"The Ganges River at Dawn" India Things to Do Tip by karinyeung

India Things to Do: 1,031 reviews and 1,690 photos


The Ganges is a sacred river to the Indian people. It is where many live and die. The circle of life is seen in the way that the river is used for all things. Cleansing the body in life, and taking the body away in death. At dawn, one can see this juxtaposition of life and death on the banks. People come in hordes to bath in the (apparently rejuvenating) holy water of the river. At the same time, funeral pires are lit and the remains are thrown into the river along with flowers and candles that float along the surface. Our guide told us that the entire body is burned to ashes except for the heart if you are male and a breast if you are female. Those parts are left unburnt and thrown into the holy river with the ashes after the funeral ceremony.

Address: Varanasi, India

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 25, 2002
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