When you think of a tourist destination, a crematorium might be the last place that comes to mind. But in Varanasi, India, the Harishchandra Ghat Crematorium is exactly that – a place that attracts photographers and tourists alike. Here’s everything you need to know about this unique location.
Location and History
The Harishchandra Ghat Crematorium is located in Varanasi, a city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Varanasi is known for being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and is considered a holy city in Hinduism. It is said that dying and being cremated in Varanasi brings spiritual liberation.
The Harishchandra Ghat Crematorium is one of two cremation sites in Varanasi, the other being the Manikarnika Ghat. Harishchandra Ghat is named after the mythological king Harishchandra, who is said to have sacrificed everything to uphold truth and justice.
Why Photographers Love it
The Harishchandra Ghat Crematorium is a photographer’s paradise for several reasons. Firstly, it offers a unique insight into Indian culture and rituals. Visitors can witness the cremation ceremonies, which are conducted openly and with great respect.
Secondly, the Ghat provides a stunning backdrop for photography. It is situated on the banks of the river Ganges and offers sweeping views of the city. The Ghat is also home to several temples and shrines, adding to its visual appeal.
Finally, the Ghat is a place of contrasts. On the one hand, it is a place of mourning and sorrow. On the other hand, it is a place of hope and renewal, where the departed soul is believed to begin a new journey. Photographers are drawn to this duality and the emotions it evokes.
Why Tourists Love it
The Harishchandra Ghat Crematorium is not just a destination for photographers. It is also a popular spot for tourists who want to experience Indian culture up close. Visitors can witness the cremation ceremonies, but they can also take part in other activities, such as boat rides on the Ganges, temple visits, and shopping in the nearby markets.
The Ghat is also an excellent place to learn about Hinduism and its customs. Visitors can speak with locals and learn about the significance of the cremation rituals and the beliefs that underpin them.
Tips for Visiting
If you’re planning a visit to the Harishchandra Ghat Crematorium, here are some tips to make the most of your experience:
Dress appropriately: The Ghat is a place of mourning and respect, so visitors should dress modestly and conservatively.
Be respectful: Visitors should be respectful of the mourners and their families. Photography is allowed, but it should be done discreetly and without disrupting the proceedings.
Hire a guide: Hiring a local guide can enhance your experience by providing insights into the rituals and customs.
Be prepared for crowds: The Ghat is a popular destination, so be prepared for crowds and busy streets.
The Harishchandra Ghat Crematorium is a unique destination that offers visitors a glimpse into Indian culture and rituals. It is a place of contrasts, where mourning and sorrow meet hope and renewal. For photographers, it is a paradise of visual and emotional richness. For tourists, it is an opportunity to learn about Hinduism and experience a different way of life. Whatever your reason for visiting, the Harishchandra Ghat Crematorium is a destination that should not be missed.