Life at the Cremation ghat

January 12, 2019  •  13 Comments

Varanasi also commonly known as Benaras, is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in Uttar Pradesh, India. Benaras is regarded as a holy city by Hindus.

Death in Varanasi brings Hindus salvation (moksha). This means the cycle of reincarnation ends and you go directly to heaven.

If a person dies beside the Ganges in Varanasi or has Ganges water sprinkled on them as they breath their last breath it is believed they achieve absolute salvation.

Cremation is an extremely important ritual for Hindus. Fire is the chosen method for disposal of the dead because of its association with purity and its power to scare away harmful ghosts, demons and spirits. The fire god Agni is asked to consume the physical body and create its essence in heaven in preparation for transmigration.

The processions with the corpse to the ghat are often accompanied by a chant “Rama nama satya hai." The body is immersed once in the Ganges and then anointed with ghee (clarified butter).

The cremations in Varanasi are preformed by the Doms, a subcaste that makes their living burning bodies for cremations for a fee that ranges considerably depending on the wealth of the family. The Doms are a caste of Untouchables. Touching a corpse after death is viewed as polluting and thus only Untouchables are designated to do this kind of work.

After the cremation the bones and ashes of the deceased are thrown into the Ganges.

Manikarnika Ghat is dedicated to the cremation ritual. Approx 60 people are cremated per day at Manikarnika.

This is a photo story based on my experience with Death. But the story is about Life - Life at the Cremation ghat. Please check this out and leave your feedback in the comments section below.

 


Comments

Saurabh Sarmadhikari(non-registered)
Others have said everything I wanted to say...only want to add one thing...this brilliant photo-story reminds me of an interesting poem in English by Keki N. Daruwalla, 'Boat-ride along the Ganga' (Daruwalla, Keki N. Crossing of Rivers. OUP, 1976)
chaitali(non-registered)
its really great and hard work.photographs are excellent. I don't have much knowledge abour creamation at monikornija ghat. i heard so many story but seen the photographs first time. r o bhalo kaj karun.
Md Enamul Kabir(non-registered)
One of your best work .. great vai.
Dibyendu(non-registered)
Nice work. It shows your long time work effort on the topic.. I love the subtle tone. Good Job .
Arnab Ghosh(non-registered)
Wow! This is intense. I loved the presentation, could relate more because of the story. Although we know some of the facts, people like me do not get into the story behind by default, You forced me to do that and those pictures became a part of the story. Technicalities of photography is for enthusiasts, but story is for everyone! Keep doing the great work SG!!!
No comments posted.
Loading...

Email : [email protected]

Mobile: +91-9874220264

Archive
January February March April May June July August (1) September (1) October November December
January February March April May June July August (1) September October November December
January February March April May June July August (1) September October November December
January February (1) March April May (1) June July August September October November December (2)
January February March April May June July August September October November (1) December (1)
January (3) February March (2) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December