On the banks of the holy river Ganges, Varanasi (also known as Banaras or Kashi) is one of the oldest living cities in the world. It is considered to be the ultimate Hindu pilgrim destination since it is believed that those who embrace death by physically being present in this city would attain ‘Moksha’ or liberation from the circle of life and death. The Ganges in this region is considered to have the powers to ‘wash away; the sins of the mortals, which is why many Hindus desire is to be cremated there, even if they cannot spend their last living days there.
The Ghats of Varanasi are believed to be among the most auspicious places for pilgrims to perform religious ceremonies, including thousands of cremations every day. Varanasi attracts not only pilgrims but tourists too, for whom an extreme encounter with ancient Indian religious practices, in all their vibrancy and splendour, is here to experience.