Decomposed Cadaver Floating on the Ganges River in Varanasi (India)

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Decomposed Cadaver Floating on the Ganges River in Varanasi (India)

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View of the Ganges river and the Ghats of Varanasi, with a bloated cadaver floating near the moored boats (India).

The decomposed corpse of a dead man drifted ashore in front of the Ghats.

This may look gruesome for Westerners, but this is actually a pretty common sight in Varanasi, and in fact anywhere along the Ganges river. Locals don't raise an eyebrow when they see that.

Not all Hindu people are cremated after they die. Some categories of people (including pregnant women, young children, Hindu holy men, victims of contagious diseases or Cobra snake bite) are instead "buried" directly in the Ganges river, attached to some stones so that they sink.

It is not uncommon for a bloated decomposed corpse to emerge and drift ashore, like this one. When this happens, local boatmen just tow the cadaver to the middle of the river and let it float away.

For more info about Varanasi, go to

Date & GPS location
Photo taken on February 5, 2013
25/21,22, Sonarpura Road, Bangali Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001, India
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