Glimpses of India – Burning Bodies

It takes a lot of wood to burn a body.

In this holiest, oldest living city on the planet, over 300 bodies a day are cremated.  It’s a part of life.

Wood laden boats arrive all day, bodies wait to be burnt, men, cows, dogs and goats meander and mingle.  Women are not allowed here.  As a western female, I am tolerated on the outskirts.

Photography of the burning is banned.

On my last evening, I was offered a chance to take photographs of the burning ghat.  Permission was granted from the boss of the ghat for a substantial amount of rupees, I was allowed  to take 5 images.  Being very aware of the fact I was at a funeral, I was female and I was a tourist – here are the 5.

Six types of bodies are not cremated because they are pure already.  These are put directly into the river.  The six pure bodies are of children, pregnant women, holy men, people who died of snake bite, people who died of small pox, and lepers.

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