Manikarnika is one of the most scared riverfronts (ghat)along side the river Ganga in the city of Varanasi. According to the Hindu religion to die and to be cremated here breaks the cycle of death and rebirth. The cremation ground that runs non stop round the clock, burning almost 150-200 bodies a day in clear view is a testament to its power of redeeming souls. Therefore dying here is not mournful, it’s transcendental- interpreted as the liberation of soul. People in their last days (old or terminally ill)travel from all parts of India to the ghats seeking peaceful death.
At Manikarnika ghat life and death are juxtaposed; one can see life and death thriving, feeding off each other. It’s more than just a spectacular sight of burning pyres, it’s also a sight for most banal activities of the people who run the show. All of their life is lived out on the ghats- brushing, bathing , washing , lingering with chai, everything- in a very matter of fact way.