A must do in Varanasi is riding a sunrise (or sunset) boat cruise along the Ganges River to admire the bustle of people along the Ghats. Sunrise also presents the Ghats in their most photogenic view. We woke up early at five o’clock in the morning and wandered to the banks looking for a boat owner. The day before, I had made a verbal arrangement with a keen local who had his name tattooed on his forearm and was surprised he managed to find us that morning, so obliged him our business. There are hundreds of boats and rowers looking for business for a mere one-hundred rupees an hour.
The ride presented us with panoramic views of the Ghats, the steps filled with people bathing in the river, and puja offerings floating around the boat from the prior nights festivities, men washing clothes on stones on the river bank and at the burning ghats were still burning. We enjoyed it so much that we extended the ride to two hours.
After the boat ride we wandered the streets of Varanasi, stopping to take photos of cows on the streets and many stores selling puja offerings. It really felt like the most spiritual city in the world.