The civilization of the city dates back to thousands of years and is even believed to have been the dwelling place of Buddha for quite sometime. Being the birthplace of Parsvanath; the city has also been one of the major spots of attraction for the Jains. Precisely Varanasi is a land of spiritualism; language; literature; medical science; mysticism and Yoga. It has never failed to provide solace to the minds of the believers.
52 Varanasi is the most chaotic city I have ever seen. Cows; bicycle rickshaws; autorickshaws; a bull; overflowing street markets and the occasional monkey all fight for their bit of space as they go about their day. In hindsight I'm really glad that I waited until the end of the trip to see Varanasi because I don't think I could have handled it when I first arrived. Dealing with the sheer mass of humanity and insanity in Varanasi without some prior experience in India would have been too much. Even with the chaos and confusion; I did enjoy exploring the buzzing streets and taking some portraits of the many interesting characters I came across. This photo gallery covers the highlights from several crazy days and nights in one of India's (and the world's) oldest and most sacred cities.
53 Varanasi or Benares - cycle-rickshaws dominate the streets in the city center. Varanasi is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh; 320 kilometres (199 mi) southeast of state capital Lucknow. It is regarded as a holy city by Buddhists and Jains; and is the holiest place in the world in Hinduism (and center of the Earth in Hindu cosmology). It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest in India.
54 Varanasi Ghats are perhaps the most holiest place in the world; where one is relieved from all the worldly responsibilities and one enters into a domain that is dominated by the other worldly pleasures. Varanasi is often referred to as the "City of Ghats". The city can boast of more than 100 ghats; out of which some are known all over the world. As Varanasi is situated on the banks of the Ganges; so most of the mundane day to day activities take place on the ghats.; Some of the important Ghats of Varanasi are: Assi Ghat is situated in the south of Varanasi; which symbolizes the convergence of Ganga and Assi river. Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the most important and lively ghats of Varanasi where one can see the Sadhus offering prayers to the holy Ganga. Harish Chandra Ghat is one of the oldest ghats; which serves as one of the cremation grounds of Varanasi. Manikarnika Ghat is another cremation ground of Varanasi. It is believed that one who is cremated here is released from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Tulsi Ghat is dedicated to poet Tulsi Das. All the cultural activities takes place in this ghat. The Ghats of Varanasi serve multiple purpose. While on one hand; pilgrims and tourists can offer prayers; on the other hand they serve as important commercial centers.; Many people go to the ghats to relieve themselves of the strains and tensions of daily life. The Ghats are an indispensable part of Varanasi that adds to the grandeur and grace of the city.
55 The Ghats of Varanasi. The 'Ghats' are undoubtedly the most valuable assets of Varanasi. None can imagine this holy city sans its numerous Ghats that dot the nearly 7 km arc line of the Ganges riverfront between the confluence of the River Asi in the south and the Varuna in the north. hese are a very special type of embankments that are actually long flights of wide stone steps leading down to the river where people can take a holy dip. But there are more to these Ghats than just bathing and cremating. Each of the eighty-four Ghats of Varanasi holds some special significance. Viewing the Ghats from a boat on the Ganges; especially at sunrise; is an unforgettable experience! They offer a panoramic view of the various early morning activities - from ablution to workout - of a multitude of people; for whom the river is the be all and end all of life. It's also a pleasure to walk down the entire stretch of the Ghats along the Ganges. Here people consult the astrologers under their palm leaf parasols; buy offerings for rituals; sell silk apparels and brassware; or just gaze at the faraway horizon where the mighty river meets the heavens. The Tulsi Ghat is famous for its association with the poet Tulsidas (C.E 1547-1623). The Asi Ghat; situated in the south at the union of the rivers Ganga and Asi is significant for the Surya Shashthhi festival. The Ganga Mahal Ghat is an extension of the Asi Ghat; and includes a palace built by the Maharaja of Benaras in 1830. The King of Rivan's palace stands at the Rivan Ghat; another extension of the Asi Ghat.The Bhadaini Ghat is one of the most ancient sacred sites in Varanasi that got its name from the famous sun shrine. Janki Ghat is named after the Queen of Sursund State; and the Anandmayi Ghat after Mother Anandmayi. Vaccharaja Ghat is a holy place for the Jain community; for it is close to the birthplace of the seventh Jain Tirthankara. Beside it is the Jain Ghat; which has two Jain temples on it. Nishadraj Ghat; named after Nisad; a mythical and heroic fisherman in Ramayana; is a place for boatmen and fishermen.The Panchkoat Ghat was built by the king of Madhya Pradesh in 1915; and the Chet Singh Ghat was built by King Chet Singh; who fought a fierce battle against the British troops of Warren Hastings at this place. Niranjani Ghat has a historical connection with king Kumaragupta; and is famous for its Kartikeya temple.The Dasaswamedh Ghat is where Lord Brahma is said to have sacrificed ten horses in order to celebrate the return of Shiva on earth. Manikarnika Ghat is a sacred place for cremation.The Man Mandir Ghat was built in 1770 by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur; and is known for its 'lingam' of Someshwar; the Lord of the Moon.Some of the other Ghats in Varanasi are the Maha Nirvani Ghat; Shivala Ghat; Gulariya Ghat; Dandi Ghat; Hanuman Ghat; Karnataka Ghat; Mansarover Ghat; Bachraj Ghat; Kedar Ghat; and the Lalita Ghat.
56 Sadhus in saffron colored loins can be seen performing their rituals on the steps of the Dasaswamedha Ghat; which is believed to be the place where Lord Brahma sacrificed ten horses at this Ghat so that Lord Shiva would return from his self-imposed banishment after the death of his beloved wife – Sati. Other Ghats covered in the morning boat ride include Man Mandir Ghat that was built by Maharaja of Jaipur in the 18th century and sports the Moon God Shrine; and the Assi Ghat; where a holy dip is believed to purify one’s mind; body and soul to perform true worship. The pleasure boat on River Ganges also takes you on an unforgettable trip to Barnasangam; Panchganga; Dattatreya; Kedar; Scindia and Harishchandra Ghats that all look almost alike with the colorful pictures and holy bells of temples tinkling in the background.
57 The Very Special Varanasi Boat Cruise on Holy Ganga. Express so eloquently by Scott; sunrise on River Ganges is indeed magical and has a mystical quality about it. The vivid images of sun rising over the horizon and rising of the sleeping city of Varanasi with the first ray of the sun transfix international and domestic tourists alike. Rituals and ceremonies of Life and Death; considered to be two phases of the journey of soul in Hinduism; take place along side each other. There are pilgrims and devotees who enter the chilly waters of the river to bathe and wash away their sins with a holy dip in the river; and there are near and dear ones of the departed; who come to flow away the ashes after the cremation ceremony in the hope to seek salvation for the souls of their dead.The early morning boat ride along the banks of River Ganges has become a modern-age ritual introduced to the city by Varanasi tourism industry. You will find a number of boatmen at the Ghats of Varanasi quite early in the morning. It is here that you will find TNS Travel Pvt. Ltd. quite useful to help you experience the best without having to spoil the good mood. TNS Travels features one-hour hassle-free and pleasurable luxury sun rise boat cruise on River Ganges that will transport you to a different world altogether.
58 Varanasi or Benares - cycle-rickshaws dominate the streets in the city center. Varanasi; the holy city of India; is also known by the name of Kashi and Benaras. Kashi; the city of Moksha for Hindus since centuries; is known for its fine-quality silks; 'paan' and Benares Hindu University and Avimukta of the ancient days; Varanasi is the most popular pilgrimage point for the Hindus. One of the seven holiest cities; Varanasi city is also one the Shakti Peethas and one of the twelve Jyotir Linga sites in India. In Hinduism it is believed that those who die and are cremated here get an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and re-births. Considered as the abode of Lord Shiva; Varanasi is situated on the banks of River Ganges; which is believed to have the power of washing away all of one's sins. As pundits here will tell you; whatever is sacrificed and chanted here or given in charity reaps its fruits thousand times more than those good deeds performed at other places because of the power of that place. It is believed that three nights of fasting in Varanasi city can reap you rewards of many thousands of lifetimes of asceticism! Varanasi is the oldest city of the world. Varanasi is more than 3000 years old and is famous as the city of temples. In Varanasi; there are temples at every few paces. Looking at the number of temples in Varanasi; it is hard to believe that a large number of them were demolished during the medieval times. Jyotirlinga Visvanatha Temple or Golden Temple; rebuilt in 1776; is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Jnana Vapi well (meaning 'Well of Wisdom) is believed to have been dug by Lord Shiva himself. It is believed that the majestic Alamgir mosque has replaced one of the most ancient shrines known as the temple of Bindu Madhava. The thirty-three hundred million shrines fill one with awe and wonder with sheer numbers. The Ganga Ghats (river front) are the most popular pilgrimage spot of Varanasi and are centers of music and learning. There is a great tradition of Yatras in the holy city of Kashi and the most sacred path is that of Panchkoshi Parikrama; the fifty-mile path with a radius of five miles that cover 108 shrines along the way; with Panchakoshi Temple as its main shrine. Other popular pilgrimage route is Nagara Pradakshina; which covers seventy-two shrines along the way. Since time immemorial Varanasi is a great center of learning. The holy city has been a symbol of spiritualism; philosophy and mysticism for thousands of years and has produced great saints and personalities like Guatama Buddha; Mahavira; Kabir; Tulsi Das; Shankaracharaya; Ramanuja and Patanjali.
59 Mahabodhi Temple In Bodhgaya. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha; and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment. The first temple was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C.; and the present temple dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick; still standing in India; from the late Gupta period. The Mahabodhi Temple; one of the few surviving examples of early brick structures in India; has had significant influence in the development of architecture over the centuries. balustrades; and the memorial column. The present temple is one of the earliest and most imposing structures built entirely from brick in the late Gupta period. The sculpted stone balustrades are an outstanding early example of sculptural reliefs in stone. The Temple Complex has direct associations with the life of the Lord Buddha (566-486 BC) as the place where in 531 BC he attained the supreme and perfect insight while seated under the Bodhi Tree. It provides exceptional records for the events associated with his life and for subsequent worship; particularly since Emperor Asoka made a pilgrimage to this spot around 260 BC and built the first temple at the site of the Bodhi Tree. The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is located in the very heart of the city of Bodh Gaya. The site consists of the main temple and six sacred places within an enclosed area; and a seventh one; the Lotus Pond; just outside the enclosure to the south. The most important of the sacred places is the giant Bodhi Tree (Ficus religiosa ). This tree is to the west of the main temple and is supposed to be a direct descendant of the original Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha spent his First Week and where he had his enlightenment. To the north of the central path; on a raised area; is the Animeshlochan Chaitya (prayer hall) where the Buddha is believed to have spent the Second Week. The Buddha spent the Third Week walking 18 paces back and forth in an area called Ratnachakrama (Jewelled Ambulatory); which lies near the north wall of the main temple. The spot where he spent the Fourth Week is Ratnaghar Chaitya; located to the north-east near the enclosure wall. Immediately after the steps of the east entrance on the central path there is a pillar which marks the site of the Ajapala Nigrodh Tree; under which Buddha meditated during his Fifth Week; answering the queries of Brahmins. He spent the Sixth Week next to the Lotus Pond to the south of the enclosure; and the Seventh Week under the Rajyatana Tree currently marked by a tree. The Main Temple is built in the classical style of Indian temple architecture. It has a low basement with mouldings decorated with honeysuckle and geese design. Above this is a series of niches containing images of the Buddha. Further above there are mouldings and chaitya niches; and then the curvilinear shikhara or tower of the temple surmounted by amalaka and kalasha (architectural features in the tradition of Indian temples). At the four corners of the parapet of the temple are four statues of the Buddha in small shrine chambers. A small tower is built above each of these shrines. The temple faces east and consists of a small forecourt in the east with niches on either side containing statues of the Buddha. Next to the Bodhi Tree there is a place with a Buddha statue that stands on part of the polished sandstone Vajrasana (Diamond Throne); originally installed by Emperor Asoka to mark the spot where the Buddha sat and meditated. Granite pillars were added to enlarge the area in the 5th-6th centuries BC. Further up the central path towards the main temple to the south is a small shrine with a standing Buddha in the back and with the footprints (Padas ) of the Buddha carved on black stone; dating from the 3rd century BC; when Emperor Asoka declared Buddhism to be the official religion of the state. Further on the path towards the main temple is a building housing several statues of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Opposite is a memorial to a Hindu Mahant who had lived on this site during the 15th and 16th centuries. To the south of the pathway is a cluster of votive stupas built by kings; princes; noblemen and lay people.
60 Bronze BuddaThis Budda was donated to Bodhgaya by the Vietnamese Buddists. Bodh Gaya is the birthplace of Buddhism. Buddhists from all over the world are drawn to Bodh Gaya in the state of Bihar. This is the place where Lord Buddha gained enlightenment over 2; 500 years ago and founded the religion based on compassion; reason and universal truths; shorn of ritual and superstition. The Bodhi tree; under which he is said to have found the answers he was seeking after a long and hard meditation; is the core of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara Temple Complex; now a World Heritage site. The Mahabodhi temple has Jataka stories engraved on its walls. Surrounding the complex are monasteries built by various Buddhist countries; in their own architectural styles. Several Buddhists temples and monasteries have been built by the people from China; Nepal; Sri Lanka; Myanmar; Bhutan; Vietnam; Tibet; Japan and Thailand around the Mahabodhi Mahavihara Temple complex. The Chinese temple has a 200 year old statue of Buddha. The Japanese and Burmese temple is shaped like a pagoda and the Thai Temple has a fantastic bronze state of the Buddha.; About 80 km from Bodh Gaya is Rajgir; there are remains of places associated with the Buddha such as the Gridhrakuta Hill; where he delivered sermons; or Venuvan; the tranquil bamboo grove near the hot springs he used to frequent.
61 Mahabodhi Temple In Bodhgaya. Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya; India Bodh Gaya; India is where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment. There are few places on earth that match the peacefulness of its Mahabodhi Temple; which was built at the Bodhi tree where the Buddha sat under around 530 BCE. Visitors to hectic India will be particularly relaxed sitting among countless Buddhist monks who make journeys to India to pay respect to the Buddha and to collect falling leaves from the famous Bodhi tree. If you’re lucky; you may be meditating next to the singing Thai monk who visits the temple regularly. He happens to have an affinity for tying Western music to Buddhist philosophy. You will likely hear: “keep smilin’; keep shinin’.” Knowin’ you can always count of me; for sure” or “let it be; let it be. Whisper words of wisdom; let it be.” The great philosopher will also help you deal with India’s stifling heat with his little bottle of Thai Ang Ki; which cools your skin when added to a sprinkling of water.
62 Mahabodhi Temple In Bodhgaya. Buddhist monks and devotees from across the globe Monday offered prayers for world peace at the revered Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya; considered the birthplace of Buddhism. It was here that the Buddha attained enlightenment over 2; 550 years ago. The special prayers for world peace were organised to mark the beginning of an 11-day long chanting prayer ceremony at the Mahabodhi temple; holiest shrine at Bodh Gaya. “Buddhist monks and devotees prayed for a terror free and peaceful world for all living creatures;  an official of the Mahabodhi temple management committee said.
63 Last Days of the Rickshaw. Kolkata is bent on burnishing its modern image—and banning a potent symbol of India’s colonial past. The strategy of drivers in Kolkata—drivers of private cars and taxis and buses and the enclosed three-wheel scooters used as jitneys and even pedicabs—is simple: Forge ahead while honking. There are no stop signs to speak of. To a visitor; the signs that say; in large block letters; OBEY TRAFFIC RULES come across as a bit of black humor. During a recent stay in Kolkata; the method I devised for crossing major thoroughfares was to wait until I could attach myself to more pedestrians than I figured a taxi was willing to knock down. In the narrow side streets known as the lanes; loud honking is the signal that a taxi or even a small truck is about to round the corner and come barreling down a space not meant for anything wider than a bicycle. But occasionally; during a brief lull in the honking; I’d hear the tinkling of a bell behind me. An American who has watched too many Hallmark Christmas specials might turn around half expecting to see a pair of draft horses pulling a sleigh through snowy woods. But what came into view was a rickshaw. Instead of being pulled by a horse; it was being pulled by a man—usually a skinny; bedraggled; barefoot man who didn’t look quite up to the task. Hooked around his finger was a single bell that he shook continuously; producing what is surely the most benign sound to emanate from any vehicle in Kolkata.
65 Public TransportBuses are chaotic and can get terribly crowded. A better choice is the slow; trundling trams which circle the city and include stops at Park Circus; Sealdah Railway Station and Howrah. The Metro underground system has thankfully taken something of the congestion from the streets. The one track runs the length of the city; from Dum Dum train station (north) to Tollygunge (south) with stops including Kalighat; Park Street; Esplanade and Maidan. It is well run although often crowded (mainly during morning and evening rush hours); with segregated seats for men and women. There are still some hand-pulled rickshaws mainly in market areas and some around Sudder Street; although there is talk of eventually banning them altogether. Cycle-rickshaws operate in a few areas outside the city center. Auto-rickshaws (motorized three-wheelers) operate short (often fixed) journeys in city areas (not in the center) and are cheaper than taxis; agree the fare before you zoom away and seek advice from locals as to what you should be paying before you get in. Taxis. Taxis run 24 hours; Kolkata taxi drivers are amongst the easiest to deal with in India and will almost always put on the meter (if not; ask). The driver should produce a chart at the end of the trip to convert the showing on older meters to current charges - older meters are four times the amount; newer ones are twice. Simply flag a taxi on the street or ask for one at your hotel.Car Hire Hiring a car with driver can easily be arranged through hotels or travel agents; it is insane to attempt to drive yourself unless you’ve got solid experience here. As the reliability of car hire companies tends to change in Kolkata; it’s best to seek up-to-the-minute advice from your hotel; the tourist office; or a reputable travel agency.
66 Kolkata bus. Buses are chaotic and can get terribly crowded. A better choice is the slow; trundling trams which circle the city and include stops at Park Circus; Sealdah Railway Station and Howrah. The Metro underground system has thankfully taken something of the congestion from the streets. The one track runs the length of the city; from Dum Dum train station (north) to Tollygunge (south) with stops including Kalighat; Park Street; Esplanade and Maidan. It is well run although often crowded (mainly during morning and evening rush hours); with segregated seats for men and women. There are still some hand-pulled rickshaws mainly in market areas and some around Sudder Street; although there is talk of eventually banning them altogether. Cycle-rickshaws operate in a few areas outside the city centre. Auto-rickshaws (motorised three-wheelers) operate short (often fixed) journeys in city areas (not in the centre) and are cheaper than taxis; agree the fare before you zoom away and seek advice from locals as to what you should be paying before you get in.
67 The taxi is one of the few nostalgic icons that represent Kolkata. Countless love-tours; many a sight-seeing around the city of joy has been in these taxis. After surviving many rounds of makeover; like the trams and the rickshaws; threat-bell has rung for the taxis too. Some 35; 000 taxis ply on these streets everyday; ferrying at least three lakh passengers. Yet owners say their business is at an all time low. Thanks to the alleged onslaught of private shuttle cars and auto rickshaws. “Earlier there are examples where owners expanded their fleet from a single taxi to 20 taxis. These days it's just the opposite. Those who owned 20 taxis are barely managing to retain two; " said SK Guha, President, Bengal Taxi Association. Taxi service in Kolkata began a hundred years ago. They've been immortalized in many a movie by directors like Satyajit Ray and Aparna Sen. Over the years taxis evolved through various models to finally rest with the good old Ambassador. But now, like the Amby, these yellow cabs are fast losing out to new kids on the block."
68 Kolkata: One of the most favored means of public transport in Kolkata; the taxis; have completed a hundred years in the city today. But there's not too much to celebrate for Kolkata's yellow cabs. Seventy-six-year old Hansa Singh has driven his cab on the streets of Kolkata for over six decades. From behind the wheel; he's seen the world change; from the days of the British Raj to the days of Communist rule. And that’s what makes him proud that he chose this profession. “I am driving taxis since the days of the Raj. I've seen the British and our own government as well. I am into full fledged public service;  says the driver.
69 Clock tower of Magen David Synagogue; Calcutta Located on Jewish Synagogue Street; this is the oldest synagogue of Calcutta. Funded by Elias David Joseph Ezra; the place was made open for the public in 1884. Now serves as the place of worship for about 30 Baghdadi Jews in the city. Kolkata is a wonderful city; especially in terms of religious amalgamation. People of different religions co-exist here with immense harmony and peace. There are several religious places in the city; meant for people of different religions and faiths. It houses numerous temples; mosques; churches as well as rarely-found worship places in India; like a synagogue. There are five synagogues in the city. The oldest of them is Magen David Synagogue; located on Jewish Synagogue Street; Calcutta. It is the most visited synagogues in the city; by the handful of Jews which have been left here. The Magen David Synagogue of Kolkata was built by Elias Joseph Ezra; a renowned real estate agent of the city. The Ezra family was perhaps the most influential Jewish family in Kolkata at that time. Joseph got this synagogue built in the memory of his loving father David Joseph Ezra. Said to be one of the oldest and finest synagogue of India; it was opened for public viewing in September 1884. Even today; Magen David Synagogue; lighted by gas; provides an excellent view of this city. Magen David Synagogue is thought to be the one of biggest synagogues in the Asia Pacific. The building is about 140 ft in length and 82 ft in width. The tower of the synagogue has a clock fitted to it; in the typical post-Renaissance period pattern. There is a separate place in the synagogue for women to sit and worship peacefully. The synagogue can be visited any day in the week; between 9:00 am and 8:00 pm; though people prefer to visit it between either 9:00 am and 11:00 am or 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

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http://www.creditcapitalamc.com
-----------------------------------------------
E-Greetings.
http://www.123greetings.com
http://www.3greetings.com
http://www.greetings.jagran.com
http://www.clubgreetings.com
http://www.archiesonline.com
http://www.hallmark.com
http://www.cardbymail.com
http://www.dgreetings.com
http://www.bluemountain.com
http://www.castlemountain.com
http://www.bharathgreetings.com
----------------------------------------------
Education.
http://www.egurucool.com
http://www.schoolcircle.com
http://www.netvarsity.com
http://www.onlinevarsity.com
http://www.shiksha.com
http://www.buckleyourshoe.com
http://www.freeskills.com
http://www.smartforce.com/smb
http://www.examsonline.com
http://www.competitionmaster.com
http://www.mastertutor.com
http://www.zeelearn.com
http://www.netprotraining.com
http://www.careerlauncher.com
http://www.classteacher.com
http://www.gurukulonline.com
http://www.iln.net
http://www.esaras.com
http://www.lycoszone.com
http://www.pinkmonkey.com
http://www.schoolsofcalcutta.com
http://www.entranceguru.com
http://www.pentafour.com
http://www.Qsupport.com
http://www.intelsyseducation.com
http://www.niit.com
http://www.aptech.com
http://www.institute.net
http://www.indiaedu.com
http://www.educationbangalore.com
http://www.upsc.gov.in
http://www.ed.gov
http://www.educationworld.com
http://www.nativechild.com
http://www.educationtimes.com
http://www.chemketaonline.com
http://www.getsmartonline.com
http://www.fastboot.scom
http://www.batchmates.com
http://www.fluentzy.com
http://www.15-21.com
http://www.teenfunda.com
http://www.sparkinglearning.com
http://www.wiltiky.com
http://www.bostonci.com
http://www.sophiaopp.org
http://www.mindzones.com
http://www.kaplancollege.com
http://www.tutor4computer.com
http://www.talentduniya.com
http://www.worlduonline.com
http://www.englishpractice.com
http://www.barkeley.edu
http://www.utexas.edu
http://www.mit.edu
http://www.umich.edu
http://www.uiuc.edu
http://www.upenn.edu
http://www.wisc.edu
http://www.harvard.edu
http://www.cornell.edu
http://www.unc.edu
http://www.education-world.com
http://www.novell.com
http://www.shawguides.com
http://www.ias.org
http://www.apple.com
http://www.classroom.net
http://www.allindia.com
http://www.funbrain.com
http://www.petersons.com
http://www.educationplanet.com
http://www.discoveryschool.com
http://www.eduplace.com.com
http://www.free-ed.net
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jobs.
http://www.monster.com
http://www.naukri.com
http://www.3p-lobsearch.com
http://www.career1000.com
http://www.careerindia.com
http://www.employindia.com
http://www.indianjobs.com
http://www.placementindia.com
http://www.placementpoint.com
http://www.timesjobsandcareers.com
http://www.winjobs.com
http://www.redforwomen.com
http://www.go4careers.com
http://www.indiaventures.com
http://www.indiagateway.com
http://www.alltimejobs.com
http://www.careerage.com
http://www.monster.com
http://www.careers.org
http://www.eresumes.com
http://www.nationjob.com
http://www.jobweb.com
http://www.aidnjobs.com
http://www.careerforyou.com
http://www.careergun.com
http://www.go4careers.com
http://www.lobs.itspace.com
http://www.joboptions.com
http://www.careermosaic.com
http://www.jobconnection.com
http://www.bestjobsusa.com
http://www.careerpath.com
http://www.americasemployers.com
http://www.job-interview.net
http://www.geojobs.bizland.com
http://www.job-hunt.org
http://www.e-netindia.com
http://www.mykeystone.com
http://www.gutterspace.com
http://www.netguide.com
http://www.cweb.com
http://www.espan.com
http://www.jobcurry.com
http://www.skillsandjobs.com
http://www.cioljobs.com
http://www.lampen.co.nz

--------------------------------------------------------------
Women.
http://www.sunsilkgangofgirls.com
http://www.indiwo.in.com
http://www.womeninfoline.com
http://www.sitagita.com
http://www.smartbahu.com
http://www.feminaindia.com
http://www.icleo.com
http://www.women.com
http://www.rebelleworld.com
http://www.prerana.com
http://www.sewa.com
http://www.evetimes.com
http://www.brideandhome.com
http://www.wcd.nic.in
http://www.indiaw2w.com
http://www.pyar.cjb.net
http://www.srimati.com
http://www.indiatimes.com/women
http://www.footforward.com
http://www.soulkurry.com
http://www.tips4me.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Search Engines.
http://www.yahoo.com
http://www.khoj.com
http://www.rediff.com
http://www.lycos.com
http://www.go.com
http://www.Excite.com
http://www.altavista.com
http://www.snap.com
http://www.looksmart.com
http://www.goto.com
http://www.infoseek.com
http://www.hotbot.com
http://www.webcrawler.com
http://www.Iwon.com

-----------------------------------------------------------
Shopping.
http://www.indiaplaza.com
http://www.compareIndia.com
http://www.shopping.rediff.com
http://www.fabmart.com
http://www.noshutters.com
http://www.letsallsave.com
http://www.skumars.com
http://www.indiastores.com
http://www.indbazaar.com
http://www.indiashop.com
http://www.malamall.com
http://www.chennaibazaar.com
http://www.ibaya.com
http://www.infobanc.com
http://www.indianpurchase.com
http://www.bluemountainarts.com
http://www.ebay.com
http://www.americangreetings.com
http://www.cdnow.com
http://www.mypoints.com
http://www.egreetings.com
http://www.coolsavings.com
http://www.bargainsbazaar.com
http://www.aolshopping.com
---------------------------------------------------
Recipe.
http://www.daawat.com
http://www.bawrachi.com
http://www.deliciousindia.com
http://www.indiachef.com
http://www.bestindianmall.com
http://www.vegweb.com
http://www.cookingmarvel.com
http://www.indianrecipes.com
http://www.khanakhazana.com
http://www.indochef.com
http://www.topsecretrecipes.com
http://www.spicenflavor.com
http://www.epicurious.com
http://www.pppindia.com/recepies
http://www.emall.com/spice/indian.html
http://www.indiaworld.co.in/open/rec/recepies
http://www.namaste.net/html/recepies
http://www.pugmarks.com/1-stuff/recepie
http://www.foodtv.com
http://www.gorp.com/gorp/food/main.htm
http://www.chefnet.com
http://www.southerndelights.com
http://www.dfwms.com/food/dinning.html
http://www.tripod.com
http://www.welcomeindia.com/recepi.htm
http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com
http://www.bhojana.com
http://www.73coffees.com
http://www.best.com

--------------------------------
Auction.
http://www.bazaarno1.com
http://www.ebay.in
http://www.junction.com
http://www.auctioners.com
http://www.jthomas-india.com
http://www.koolmaal.com
http://www.terimeri.com
http://www.teaauction.com
http://www.auctionindia.com
http://www.secondsale.com
http://www.matexnet.com
http://www.yelam.com
---------------------------------------------------
News/Entertainment.
http://www.ibnlive.com
http://www.thestatesman.net
http://www.telegraphindia.com
http://www.indiatimes.com
http://www.economictimes.com
http://www.india-today.com
http://www.the-hindu.com
http://www.tamil.net
http://www.indiaexpress.com
http://www.expressindia.com
http://www.samachar.com
http://www.dinakaran.com
http://www.Aol.com
http://www.cnet.com
http://www.znet.com
http://www.msnbc.com
http://www.weather.com
http://www.wahindia.com
http://www.disneyonline.com
http://www.go2net.com
http://www.pathfinder.com
http://www.ivillage.com
http://www.cnn.com
http://www.azcentral.com
http://www.suntimes.com/index
http://www.chicagotribune.com
http://www.dallasnews.com
http://www.chron.com
http://www.latimes.com
http://www.herald.com
http://www.nydailynews.com
http://www.nytimes.com
http://www.usatoday.com
-------------------------------------------------------
Web Directories.
http://www.infospace.com
http://www.switchboard.com
http://www.classmates.com
http://www.anywho.com
http://www.1800ussearch.com
http://www.zip2.com
http://www.knowx.com
http://www.bigfoot.com
http://www.easydo.com
http://www.yellowpages.net

-----------------------------------------------------------
Travel.
http://www.wikitravel.org
http://www.cleartrip.com
http://www.yatra.com
http://www.makemytrip.com
http://www.travelocity.com
http://www.travelmartindia.com
http://www.mapsofindia.com
http://www.chennaionline.com
http://www.mumbaitalaash.com
http://www.net2travel.com
http://www.jayahey.com
http://www.biztravel.com
http://www.outlooktraveller.com
http://www.razorfinish.com
http://www.hydonline.com
http://www.bharatplanet.com
http://www.shubhyatra.com
http://www.indiacity.com
http://www.indiamela.com
http://www.mapquest.com
http://www.southwest.com
http://www.aa.com
http://www.makemytrip.com
http://www.tourisminindia.com
http://www.accessworldwide.com
http://www.triple1.com
http://www.destinationindia.com
http://www.delta-air.com
http://www.americanair.com
http://www.itn.com
http://www.flycontinental.com
http://www.nwa.com
http://www.iflyswa.com
http://www.twa.com
http://www.ual.com
http://www.usairways.com
http://www.fly-virgin.com
http://www.lowestfare.com
http://www.aol.com
http://www.globe-online.com
http://www.australia.com
http://www.mauritius.com
http://www.touregypt.net
http://www.expedia.com
-------------------------------------
Loans.
http://www.loanwala.com
http://www.hdfc.com
http://www.countrywideindia.com
http://www.kotakmahindra.com
http://www.associatesindia.com
http://www.birlaglobal.com
http://www.anz.com/india
http://www.icici.com
http://www.apnaloan.com
http://www.citibank.com/india
------------------------------------------------------------------
Art.
http://www.art.net
http://www.art.com
http://www.indiancanvas.com
http://www.art-in-usa.com
http://www.rossfineart.com
http://www.dart.fine-art.com
http://www.artcyclopedia.com
http://www.wwar.com
http://www.nga.gov
http://www.arthorizons.com
http://www.art-in-europe.com
http://www.artcottage.com
http://www.smfa.edu
http://www.collectorsguide.com
http://www.artinside.com

-----------------------------------------------------
Domain Registration.
http://www.brainpulse.com
http://www.networksolutions.com
http://www.signdomains.com
http://www.domainthugs.com
http://www.123domainregistry.com
http://www.webdomains.net
http://www.surfport.com
http://www.virtualdomains.net
whttp://www.netwizards.net
--------------------------------------------------------------
Games.
http://www.games.yahoo.com
http://www.zapak.com
http://www.abc.go.com
http://www.psygnosis.com
http://www.hasbrointeractive.com
http://www.mindspace.com
http://www.nazaragames.com
http://www.microsoft.com/games
http://www.shockblitz.com
http://www.simthemepark.com
http://www.gamesdomain.com
http://www.indiagames.com
http://www.gamesville.com
http://www.lycoszone.com
http://www.leftfoot.com
http://www.usacoop.com
http://www.funbrain.com
http://www.blakkat.com
http://www.moonme.com
http://www.nintendo.com
http://www.gungames.com
http://www.gamepen.com
http://www.huronline.com
http://www.gamesdomain.com
http://www.komando.com
http://www.mortalcombat.com
http://www.aylic.com
http://www.leftfoot.com
http://www.gamebot.com
http://www.happypuppy.com
http://www.station.sony.com
http://www.paget.com
http://www.avana.net
http://www.riddler.com
http://www.phrazzle.co.uk
http://www.gamesdepot.com
http://www.amo.qc.ca
http://www.free-gaming.com
http://www.plusmedia.com
http://www.bytesize.com
http://www.piginc.org
http://www.nuclearnet.com
http://www.diablopro.com
------------------------------------------------------
Music.
http://www.raaga.com
http://www.mp3yug.com
http://www.hrithik.net
http://www.mp3.com
http://www.music3w.com
http://www.indiagaana.com
http://www.musicworld4u.com
http://www.enn2.com
http://www.rhythmindia.com
http://www.supernet.com http://www.musiccurry.com
http://www.whitepathmusic.com
http://www.indiaculture.miningco.com
http://www.musicweb.co.uk
http://www.tipsmusicfilms.com
http://www.topcassette.com
http://www.ancient-future.com
http://www.indiaexpress.com
http://www.hindustan.net
http://www.aishwarya-rai.com
http://www.freemusic2u.com
http://www.coolindiaworld.com
http://www.angelfire.com
http://www.bollynet.com
http://www.joyofindia.com
http://www.geocities.com
http://www.justgo.com
http://www.hamaracd.com
http://www.ccmusic.com
http://www.pointlycos.com
http://www.cqkmusic.com
http://www.guitarsite.com
http://www.mtv.com
http://www.compass.com
http://www.rocknrollvault.com
http://www.music.indiana.edu.com
http://www.imusic.com
http://www.civilwarmusic.net
http://www.webprimitives.com
http://www.classical.net
http://www.allmusic.com
http://www.classicalmusic.co.uk
http://www.classicalusa.com
http://www.tunes.com
http://www.columbiahouse.com
http://www.mp3grand.com
http://www.irish-music.net
http://www.iuma.com
http://www.worldrecords.com
http://www.contemplator.com
http://www.humaracd.com
--------------------------------------------------------
Properties.
http://www.99acres.com
http://www.magicbricks.com
http://www.makaan.com
http://www.indiaproperties.com
http://www.architectmatters.com
http://www.buildzone.com
http://www.indiahomeseek.com
http://www.homeseekars.com
http://www.realestate.com
http://www.pioneershelters.com
http://www.propertyindian.com
http://www.propertymartindia.com
http://www.floor2roof.com
http://www.homes.com
http://www.indianpropertymarket.com
http://www.indiaconstruction.com
http://www.castles.org
http://www.propertybuilder.com
http://www.dcircle.com
http://www.estatebazar.com
http://www.worldlights.com
http://www.estatedeals.com
http://www.estateindia.com
http://www.homesby.com
-------------------------------------------------------------
Chat.
http://www.meebo.com
http://www.gmail.com
http://www.icq.com
http://www.netfandu.com
http://www.mirc.com
http://www.yahoo.com
http://www.rediff.com
http://www.coolchat.com
http://www.talkcity.com
http://www.chatting.com
http://www.cybertown.com
http://www.chatjunkies.com
http://www.parentcity.com
http://www.familybeat.com
http://www.kidsurf.com
http://www.womenwire.com
http://www.mainstreetearth.com
http://www.excite.com

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Software Companies.
http://www.accel-india.com
http://www.apar.com
http://www.apcc.com
http://www.daxil.com
http://www.aptech-worldwide.com
http://www.autodesk.com
http://www.baan.com
http://www.bdpsindia.com
http://www.bflsoftware.com
http://www.bslindia.com
http://www.birlasoft.com
http://www.bsil.com
http://www.bplglobal.com
http://www.iflexsolution.com
http://www.citibank.com\cosi
http://www.cmcltd.com
http://www.cms.co.in
http://www.cognizant.com
http://www.ca.com
http://www.datacraft-asia.com
http://www.dataproinfoworld.com
http://www.dbups.com
http://www.deldot.com
http://www.digitalindiasw.com
http://www.epson.co.in
http://www.hclinfosystems.com
http://www.hp.com
http://www.ibm.com\in
http://www.itil.com
http://www.infy.com
http://www.zensar.com
http://www.itsindia.com
http://www.ltitl.com
http://www.lccinfotech.com
http://www.lgsi.co.in
http://www.lotus.com
http://www.mahindraconsulting.com
http://www.monitorsindia.com
http://www.netsol.co.in
http://www.nexuscomputers.com
http://www.nortelnetworks.com
http://www.novell.com
http://www.patni.com
http://www.pcsil.com
http://www.pentamedia-grafix.com
http://www.pentafour.com
http://www.polaris.co.in
http://www.rolta.com
http://www.samsungindia.com
http://www.sap.com
http://www.satyam.com
http://www.sasi.com
http://www.silverline.com
http://www.ssil-india.com
http://www.sqlstarintl.com
http://www.sumitindia.com
http://www.tataelxsi.com
http://www.tatainfotech.com
http://www.tata.com\ttil
http://www.tulipsoftware.com
http://www.vxl.com
http://www.wellwin-india.com
--------------------------------------------------------
Astrology.
http://www.astrology.com
http://www.astroexpert.com
http://www.astromantra.com
http://www.astro-vision.com
http://www.dailyprediction.com
http://www.astrology-online.com
http://www.astrosurfindia.com
http://www.starlightastrology.com
http://www.jagjituppal.com
http://www.lindagoodman.net
http://www.zodiacal.com
http://www.astrologyspot.com
http://www.ancientweb.com
http://www.spiritweb.org
http://www.astrostar.com
http://www.realastrology.com
http://www.chineseastrology.com
http://www.cyberastro.com
http://www.astrology-india.com
http://www.astrospeak.com
http://www.starteller.com
http://www.jyotish.com
http://www.metawire.com
http://www.jaked.org
http://www.celestialwitch.com
http://www.thenewage.com
-----------------------------------------------
Health.
http://www.apollolife.com
http://www.pharmabiz.com
http://www.onhealth.com
http://www.goodhealthnyou.com
http://www.alibaba.com
http://www.healthfinder.com
http://www.healthyideas.com
http://www.health-library.com
http://www.health2health.com
http://www.arogya.com
http://www.calcuttamedics.com
http://www.doctoranywhere.com
http://www.healthcarenyou.com
http://www.emedlife.com
http://www.bloodgivers.com
http://www.goodhealthdirectory.com
http://www.healthatoz.com
http://www.indegene.com
http://www.fem40plus.com
http://www.endocrineindia.com
http://www.embarrassingproblems.com
http://www.who.org
http://www.indmedica.com
http://www.ehirc.com
http://www.acupuncture.com
http://www.acupressure.org
http://www.apollohospitals.com
http://www.ayurvedic.org
http://www.cancer.org
http://www.doctorsofindia.com
http://www.doctorsaab.com
http://www.healingpeople.com
http://www.homeopathyhome.com
http://www.webmd.com
http://www.gynonline.com
http://www.mayohealth.com
http://www.yourhealth.com
http://www.indiaherbs.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Matrimonials.
http://www.jeevansathi.com
http://www.matrimonials.com
http://www.matrimonialonline.com
http://www.matrimonialsindia.com
http://www.snehaquest.com
http://www.a1im.com
http://www.couples-place.com
http://www.saakshi.com
http://www.searchpartner.com
http://www.inmatch.com
http://www.hastamilap.com
http://www.indiamatches.com
http://www.indianrishte.com
http://www.matrimonials.indiainfo.com
http://www.indiausamarriage.com
http://www.indobride.com
http://www.marriage.com
http://www.rishteyhirishtey.com
http://www.suitablematch.com
http://www.godblessmatrimonials.com
http://www.indianalliance.com
http://www.indialite.com
http://www.timesmatrimonial.com
http://www.bachelorsindia.com
http://www.webmarriages.com
http://www.marriagebuilders.com
http://www.cyberproposal.com
http://www.ourmarriage.com
http://www.keralamatrimonial.com
http://www.waycoolwedding.com
http://www.weddingcircle.com
http://www.marriagetools.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Steel.
http://www.essar.com
http://www.clickforsteel.com
http://www.steel.org
http://www.recycle-steel.org
http://www.rolledsteel.com
http://www.steelnet.org
http://www.bethsteel.com
http://www.e-steel.com
http://www.ltvsteel.com
http://www.britishsteel.co.uk

------------------------------------------------
Sports.
http://www.wwf.com
http://www.collegesports-online.com
http://www.onlinesports.com
http://www.espn.go.com
http://www.khel.com
http://www.bharatiyahockey.org
http://www.golfindia.com
http://www.indianopengolf.com
http://www.indianhockey.com
http://www.indiarace.com
http://www.indiapolo.com
http://www.indianfootball.com
http://www.tennisindia.org
http://www.yourgolfguru.com
http://www.excite.com
http://www.ski.com.au
http://www.usatoday.com
http://www.iransports.net
http://www.activeusa.com
http://www.attpbgolf.com
http://www.nike.com
http://www.leisurepursuits.com
http://www.foxsports.com
http://www.wimbledon.com
http://www.allsports.com
http://www.caaws.ca/main.htm
http://www.sportingnews.com
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Animals.
http://www.allpets.com
http://www.petchannel.com
http://www.theoviary.com
http://www.peta-online.org
http://www.panda.org
http://www.aquarium.org
http://www.nj.com/yucky/worm
http://www.remedia.com
http://www.animalsunlimited.net
http://www.indianwildlife.com
http://www.sandiegozoo.com
http://www.animal.discovery.com
http://www.junglelore.com
http://www.wildphotos.com
http://www.cranes.org
http://www.mahaforest.gov.in
http://www.animalweb.com
-------------------------------------------
Books.
http://www.amazon.com
http://www.merikitaab.com
http://www.barnesandnoble.com
http://www.mozzie.com
http://www.idgbooks.com
http://www.ingrambook.com
http://www.ambook.org
http://www.bookwire.com
http://www.booktv.com
http://www.bigbook.com
http://www.1stbooks.com
http://www.borders.com
http://www.bookbrowser.com
http://www.bookweb.org
http://www.abebook.com
http://www.worldbooknetwork.com
http://www.vintage-books.com
http://www.bookstudio.com
http://www.booktalk.com

------------------------------------------------------
Comedy
http://www.comedy.com
http://www.comedycentral.com
http://www.jokewallpaper.com
http://www.theonion.com
http://www.humorsearch.com
http://www.funnies.com
http://www.netfunny.com/rhf
http://www.humorpower.com
http://www.humorproject.com
http://www.jokes.com
http://www.lotsofjokes.com
http://www.comedynet.com
http://www.cybercheeze.com
http://www.comedyorama.com
http://www.cartoon.com
http://www.humorspace.com
http://www.humorandhealth.com
http://www.funny.co.uk
http://www.makeyoulaugh.com
http://www.planethumor.com
http://www.comic-relief.com

----------------------------------------------------
Hobbies
http://www.coinuniverse.com
http://www.stampworld.com
http://www.juggling.com
http://www.hobbyworld.com
http://www.hobbies.net
http://www.ehobbies.com
http://www.creative-hobbies.com
http://www.caboosehobbies.com
http://www.guineahobbies.com
http://www.hobbystores.com
http://www.sabersedge.com
http://www.hobbyhobby.com
http://www.towerhobbies.com
-------------------------------------------------------
Films/Movies
http://www.film..com
http://www.filmscouts.com
http://www.imdb.com
http://www.777film.com
http://www.reel.com
http://www.hollywood.com
http://www.bollywood.com
http://www.filmtvindia.com
http://www.bollywoodonline.com
http://www.bollywoodpremiere.com
http://www.indiamoviebiz.com
http://www.cinesouth.com
http://www.indiatalkies.com
http://www.qcinema.com
http://www.actress-actor.com
----------------------------------------------------

Kids.
http://www.cyberkids.com
http://www.kidsworld.com
http://www.vsa.cape.com/powens
http://www.kids-corner.com
http://www.kidsdomain.com
http://www.kids-space.org
http://www.kidscom.com
http://www.safekids.com
http://www.child.net
http://www.4kids.com
http://www.kotb.com
http://www.timeforkids.com
http://www.foxkids.com
http://www.cyberkids.com
http://www.bonus.com
------------------------------------------------

Decorations
http://www.orientarts.com
http://www.creepypeepers.com
http://www.decor.a2z-holidays.com
http://www.indodecor.com
http://www.dir-dd.com
http://www.alliving.com
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http://www.gospurk.com
http://www.topbrillant.com
http://www.decoratingstudio.com
http://www.homeartdecor.com
http://www.interiorworld.com

---------------------------------------------

Religious
http://www.ashramonline.com
http://www.onlinedarshan.com
http://www.saranam.com
http://www.sevapooja.com
http://www.indiablessings.com
http://www.buddhanet.net
http://www.indiantemples.com
http://www.islaam.org
http://www.islam.org/mosque
http://www.jaindarshan.com
http://www.thegreatgoddess.com
http://www.balaji.net
http://www.shirdibaba.org
http://www.siddhivinayak.org
http://www.hindumythology.com
http://www.sgpc.net

-------------------------------------------------
E-Barter
http://www.spun.com
http://www.bartertrust.com
http://www.ubarter.com
http://www.switchouse.com
--------------------------------------------------
Organiser
http://www.yourorganiser.com
http://www.dailydrill.com
http://www.digital.daytimer.com
http://www.magicdesk.com
http://www.when.com
http://www.anyday.com
-------------------------------------------------
Fitness
http://www.fitnessonline.com
http://www.netsweat.com
http://www.muscle-fitness.com
http://www.fitnesszone.com
http://www.fitness.com
http://www.cyberfitness.net
http://www.walkabyebaby.com
http://www.24hourfitness.com
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com
http://www.abc2day.com
http://www.bennygoodsport.com
http://www.modelfitness.com
http://www.atozfitness.com
http://www.shapeup.org
http://www.fitnessworld.com
http://www.resort2fitness.com
--------------------------------------------------
Automobiles
http://www.automobiles.com
http://www.classiccar.com
http://www.autosite.com
http://www.auto.com
http://www.automartindia.com
http://www.automeet.com
http://www.driveindia.com
http://www.bsmotoring.com
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http://www.wwwheels.com
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http://www.cybersteering.com
http://www.mercedes.com
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http://www.telcoindia.com
http://www.generalmotors.com
http://www.hindustanmotors.com
http://www.mahindraworld.com
http://www.carloansindia.com
http://www.aaa.com
http://www.pacificomazda.com
---------------------------------------------
Furniture
http://www.furniture.com
http://www.furnitureonline.com
http://www.goodhome.com
http://www.drawrn.com/furn.htm
http://www.furniturefind.com
http://www.go-furniture.com
http://www.bluetomatoes.com
http://www.jori.com
http://www.furnitureguys.com
http://www.thomasville.com
http://www.chinese-furniture.com
http://www.furnitureshoppers.com
http://www.willowcreekfurniture.com
http://www.worlddesigncenter.com

----------------------------------------------
Jewellery
http://www.enchantejewellery.com
http://www.la.premiere.com
http://www.indianjewellery.net
http://www.jewellery-net-asia.com
http://www.asfour-crystal.com
http://www.24carat.co.uk
http://www.tiffany.com
http://www.pearlglass.com
http://www.damesjewel.com
http://www.jewellery-direct.com
http://www.jewellerystore.com
http://www.jewellerywarehouse.co.uk
http://www.jemsandjewels.com
http://www.18carat.co.uk
http://www.mehtajewellery.com
http://www.gold-jewelry.co.uk
http://www.jewelleryshow.com
----------------------------------------------
Encyclopedia
http://www.encyclopedia.com
http://www.encarta.msn.com
http://www.britannica.com
http://www.ntreasearch.com
http://www.go.grolier.com
http://www.letsfindout.com
http://www.stars.com
http://www.boatshowusa.com
http://www.encyclozine.com
http://www.libraryspot.com
http://www.shotokai.cl
http://www.emulateme.com
-----------------------------------------
Photography
http://www.photographyreview.com
http://www.agfaphoto.com
http://www.indiaphotography.com
http://www.masters-of-photography.com
http://www.photodisc.com
http://www.indialight.com
http://www.photoindia.com
http://www.photocentreindia.com
http://www.onlinephotography.com
http://www.photographymuseum.com
http://www.photoresource.com
http://www.sightphoto.com
http://www.kodak.com
http://www.digital-photography.org
http://www.thephotosite.com
http://www.arteffects.com
----------------------------------------
History
http://www.historychannel.com
http://www.thehistorynet.com
http://www.history.com
http://www.historyhouse.com
http://www.historyinternational.com
http://www.historyplace.com
http://www.historyoftheworld.com
http://www.hyperhistory.com
http://www.womeninworldhistory.com
---------------------------------------
Maps
http://www.mapquest.com
http://www.map.org
http://www.map.excite.com
http://www.map.com
http://www.emagame.com
http://www.maptown.com
http://www.thomas.com
http://www.chicagomap.com
http://www.3datlas.com
http://www.4maps.com

--------------------------------------------
Literature
http://www.vrindaindia.com
http://www.amedeo.com
http://www.litrature.org
http://www.iranonline.com
http://www.afganonline.com
http://www.ethiopiaonline.com
---------------------------------------------
Quiz
http://www.quizsite.com
http://www.coolquiz.com
http://www.brainstormers.com
http://www.posterquiz.com
http://www.quotequiz.com
http://www.wordquiz.com
http://www.qunlimited.com
http://www.allstarquiz.com
----------------------------------------------------
Parenting
http://www.indiaparenting.com
http://www.fathersworld.com
http://www.familyplay.com
http://www.indiachildren.com
http://www.indianmoms.com
http://www.indianmother.com
http://www.parentsoup.com
http://www.parentstages.com
http://www.mustformums.com
http://www.drspock.com
http://www.babycenter.com
http://www.parenting.com
-----------------------------------------------------
Banking
http://www.rbi.org.in.
http://www.sbi.co.in
http://www.bankofbaroda.com
http://www.icicibank.com
http://www.bank-of-maharashtra.com
http://www.globaltrustbank.com
http://www.hdfcbank.com
http://www.idbibank.com
http://www.indian-bank.com
http://www.mysorebank.com
http://www.pnbindia.com
http://www.punjabandsindbank.com
http://www.vijayabank.com
http://www.ucobank.com
http://www.syndicatebank.com
http://www.statebankofindore.com
http://www.standardchartered.com/in
http://www.citibank.com/india
http://www.corpbank.com
http://www.denabank.com
http://www.canbankindia.com
http://www.boiind.com
------------------------------------------------------
Others
http://www.sawaal.com
http://www.planetcustomer.com
http://www.screensaver.com
http://www.bimaonline.com
http://www.masti.com
http://www.fashiononline.com
http://www.mailmetoday.com
http://www.bimatimes.com
http://www.indialedger.com
http://www.glamorousfaces.com
http://www.ideas2.com
http://www.bizkool.com
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http://www.bonzi.com
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http://www.directhit.com
http://www.orbitcybertech.com
http://www.setindia.com
http://www.evoke.com
http://www.pugmarks.net
http://www.familycq.com.com
http://www.banglanatak.com
http://www.zatang.com
http://www.bsmotoring.com
http://www.roomairconditioner.com
http://www.electricmela.com
http://www.bigwebindia.com
http://www.hyperoffice.com
http://www.allwonders.com
http://www.windpowerindia.com
http://www.virinchi.com
http://www.indiaelectricmarket.com
http://www.americaonline.com
http://www.rightserve.com
http://www.phone.com
http://www.software.com
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http://www.vsnl.com
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http://www.onlysmart.com
http://www.indiatimes.com
http://www.indiabiz.com
http://www.indiamarkets.com
http://www.nazara.com
http://www.bharatnet.com
http://www.forindia.com
http://www.jaldi.com
http://www.nerdworld.com

# Ganges, where life is born

A journey through the heart of its culture and its people, a trip through the northern plains of India to the Himalayas, from the origin of the river Ganges, to the Golden Temple of the Sikhs, to many other corners spectacular and surprising addition to live with the culture that makes this country so great.
What you can not miss
Strolling through Rishikesh
Trekking in the Himalayas
Glacier Gaumuk
McLeod Ganj
Golden Temple
Taj Mahal
The Himalayas
The route will take us from New Delhi to the global birthplace of yoga, Rishikesh. This beautiful town on the banks of the Ganges is famous for being the main meditation center in India, in the 70s the Beatles were popular this destination you approached your own guided meditation master yogi, and here we can practice the principles a yoga class with a yogi at dawn. Also visit (if we bribe the guard) Ashram where the Beatles retired to meditate, a place full of mystery and charm, abandoned for over 30 years and where the vegetation has grown over the temples.
Rishikesh is the world center of Yoga, famous from the 70's when the Beatles were coming up here to meditate.
From Rishikesh we go into the Himalayas, making a stop at the village of Bawa to enjoy its hot springs. We visit some of the villages in the area, which are closer to the Nepali culture to India and where we will enjoy the hospitality of its people away from tourism and western person. Continue to Gangotri, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus forced to be the town that is closest to the source of the Ganges.
The Trekking
This beautiful corner, located in the heart of the Himalayas to 3048mts. and after altitude acclimatization for a time at the height, we will trekking 16 kms, to the true origin of the Ganges, Gaumuk glacier. The glacier is located at 4400 mts. height, where the river that gives life to this vast country and where we overnight in a Ashram (monastery where pilgrims are welcomed). From the base camp, near the glacier, we will make another short trek to Tapovan Temple, the Hindu temple near the border China.
On our descent from the Himalayas, stop in the city that opens the door to the plains and to give his name, Haridwar, where the Bids or celebrations every evening by the river Ganges we will know a bit better the meaning of Hindu culture . The Ganges is a sacred river, and here we see the beneración of his people to himself, enjoying the ritual of fire and water to thousands of people held every evening in India.
The Indian Tibet
We will visit the town where the Dalai Lama lives in exile with a large Buddhist community, is the Tibet of India
Continuing our journey, we enter another valley of the Himalayas to reach the town of McLeod Ganj, a small village located more than 2000 meters. tall. In this small town, lives in exile the Dalai Lama along with a large Buddhist community, we will feel for a moment as in Tibet and that will be our base camp for trekking in Trivandrum.
We will continue to Amritsar and visit the Golden Temple, the Mecca of the Sikh religion, one of the seven major religions coexist in India. In our last days take the opportunity to visit the majestic Taj Mahal, to see the grandeur of the palace and could relax for an intense trip before returning to Delhi and wander round corner.
Adventure Travel: In addition to these major destinations pass through many villages, enjoy the varied Indian, Chinese and Tibetan, and we will live to know its people and we will make a good idea of ??what the Ganges and the importance to Indian culture

# Ganga Aarti ceremony at Ghat Dasaswamedh

In all there in Varanasi ghats, Manikarnika Dasaswamedh is coupled with (the most important in cremations) attracts the most spectators. This ghat, Brahma whose name means "sacrificed 10 horses", becomes every day of the year at 19.00 h, in a ceremony with bargain aarti puja (offering), fire and dance. The smell of incense and the color is the first thing you find out anything else down the stairs and you stand along with the crowd enjoying the event with solemn respect. Local People is joined by tourists like us and some other armed military that "ensures the safety of all." It's best to sit in one of the holes and watch the show. For us Westerners as a spectacle usually only exotic, but for Hindus has much more meaning. Proof of this are the boats that crowd in front of Dasaswamedh gahat Ganges where more people have the view from the river. In the end it together a few hundred people watching the aarti bargain. In this area of ??the stairs near the Ganges you find vendors of flowers and candles that are deposited in the river as an offering contrasting details for its beauty with its murky waters. These vendors are often children and some tourists are tempted to buy them. There is nothing wrong with it, but usually apply a price increase as in almost all kinds of items. Meanwhile the ceremony continues, and the sadhus continue their range of movement and dance. The percussion accentuates the mystique of the moment, and incense rises makes a veritable cloud of smoke. And while the incense gives the mystical atmosphere, the spectacular comes with fire, when the dance is performed with a candelabra full of candles. Well worth stopping and seeing everything, and if one day you forget do not worry, come the next that the show starts again.

# Ganges River Puja

One experience I remember most about my first trip to India is the Aarti ceremony on the banks of river Ganges.
This ceremony is carried out every afternoon, and can only be performed by young members of the Brahmin caste (the religious caste and upper is in India).
Many people gather to enjoy the moment, the truth is that it is a unique spectacle. You start being a spectator, but as the minutes pass, and locals encourages you to participate in the auction, you get involved and you can get to enjoy a special moment. The atmosphere that is created is unique.
I recommend him and just let go. It is an image of India that you get to home.

# What to see in Varanasi

For many, including myself included, Varanasi is "the" City of reference when talking or remember a trip to India. She only meets the worst (and, in its way, so best) of a country that, as input, is a slap to the senses and the soul.

Strolling Varanasi ghat one can lose track of time just watching and sobrecogiéndose more stark in the face of life. That's why so many of them, having come for two or three days, when you want to realize and take one week, among them including me too.

But what can be done in Varanasi, besides feeling? Many things, some more essential than others, but all worthy of appearing in the following list (completely random order). Other than by ideas.

## Take a boat ride on the Ganges at dawn

Get up long before the sun and attending the slow awakening of the city from a boat on the waters of the Ganges, a walk of about an hour (to negotiate) offered a unique position to witness the morning ablutions as well as cremations. Needless to say, the latter photograph is prohibited, although some of the ghat can be removed altogether, by far, and always with the greatest respect.

## Visit Vishwanath Temple

This is the most important temple in Varanasi, since it is one of the twelve jyotirlingas (lingam natural, built by humans) that are distributed in the Indian Territory. Known to tourists as Golden Temple because of its domes covered with 750 kilos of pure gold, it is said to have more than a thousand years old, but has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout its history. Fearing attacks, policing is quite hard (must bring passport) and the pictures are absolutely prohibited, but worth it access to your yard to witness the Hindu religious fervor in all its intensity.

## Stroll through the ghat

Now, this does not require it on a list, right? Yes, I include it to give it the importance it deserves. Not talking about walking without more, but to do well in conditions, being aware of everything around us, and if possible in solitude, so that nothing (besides the inevitable boatmen, massage therapists, etc.) distract us. The ghat of Varanasi have to live them too many words.

## Visit the Monkey Temple

Dedicated to Goddess Durga, this temple is named after the number of monkeys that roam freely through him original, right? In theory non-Hindus can not enter, but the standard is met "that way". The photographs, these other, are prohibited.

## Attend puja ceremony at dusk

The puja in honor of Mother Ganga is held every day at sunset in several ghat along the Ganges. The busiest place in the Dasaswamedh ghat, where the number of Indian tourists who witness in boats from the river almost exceeds that of spectators on shore. A ritual of just over an hour long, perfectly choreographed (which gives it an air of show) and absolutely unforgettable.

## Visit Ramnagar Fort

Located on the opposite bank of the Ganges, the view of the walls of the Ramnagar fort from the west bank of the Ganges is great, but inside I personally do not find it as impressive and the museum so interesting. Admission costs 250 rupees, so I recommend only if you have lots of free time. The best: the fact cross over the river and live a little village atmosphere more relaxed, away from the, at times, overwhelming Varanasi.

## Witnessing cremations

So this may seem like an "activity" macabre and even somewhat distasteful, but in Varanasi must approach to one of the two main cremation ghat of Varanasi (the Manikarnika is the most important, but also more crowded) to witness the cremations, or at least try for a few minutes. It is part of the energy of the place, is part of the reality of India, and must be seen to try to understand. Always with respect, of course. On the dirty business that hides behind this city cremations talk soon.

Besides the purely spiritual and religious, if anything Varanasi is reputed for the quality of its silk, making it the ideal place to buy a sari or, much more convenient for our daily life, some handkerchiefs, sheets, etc.. But: be careful with the scammers if you will not receive the wool.

## Walking around the campus of Banaras Hindu University

On February 4, 1916, during the inauguration of the Banaras Hindu University, Mahatma Gandhi gave a celebrated speech in which he called for a specific language for India. Recognized as a highly prestigious university, Varanasi The campus also has a five square kilometers, slightly oxygenated ideal for walking among trees, sports and dozens of schools and departments covering almost all branches of universal knowledge.

## Attend a concert of Indian classical music or take lessons on an instrument

In Varanasi abounds offer concerts and restaurants offering a pleasant musical accompaniment. If you want to go a step further and have a few days to do so, can aventuraros to teaching bansuri, sitar, tabla or any other traditional instrument, who have tried often left very happy.

## Practicing yoga

In line with the previous point, offering yoga classes in Varanasi is overwhelming, although this time we women have to be careful when choosing who receive them, since it is precisely the breadth of the offer are also much scammer and continuously harassment complaints are heard by some "masters". Nor is it a matter of emparanoiarse: asking and following the recommendations of other travelers will reach everywhere. As I said before, Varanasi is a city with a strong power, and therefore also the favorite place for many to practice this discipline. To check this you only need to leave a sunrise ghat and look at the amount of people sitting on the banks of the Ganges in the lotus position.

## Excursion to Sarnath

At 10 kilometers from Varanasi, very easy to get public transport is Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon in 528 BC after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. Thus considered one of the four holy cities of Buddhism, Sarnath is a place full of temples, monasteries and stupas, the most important, the Dhamekh, reputedly built on the exact spot where Buddha delivered the famous sermon. A highly recommended excursion to escape a day of Varanasi.

# The business of cremations in Varanasi

Speaking for his swank nonstop phone and wearing a safari suit synthetic fabric, Satnayaran Chowdhary looks like a very busy businessman overseeing the family business. His work is nothing short of handling the world famous Manikarnika Ghat crematorium in Varanasi.
The murmurs of protest over extortion practiced in the crematorium ghat runs Chowdhary leave quite indifferent:
"It's a tax that people have paid from the time Puranic (Vedic). Tara, the wife of King Harishchandra, had to rompers her sari to pay for services rendered. So why complain now? "Argued.
But Chowdhary, as a trader, is offended by accusations of extortion on a ghat where families pay for the funeral depending on their economic status, between 1,000 and 100,000 rupees (between 16 euros and 1,700 euros, approximately).
A complex network starts when a corpse comes to the ghat. In a few minutes preparing a dossier on the deceased and the family. It provides managers from the tree to the bank account. We explore the possibilities to establish a price and establishes the first negotiations.
The rich pay gladly. In fact, even families who formerly had bequeathed property. "Even today, businessmen are good payers and donate more than 25,000 rupees (about 430 €)" says Sanjay Verma, a shopkeeper who accompanied the processions today. "It's all voluntary," insists Chowdhary, who practically grew from the funeral pyres.
"Monitoring the hard work in this ghat, which receives between 60 and 100 dead in one day, has a cost and requires a lot of management skill," he says. Only firewood daily consumption is between 3,000 and 5,000 Kilos.
"During the heat wave of 1995 the daily arrival of dead reached 250 corpses. It was a difficult situation and needed both tact and firmness to ensure that everything went well, "he recalls while watching the ghat workers and a group of foreigners who have paid to visit this place. It is the morning rush hour and there are at least six and five pyres burning off point.
"There is a very fascinating life," says Chowdhary bleak. He says smear campaign face is part of your profession, and also he is not the only one who instructs, there are at least 500, all descendants of Domraj (his ancestor and governor of the city).
But the allegations are serious. "Even the poorest forgive," says Kamal Patel, a businessman from Varanasi that says you have to pay a high price for any detail in the crematorium, from the wood to the rituals. The most expensive is to use the Eternal Flame to ignite the pyre, since at Manikarnika not used matches. It is said that the Eternal Flame was lit by Lord Shiva himself.
The huge and life becomes very bleak crematorium once a year, in May, when the prostitutes bejeweled and bedecked Manikarnika come to dance until dawn, keeping alive a tradition of 500 years of angüedad. "For somebody like me, more used to hearing cries and protests lately, music can impress times," trust us Chowdhary. "It is not easy to do what I do," he laments, looking skyward. It is not hard to believe.

# The Taj Mahal Passion Sultans

The Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of love, was built by Emperor Shah Jahan (Emperor of the World) to his wife, Empress Aryumand Banu Begam, better known as Mumtaz Mahal-i.

Agra is in the state of Uttar Pradesh (Northern Region) on the banks of the Yamuna River, a tributary of the Ganges. The city was founded in 1505 by the Sultan of Delhi, Sikander Lodi, on an ancient city of Indian origin. In 1565, when Akbarabad bore the name of the Mughal Emperor Akbar became the imperial capital and continued to be intermittently until Shah Jahan went back to move the capital to Delhi in 1648 not much left of the old city of Agra, and nearly half of the present city was built during the British rule, but contains some Mughal monuments of great quality, like the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, the tombs of Akbar and Itimad-ud-daulah and, a few kilometers the remains of the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. But undoubtedly, if anything is known Agra city is one of the seven wonders of the modern world: the Taj Mahal. The Yamuna River in Agra comes to North-South direction, but in the city describes a curve heading east; and it is in this stretch, and when is going to leave the city, where its waters reflect the beauty of the monument that stands on the right bank: the Taj Mahal. Synonyms Palace According to a local guide Mahal Mumtaz-i means "Pearl Palace" as some books "Chosen of the Palace". The name of the mausoleum, Taj Mahal, it is sometimes regarded as an abbreviation of the proper name of the Empress, but according to the guide means "Crown Palace" because although it is a tomb Emperor wanted to give his wife a palace and a crown. Mahal Mumtaz-i Shah Jahan married in 1612; granddaughter was Itimad-ud-daulah, Chief Minister of Emperor Jahangir, and niece of wife, Nur Jahan. It was the first wife of Prince Shah Jahan, but it was his favorite; in 1631, a few years after the ascension of the king, and when accompanied him on his campaign in the Deccan, died giving birth to their fourteenth child. The construction of the Taj Mahal began after the death of the Empress and lasted twenty years: involved some twenty thousand workers. The marble, the main building material was transported on elephants from Rajasthan; other materials came from other parts of India and even from other countries. It is not a single building but an entire large complex; surrounding the complex is a high wall of red sandstone, in turn guarded by gardens, with a monumental gateway to the south; it is accessed by a huge courtyard 300 m wide with a marble basin in the center and numerous gardens and fountains; the mausoleum itself, build commonly referred to under the name of Taj Mahal, flanked by two symmetrical buildings, lies just across the courtyard on the north, being the river the backdrop of the whole . The marble stands at the door of the entrance is a large bow; on both sides and inside, there are other smaller arches arranged on two floors; red stone combined with white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones that draw floral motifs and inscriptions in Arabic script. On both sides of the lateral arches and both the exterior facade and the interior, which has the same structure, no towers culminating in chattris (domed kiosks); and the great central arch is a kind of gallery on the eleven small domes are arranged, both on the outside as on the inside; total of 22 small domes symbolizing the 22 years of the construction of the Taj Mahal. There are colossal heavy security in accessing the interior of the enclosure; bags are thoroughly searched; this is done to prevent a heartless blow one of the most beautiful buildings could devise the human mind; also not allowed to enter with cigarettes or food, which can be left at the entrance to some icons are locked. Finally, you reach the huge courtyard crisscrossed by gardens and fountains surrounding the Taj Mahal; from the darkness of the arched entrance is right in front of the great white monument. The Taj Mahal is a marvel of forms and proportions; It is situated on a marble platform which is accessed with bare or covered by a shoe slippers provided there. It is square with truncated corners building, which acquires irregular octagonal shape. In each of the four sides, arranged in two arcs flanking story high arc whose center is raised rim higher than the rest of the facade; corresponding to each corner chamfer has the same width and the lateral structure of the main facades parts so between each large arch and the next three equal sides that go around the corner smoothly. On the building there is a large dome in the center (which is perhaps the crown of the palace, Taj Mahal), surrounding it are four smaller domes chattris of, and at the ends of the platform four minarets domes rise culminated in more still small, built at an angle outward so that in case of collapse, do not fall on the main building. Pinnacles topped all metal domes. On both sides of this set two identical buildings are on the west a mosque three domes built in red sandstone and white marble, this so-called "eco mosque" is not used for worship by being oriented in the wrong direction and whose purpose is to maintain symmetry. Inside the mausoleum dim light; there is a central octagonal room with four smaller octagonal halls around; cenotaphs are in the center of the main chamber and surrounded by an octagonal marble lattice carved inlaid in their solid parts; the emperor on one side of his wife in the middle, so immense building, in principle, was built just for her; but this is not where his remains, coffins are true, it is said, in an underground chamber immediately below. The interior walls are also decorated with inlays. The scale of the grounds is very variable, and these are arranged, both outside and inside with exquisite taste and restraint, and that no part of the building is recharged by the sets, and there are many versions and theories that speak of the possibility that the emperor Shah Jahan wanted to build his own mausoleum in black marble, the image and likeness of his wife, across the river Yamuna, and then both joined by a bridge of gold. Today, across the river from the Taj Mahal, a remainder, in red stone, which is said to be the start of construction of the twin building of the Taj Mahal. It was not built as Aurangzeb, the third son of Shah Jahan, after beating his brothers and seize power, imprisoned his own father in the Red Fort of Agra. Shah Jahan died in prison, after long years of illness, gazing at the Taj Mahal, his great work,
monument to his beloved and shelter for the repose of both. The Taj Mahal has some magical property which gives the marble which is formed; changes color depending on the light it receives: when the sun shines bright, highlighting the immense blue sky turns gray when it is cloudy and confused about the sky. Although it is well known, when you look there, right, is new, original, unique, perfect; always surprises visitors who never tires of looking at it. If the only thing that could be done in India to see the Taj Mahal was be worth the trip to that country so far.
Where to stay The Oberoi Amarvilas. Possibly the most luxurious hotel in Agra. Built in a style inspired by the fusion of Arabic and Mughal culture, the resort is a splendid display of gardens, fountains and ponds that take us back to a golden era of emperors and princesses. For foodies. The Grand Imperial. It offers enough history to keep guests engrossed for days. There are special rooms, old mementos, photographs and stories that make us understand a little better the Taj Mahal. A hotel for lovers of luxury. Where to eat Zorba The Buddha Restaurant. Very close to the Taj Mahal, this restaurant serves the best vegetarian dishes in the area. In a warm and close ambiete, very hygienic and above all, we can enjoy the magic of Indian food. The Silk Route Restaurant. . One of the best restaurants in Agra, where it joins an excellent traditional cuisine and a good price. Near the great Taj Mahal, has a friendly and hospitable atmosphere. Highly recommended. For more information visit www.incredibleindia.org