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.
Photos taken in India in 2013
The highlight if this trip was the Maha Kumba Mela Hindu Festival, the largest human gathering on earth, which happens once every 12 years.
Other regions visited include the springs of the Ganges river, Varanasi, the Konark sun temple.
See also my photos of Nepal that I took the same year.
Photos taken in the Hindu Holy city of Varanasi - also know as Benares (India).
For more info about Varanasi, go to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varanasi .