Saddath/Ganges/Amber Fort

Yesterday we went to Varanasi. the oldest city in India, maybe in the world. Near there, Buddha made his first sermon- Saddath. We took a river cruise on the Ganges the most sacred river in India to see the evening ceremony. Quite a spectacle. Thousands of people (pilgrims) gather on the steps called Ghats( pronounced Gots) and celebrate a ceremony by the Brahmin priests. Lots of singing and chanting, incense and dancing. Toby, our amazing guide, continues to regale us with information about the history of religion, especially Hindism and Buddhism and how it fits into world history. I have some wonderful lectures of him talking on video. Yesterday we took another crruise on the Ganges for sunrise and it was amazing. The Hindus feel sunrise is the most sacred time because the sun’s reflection forms a Lingium on the Ganges. Today we are at the Rambagh Palace. We will go to Amber Fort today, one of my favorite forts. One used to ride elephants up to the fort, but conservationists like Toby are trying to get that stopped because of mistreatment of the elephants. Toby left us last night to go work on a fiming for the black tiger in Assam. We will miss him, but now have the head of the company Suhail with us. Looking forward to completing our tour with him!

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