I walked through the ghats keeping my head low, trying not to stare at the burning pyres of human remains.. feeling like an imposter, like I’m intruding on something incredibly personal and shouldn’t be there, but no one seems to notice, or maybe they just didn’t mind.
Instead they stand in groups draping flowers across the body of their loved ones along the river before the wooden biers are set ablaze. As the smoke billows, ashes begin to rain down, and soon the only thing that even slightly resembles what-was-once a human body becomes the two bony feet protruding from one side.
The ghats are an open air crematorium where Hindu’s burn their loved ones so that their ashes may be cleansed by the holy water in the Ganges, and their soul may be free to reincarnate. This is an incredibly important ritual in the Hindu culture. For this reason many Babas (holy men) migrate to these places.. which is where I met this man pictured, he sat mumbling a mantra with his face and body covered in ashes..
Every 12 years In India there is a festival held called Kumbha Mela, where Hindi’s travel to bathe in the 4 sacred rivers to cleanse their souls of sin. It is regarded as the "world's largest peaceful congregation of religious pilgrims". This is festival is taking place right now and is expected to have more than 150 million pilgrims migrating to the Ganges River by March.
I’m making some changes.. ill be posting a lot more of my actual photography and the stories behind them. I hope you all continue to enjoy my content, I’ll still post a selfie here and there, but Id like for you guys to get to know the real me and vice versa..
See the entire collection in the gallery on my website. Link in bio!