The Ganges is the Holiest river in India. However, it is also among the most polluted- at least when it crosses some of the bigger cities while it makes its way from the Himalayas to the sea...
The Holy city of Benares, is one of the cities where the Ganges is at its most polluted. According to Hindu belief, the river washes away the sins of people who come into contact with it. However it is the same river that becomes seveal times more polluted then permissible safe limits, as it enters Benares...
Among the various forms to pollutants, several drains find their way into the river, and the few water/sewage treatment plants are not enough to make much of a difference.
The Campaign to clean the river has been initiated several years ago, and has met moderate success... the sheer size of the problem, probably calls for a much bigger effort.
We were told that visiting shooting here or visiting the `burning ghats' is not the best idea... We required clearance from various people- religious and tourism department.
We needed to shoot there for a last sequence, and when we finally did set out, it was somewhat eerie.
It rained just when we were heading off in our boat. Thankfully, the boat had some sort of canas cover option, esp important with the equipment. We got to the ghats, but remained at the boat, thunder and rain, and smoke from the funeral pyres blowing our way... It was a dark- cloudy night too.
Got our shots in the end...
There are troops of monkeys in Varanasi, these are not friendly monkeys. They scared me once, I was walking up the stairs up to my room, and this monkey came around the corner agressively. He was coming towards me, I got scared and had to go back. After that each time I went upstairs I was afraid the monkeys would jump up again.
The monkey also steal your stuff, so don't leave anything outside, especially not on a rooftop!