Cremation grounds along the Yamuna
NEW DELHI, September 23, 2015: If there is one thing which has lived with the Yamuna apart from the
pollution, that is the cremation grounds along it. As the black river reluctantly flows, the smell of burning flesh is almost unavoidable if
you are on boat and approaching the Nigambodh Ghat, which dates back to the days of the Pandavas.
Leaving the sheds built for pyres to be burnt, people prefer to perform
the last rites on the course of the river. “There is a huge rush here because this is the oldest, and famous people have been cremated here.
It’s like everyone wants to cremate their loved ones at a famous place,” says a worker.
When asked how the river is important to the place, he says, “In Hinduism, a flowing water body is needed to perform the last rites. The
ghat wouldn’t have existed had it not been the Yamuna.”
There used to be many such ghats along the Yamuna banks when the population was a fraction of what it is now and there were no electric
crematoriums, he says. It is only during monsoon when the water level is high that people use the sheds built for this purpose.
Over the years the ghat has also become a sort of tourist spot with many
people, especially foreigners, coming in to meditate here and in the nearby ghats of the Yamuna Bazar. Source: thehindu.com