Photographer's Note

the corpse was wrapped in a white cotton cloth overlaid in an ochre one. a garland of small white flowers stretched along the length of the body. it had been deposited at the top of the steps leading down to the Baghmati River, as if abandoned. no one seemed to be tending to it, no one sat beside it grieving, passers-by did not glance at it. a few yards away women were shampooing their hair and washing pots in the river, indifferent to its presence..

Cremation in Pashupatinath Ghat, Katmandu/Nepal

Pashupatinat is the Nepal's most important Hindu temple, which stands on the banks of holy Bagmati river. the long stretch along the Baghmati river is devoted to cremations. a bridge divides the royal site upriver, from the commoner cremation sites downriver.. the Baghmati feeds into the Ganga, which spills out into the indian ocean, the ultimate point of dissolution and regeneration.. the burning ghats (called Arya ghats) just in front of the temple, are for the cremation of royalty. ten members of the royal family were cremated here after the massacre in 2001..

the six square cremation ghats after the bridge are for the common people (like in here). the log fires are laid, the shrouded body lifted on top and the fire lit with a remarkably small ceremony (you can see the feet under the logs..) my first witness for a complete cremation ritual in a ghat. a moving experience. only brahmin pandits are allowed to burn the corpses in Nepal -the two on the left side here-; very opposite of India, it is the outcastes' (Domes) job..

the deceased's family allowed me to take a few pictures.
a closer one is in WS

wautersw, dokadak, tober, tucancr, abulafia, AnimeshRay, wolf38 has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Evren Sahin (nerve) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 731 W: 81 N: 697] (10231)
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