Manikarnika Ghat



One of the most sacred places for Hinduism is located in the holy city of Varanasi, India. It is the cremation Ghat or Manikarnika Ghat, the place where all Hindus have to be incinerated in order to reach eternal peace or "moksha".

To reach eternal peace, your ashes have to be returned to the mother river, where the Hindus believe that life began, in the river Ganges. Only holy men, children for their purity, pregnant women for carrying a baby and those killed by bites of the cobra snake, considered sacred, are exempt from this ritual..

A group of outcasts without caste carry through the streets of the city to corpse on the way to the Manikarnika Ghat, they shout prayers about Shiva, while on the outside of the Ghat, the closest relatives, husband or children if they are men shave their heads to be able light pyre funeral. It must be remembered that women are prohibited from entering, because if they attend cremation, the purification of the soul is not executed.

Once the corpse reaches the Ghat, it is bathed in the waters of the river and then water is introduced into its mouth. Once this is done and according to the money the family has, the mound of wood will be bigger, the body will burn better and only ashes will remain, what remains of the body will be returned to the mother river.

The ritual begins with the closest relative, making five rounds around the deceased, and then with the fire brought from the sacred place, the funeral pyre is set on fire, until there is nothing left of the body.

When everything ends a pile of ashes that are thrown into the river and another cadaver comes back to the place and back to start.