Monday, May 23, 2011

The flaming ghats of Pashupatinath - where the dead turn to ash

In Kathmandu, in an area called Pashupatinath, the Nepalese cremate the dead on raised platforms along the Bagmati river.  Running down from the Himalayas, the Bagmati river meets up with the Ganges and flows down to the holy city of Varnassi. 

The air is thick with the smoke of the dead; mourners shuffle about in silence.  Monkeys pick through the offerings like oblivious goons. A ghost like presence haunts just above your shoulder at this Hindu burial site.  The bodies burn slowly and the ashes join the river. 

The sun shines through on the flaming ghats 

 A burning body on a platform, the kids fish out lumber for future use

 A bandit holds his hands close like a real guilty creepster 

 Only the bereaved our allowed around the ghats near the cremated
 A body is prepared for fire 

 Tossing found lumber for later use

 A kid plays in the river 

 The body

 The smoke of death 

 The smoke of death II - kid with ball in river

It got real smoky

 Very otherworldly and ethereal

 A cow peaks

The colorful offerings surround the remains of a famous person - perhaps military 

 Nepalese army - they would not be happy with me for taking this picture 

 Like a mirror

 But not a mirror 

 Some sort of dread-locked holy man or tourist target 

 A whole crew

 From above 

 A random deer park 

 Remains of the day 

Penis and Vagina statue - I don't get it either