Manikarnika Ghat at Varanasi, India is one of the oldest and sacred Ghats for Hindus and it is believed those who die and cremated here gets immediate liberation from the endless cycle of rebirths. The cremation process must be completed correctly or the soul will not find the afterlife. The family member of the deceased carry the body on a bamboo stretcher wrapped in white cloth with an orange drape covered with flowers and garlands. During the cremation ritual the bodies are immersed in the holy Ganges to cleanse them from their sins. The body is then dried and placed on the wood pyre for cremation. The elder male member of the family presides over the cremation ceremony and shaves his head as a sign of respect. It is believed by the people that the pyres at Manikarnika ghat burns day and night throughout the year.
Debasish is a Documentary Photographer currently based in Bangalore, India. His keen interest lies in documenting the vibrant colors, culture, daily activities, work and life style of the Indian people in their natural surroundings. His works have been published by National Geographic, BBC, Theguardian, The Open Magazine and Bangalore Mirror. He received First prize for people-Culture category at the “International Photography Awards 2016, Second prize for Book (Series), Documentary at PX3-Paris 2017”