Religion: Benares

In February, Hindus take to the roads. They put contemplation in their eyes, pence in their pockets, lazy rhythm in their feet and swarm along to Benares (Three syllables). They swarm upon the ghats—lazy broad stairs that lead into the Ganges. They swarm into the Ganges, sacred purifier. They gaze upon domes of temples, domes of pagodas, domes of palaces, domes and domes which float lazily upward into dust-laden air. They swarm, purified, into the Temple of Siva who is God the Destroyer and God the Regenerator, awful with phallic symbol, wriggling...

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