In Varanasi, India, more than 90 ghats (stairways) lead down to the banks of the Ganges River. Hindus come from around the world to immerse in the river they consider sacred. Unfortunately, this was often a difficult proposition. The ghats were covered in mountains of mud deposited by seasonal flooding. Worshipers avoided some ghats where the mud was slippery, but every year a handful of people lost their footing and perished in the treacherous currents. Recently, however, the situation has improved. All up and down the ghats, workers are washing away years of built-up mud with fire hoses. Once cleaned, the steps are painted in bright colors. These young men are working on the stairway between Vijayana Garam Ghat (left) and Kedar Ghat (right).