Hindu cremation ritual at Harishchandra Ghat, one of the Burning Ghats in Varanasi (India).
The corpse of a deceased person is burned on a funeral pyre, until only ashes remain. Then, the ashes are thrown in the Ganges river. The process takes about 3 hours.
The dark thing smoking in the front of the fire is the person's head. View the same cremation from another angle, where parts of the corpse can be seen clearly.
In Varanasi, open-air cremations are done day and night at several "Burning Ghats" along the Ganges river.
Photo taken in Varanasi - also known as Benares (India).
For more info about Varanasi, go to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varanasi.