manikarnika burning ghat
Manikarnika burning ghat of varanasi ,in the city of dead.
"Manikarnika" is a sanskrit word means earrings.According to a legend hindu goddess Parvati lost her earring here and so it is auspecious to burn the dead here.So that, Lorrd shiva could ask directly to the soul ,if they found the earring of his wife.
These are the burning ghats where everyone, from the Prime minister to a poor peasant is cremated.
It is here that Shiva himself whispers Taraka Mantra in the ears of the dying.ensuring that he transcends the cycle of birth and death.
Everyone wants to die in varanasi,there are some ashrams ,where people come and wait for their death.As it is said that dying in varanasi liberates the soul from the cycle of suffering.
The bodies are burnt and ashes are put into the ganges water.This is a bit shocking for westerners , but for hindus death is a part of life.
If the dead is a woman and her husband is still alive,she is burnt with her red sari ,and if the dead is an old person(90-100 years old) ,his body is taken with decorations and live band.
If you want to see the burning pyres,the best time to do that is late evening , as in the dark pyres are visible from a distance So.You could watch that while doing the evenng boat ride.
Taking photos is best avoided , i took these from some hiding place.
Hari Chand ghat
Cremation Ghats of Varanasi
Very near to the Manikarnika is a Hospice for the dying.
And one important thing to note that if a body is coming from the north side, it can't cross Manikarnika Ghat, and if it is coming from the south side it can't cross Harish Chndra ghat so it has to be cremated at the first ghat and should not cross the same ghat.
That is why some bodies are cremated at Harish Chandra Ghat and not at Manikarnika.Though Manikarnika Ghat is more important , because of presence of Shiva there.
Return from manikarnika burning ghat to ghats of varanasi
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