Cremation in Banaras: Death is as Important as Life


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Photograph by :Vetrivel

When we talk about the religion, India wins the 1st place and it should be the number one in position as here many faiths are in practice on regular basis with the firm belief. One of them is Cremation at Banaras Ghat.

Photograph by :Ayush Sharma

Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghat are used for cremation out of more than around seven dozen Ghats in Banaras. But Manikarnika Ghat has more significant value than Harishchandra Ghat. It is known as burning Ghat as around 250 dead bodies in a day are cremated here with the belief that the bodies which are burning here get the Moksha, the eternal peace directly leaving behind the cycle of death and life. That’s why death is as a celebration at Manikarnika Ghat.

Manikarnika Ghat (photograph by Meena Verma)
Manikarnika Ghat

In Rigveda, Banaras is referred as Kashi, the “luminous city as an eminent seat of learning”. Also known as Varanasi, Banaras is one of the seven Holy Cities, twelve Jyotir Linga and a Shakti Pitha sites. This makes it the most favored place for Hindus for the cremation.

It is believed that Lord Shiva has given the boon of eternal peace to the Manikarnika Ghat. After thousands of years long prayer by Lord Vishnu, Shiva came to Kashi, now known as Banaras, with his wife Parvati to grant Lord Vishnu’s wish not to destroy the city. Since then Banaras is considered as the holiest place for cremation in Hindu religion. There are few more myths around but legend is the above fact.

At Manikarnika Ghat the funeral process includes the rituals as chanting of prayers, wrapping the dead body in colored cloth, secured on a bamboo, burning on pyre and a small ash of the burnt body release into the Ganga river.

Only one blog can not do justice to this land of God. But cremation in Banaras makes the death as important as life.


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