Hindus and Jains flock to Varanasi to release their souls from the damnation of reincarnation by dying on the holy Ganges River. The city is defined by the activity of the river front: a place for social interaction, washing, cleaning and religious events as well as death, where vast crowds gather throughout the day below the dramatic series of steps that rise to the city above. Drifting past in a boat early in the morning or at dusk the low sun bathes this activity in warm light, highlighting the paintings created by residents along the shore. Visitors are warned not to partake in the rituals due to pollution by open drains and sewers flowing into the river.