Imagine yourself at dawn, lost in a maze of alleys, almost a chiaroscuro of a medieval city. You wander around in narrow, winding streets, asking yourself what may lay behind these dozens of nameless and half-open doors that lead to the heart of houses dating back hundreds of years. Mysterious silhouettes move here and there, draped in silk or wrapped in a white sheet. They walk in silence, all in the same direction. You follow them. Sounds of bells ring out in the distance, the sacred Ganges is flowing somewhere below. It is 5 a.m. and Hindus start preparing to bathe or do their ritual ablutions.

You’re sweaty and walk in the streets of this city that is waking up. You cannot ignore the massive bulls that sleep around and block your passage. You get bewitched by the sacred songs that resonate in the distance and fail to locate the source. One night on a noisy and uncomfortable train has driven you near to exhaustion, but you almost don’t feel it as you realize that you finally got here, in the holiest of all Hindu cities : Varanasi.