Our final day in Varanasi came around quickly, although we were all incredibly excited to move on to Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal, however, The Ganges would definitely be missed.
We had until 3:30 until we had to be packed up and ready for our sleeper train to Agra.
Being the lazy couple that we are we weren't that bothered about getting up for breakfast and walking around for the whole morning so we got up at 11:30.
Due to our late start, we immediately went to get Lunch (although we had planned the previous night to meet some of our group and head towards the steps by the Ganges with them, our sleep needy brains halted those plans as soon as that alarm went off.)
Following our stomachs we got into a Tuk Tuk and went to get some food, bumping into the group in the restaurant anyway. Once we had satisfied our hunger we took a stroll down to the river in an attempt to understand the lives and spiritual nature which surrounds the Ganges.
As we sat and watched, the importance of this river was apparent. Many individuals came to dunk themselves under the healing water. All of the different classes however joint together by the spiritual connection. The fact that the river is believed to wash away one’s sins and to bathe in it is a life long ambition for many. Our tour guide had said to get the real feel of Varanasi we had to go and sit and watch as people underwent their rituals by the river and to see so many come together was enlightening in itself.
After sitting on the steps for around an hour we felt we should probably head back to the hotel in order to get prepared for the sleeper train. Walking back through the mixture of cows, pigs and stray dogs we found some more Tuk Tuks for our journey back to the hotel. When we were all packed and ready to go, with a small bottle of vodka and a diet coke in our bags and some crisps as a snack we were taken again to the train station.
Although this sleeper train was a different design and older than the previous one we had taken we found it a lot calmer than the one before.
This was probably due to the fact that we were with the rest of the group now rather than people we didn't know.
When we had got settled we were able to see out the window to the countryside as the sun hadn't set yet. As the train continued along the tracks we were able to see farmers going about their daily lives, water buffalo being lead by women (probably towards a lake or pond) and little villages that would not be known to your existence had you not witnessed the little shacks and the people walking along the roads.
These views were a lot more picturesque when compared to those we had seen on the sleeper train coming out of New Delhi.
As the train continued the sunset and we grew tiresome, pulling the beds into position and making them up with the provided packages of sheets, pillows and blankets we soon all attempted to settle down for the night.
I am still yet to sleep well on a train like this and the main problem that I found was the sheet we sleep on moves a lot during the night, so you end up sleeping on the sticky plastic underneath most of the night.
There is also the heightened level of anxiety that continues through out the journey which is probably caused by the fact that you are told to sleep with your smaller bags underneath your head and chain up your suitcases down below … ‘just in case’. Although this is an amazing experience to really get the feel for India and the people of the country, if you are looking for a good night sleep it is probably not the right option for you.. or it could be but with the right amount of sleeping tablets.
Who We are...
Living in London as a couple in their early twenties, we've been thrown into the want to travel as living in the largest tourist destination within the United Kingdom shows the excitement and feeling of accomplishment travellers achieve. Through this website, we track our adventures and attempt to also capture the adventures of other travellers. We hope that you enjoy following our journeys with us as much as we love sharing our stories.
Elly and Alex