Another gallery from Varanasi. The life of this city is most vibrant on the banks of the Holy Ganges. People entrust this river with their wishes and dreams and their bodies after death. The ghats (stone stairs leading to the river) have an amazing atmosphere – during the day they are full of pilgrims preparing for bathing, people giving blessings, and beggars waiting for a few coins. Every evening beautiful ceremonies are organized here and the ghats are even more crowded. Some of the ghats have huge crematories where bodies are burned on huge balls (wealthier families can afford a sandalwood tree). The smoke from these burning piles is everywhere. Breathing it in is inevitable, and so reflection that comes with it…

Tourists should not photograph crematories – due to the respect and beliefs of the families of the deceased. However, nobody has anything against watching the ceremonies taking place there. The death seems to be a “normal” part of life here. When I watched one funeral, the relatives of the departed ASKED me for photos. Therefore, I feel that with this permission I could take these photos and publish them. The photos are at the end of the gallery, after the picture of a sleeping dog. The body of the deceased is visible, so if you don’t want to see such content – please close the gallery after reaching the photo of the dog having a nap.

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