Varanasi: A living history. 52 mins.
Varanasi is Hinduism’s holiest city, the eternal home of Hindu deities Lord Shiva and the goddess Maa Ganga. However this bustling city of 3.5 million people is facing some very earthly challenges.
This 52-minute documentary made for ABC Radio National's Encounter program in 2013 looks at the history, mythology and day-to-day life in Varanasi. In a sound-rich journey which brings the banks of the Ganges River to life, we hear from a range of people who call Varanasi home: from priests to hawkers, elderly widows to young cricketers, boatmen to holy men. The documentary looks at some of the issues facing the city, including environmental pollution, Hindu-Muslim identities, the decline of the textile industry, the sex trade and, of course, the contradictions and charm of Varanasi's cremation grounds.