A woman with her dog on the ghats (steps) leading to the river. Every evening, she performs a puja (reverence) and collects water from the holy Ganges in a small brass bowl. BM
On the Ganges. BM
A sadhu, holy man, sleeping next to a bonfire at Manikarnika Ghat. The trident drawn on the wall symbolises Lord Shiva who, according to the legend, founded Varanasi. BM
Piles of wood stocked at the Manikarnika Ghat, the most important cremation site in India. BM
A woman performs her morning puja (connecting with the divine) at the Scindia Ghat. The templ,e which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, lies partially submerged in the Ganges. BM
Women waiting for the most auspicious moment for a holy dip in the Ganges during the celebration of the Antar Grihi puja. BM
Bull on the ghat. Humans and animals share space in Varanasi. Bulls are worshipped as they represent Lord Shiva's vehicle. BM
Men on their way to the cremation ground carry a deceased family member on a bamboo stretcher. BM
Boat on the Ganges. BM
A ceremony for a deceased family member.
The cremation ground at Manikarnika Ghat. According to Hindu funeral rites, the chief mourner, generally the eldest son of the deceased family member, lights the funeral pyre. BM
Pilgrims wrapped in blankets near Pandey Ghat. BM
The city of temples, the holy city, the city of lights and the city of learning.
This content was published on June 1, 2011 - 10:39
The city of Varanasi, on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest in India. It is closely associated with the Ganges and the river's religious importance. Swiss photographers Nicolas Metraux and Stéphanie Borcard captured some of its sleepless nights.