A sip of septic water…

Our first stop in India was Varanasi, one of the holiest Indian cities that is sacred for Hindus. People from all over the country come to swim, wash and even drink from the sacred waters of the River Ganges. It’s pretty crazy when you realise that the water is actually septic.

The ghats
Washing in the Ganges

But the main reason people come to the city is to cremate their loved ones. The river is lined by ghats (sets of steps) and at some of these bodies are burnt in the open.

‘Outcasts’ carry the deceased through the town. They are wrapped in different coloured material depending on their familial role. The bodies are taken down to the river and dipped in the holy water before being weighed and the precise amount of firewood (there are many different types with the most expensive being sandalwood)  needed to incinerate them is calculated. Then they are put on the fire.

We watched several of these rituals at sunset from a rowing boat on the river.

The burning ghat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s