Varanasi is the most important city in the Hindu religious tradition. According to legend, it was founded by the god Shiva several thousand years ago. Today Varanasi is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the country. Some Hindus seek to get here to cleanse themselves from sins, having plunged into the sacred waters of the river Ganga (this is exactly the name for the Hindi river of the female type). Others – to leave the world of the living, to complete the cycle of rebirth and remain forever in Nirvana (in Hindi, it is called “Moksha”). For a Hindu soul to make this route, his body must be burned on the banks of the Ganges.
Such an entourage makes Varanasi a terrible place. It is appropriate to call this city a crematorium in open air. Which besides, works round the clock. Nevertheless, Varanasi remains one of the most popular points of attraction for tourists from all over the world. Pilgrims who pray in the rays of the rising sun on the bank of the river against the background of millennial churches – this is impossible to miss. If you are traveling in northern India, be sure to try to call at least a couple of days in Varanasi. This city is worth it to change the route for it by travelling through the Maharajas Express train.
Most tourists come to Varanasi for the sole purpose of photographing ritual bonfires. Varanasi is perhaps the most accessible place in the world where you can look so closely at this eerie ancient tradition. Curiosity is stronger than fear. At the same time, tourists sometimes do not realize that they came to photograph other people’s funerals.
Near the entrance to the ghat of Harishchandra, a gesture was stopped by a guard. The guard escorted to the nearest observation tower, from where tourists could watch the cremation, without disturbing anyone. On the steps of the entrance sat an Indian old man wrapped in cloth.
Ritual fires for cremations are made of natural wood, which is very expensive in India. For example, if you want you or your relative to be cremated in an ordinary, state-owned crematorium, it will cost about 500 rupees. Also, know more about the Maharajas Express train cost before planning your trip.
A bonfire of natural wood on the banks of the Ganges costs five thousand. Traveling to Nirvana is expensive. The poor who want to go there, for a long time, collect money, forgetting about earthly affairs. These efforts can take a long time, sometimes for several months. All this time they live like ghosts that are temporarily stuck between our world and the otherworldly.