Ancient, holy and tumultuous yet simultaneously spiritual, Varanasi can be an overwhelming yet equally moving experience. Said to be one of the world’s oldest cities and mentioned in ancient Hindu texts such as the Ramayana. The city’s spirituality is closely linked to her setting on the banks of the holy river Ganges and Hindus believe that Lord Shiva himself founded the city. As such, pilgrims and Saddhus (holy men) flock to the city, to bathe themselves at the ghats along the banks of ‘Mother Ganges’ or to worship at one of the many temples in the old town. Cremations are also popular here, since many Hindus aspire to have their ashes scattered in the holy river.