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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Jan 17, 2014: The street barbers of Varanasi


Varanasi, also known as Benares, in India is one of the oldest living cities in the world. It has a continuous history that is older than most of the main world religions. Built on the banks of Mother Ganges,  India’s most holy river, it is considered by the followers of Hinduism to be the holiest of cities and most auspicious place to die, as this will lead to immediate salvation and atonement of all past sins.

Varanasi is bustling, busy and never sleeps as the business of death and cremations continues around the clock without pause. In turn all service providers to the industry and workers of the city themselves live a busy and hectic existence, be they the suppliers of the wood for cremations, marigold garlands, prayer banners or the barbers who are the subject of today's Picture of the Day.

Taking advantage of every scrap of available public space, they set up their mobile barbershops wherever there is room and customers. So whether you want a simple hair cut or an elaborate morning shave complete with a facial and head massage then this is the salon for you!


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  • Street barbers Varanasi: Street barbers to a bustling city

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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