This sacred river is the 'gateway to heaven'

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

The Ganges River is the holiest river in the Hindu religion. It is also home to millions of dead bodies.

Locals believe the sacred river has healing powers and by bathing in the Ganges, a person's sins can be washed away. But it is also a place to die. Hindus believe that dying along the banks of the Ganges releases the soul from the cycle of rebirth. People often release deceased family members in the river.

Every single day, over 300 bodies are cremated and tossed into the banks of Ganges. Manikarnika Ghat, located in Varanasi, is the primary place to perform cremation ceremonies. The flames of Manikarnika Ghat have been burning for over thousands of years.

As the body burns, last rituals are performed. A water-filled pot is thrown into the air.
When it lands and breaks, it symbolizes the escape of the soul from the body

Check out the scariest travel destinations:

Don't look down: Scariest travel destinations
See Gallery
Don't look down: Scariest travel destinations

Chamonix in the French Alps.

The Chamonix Skywalk is a five-sided glass structure installed on the top terrace of the Aiguille du Midi (3842m), with a 1,000 metre drop below, where visitors can step out from the terrace, giving the visitors the impression of standing in the void.

(REUTERS/Robert Pratta (FRANCE)

The Burj Kahlifa, the world's tallest building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Situated in downtown Dubai, the building was completed in October 2009. The building stands 829.8 metres tall, 2,722 feet. Visitors to Dubai can visit the buidling, with an observation deck on the 124th floor, named 'At the Top'. The views from the deck are stunning and give an amazing view of the surrounds of Dubai. The lift taking visitors to the deck hurtles guests at top speed and then allows them space outside to view the surrounds. There are 24,348 windows in the building. The building dominates for miles around and is truly a spectacular building of our day.

Zhangjiajie, China

Picture shows the glass-bottomed bridge across the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon on June 12, 2016 in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province of China. The bridge stretched 430 meters long, 6 meters wide and the biggest vertical drop was 1,430 meters under the path. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Skywalk at the Grand Canyon on the Hualapai Indian Reservation at Grand Canyon West, Ariz.

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Willis Tower, Chicago.

The observation deck of the 108-story Willis Tower (formerly named the Sears Tower), January 15, 2014. Over one million people visit its observation deck each year. The 1,451-foot building is home to United Airlines's main office.

(Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

CN Tower, Toronto.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese)

Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia.

It's a curved pedestrian bridge built on top of Mt. Machinchang at a height of 700 meters above sea level. The bridge is suspended from a 82 meter pylon swinging out over the landscape to give visitors a unique view of the surrounding area and neighboring islands.

(Photo by John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Blackpool, England.

 The observation deck at the top of the tower becomes the Blackpool Tower Eye and features a skywalk made of glass overlooking the sea and the promenade.

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Zhangjiajie, China.

Aerial view of tourists walking on the 100-meter-long and 1.6-meter-wide glass skywalk clung the cliff of Tianmen Mountain (or Tianmenshan Mountain) in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park on August 1, 2016 in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province of China. The Coiling Dragon Cliff skywalk, featuring a total of 99 road turns, layers after another, is the third glass skywalk on the Tianmen Mountain (or Tianmenshan Mountain).

(Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Auckland's Sky Tower, New Zealand.

Steeplejacks celebrate the completion of electrical and construction work on Auckland's Sky Tower.

Dachstein Mountains, Austria.

People on the 'Stairway to Nothingness' on the Dachstein Mountains.

Lion's Head, Cape Town, South Africa.

Lion's Head is known for spectacular views over both the city and the Atlantic Seaboard, and the hike to the top is particularly popular hike in the city and people hike up during full moon. Its slopes are also a popular launching point for paragliders.

(Photo by Nardus Engelbrecht/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Via Ferrata, Telluride, Colorado. 

Traversing the Main Event section of the Via Ferrata. 

Capilano River, Vancouver.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge across the Capilano River in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, circa 1960.

(Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Royal Gorge in Colorado Springs.
Devil's pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia.
Stone Stairway, Skellig Michael, Ireland.

El Caminito del Ray, Malaga Spain.

'El Caminito del Rey', which was built in 1905 and winds through the Gaitanes Gorge, reopened last weekend after a safer footpath was installed above the original. The path, known as the most dangerous footpath in the world, was closed after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000. The restoration started in 2011 and reportedly cost 5.5 million euros.

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)


Tasmania is a hidden travel gem
9 popular travel destinations in danger of volcanic eruptions
This island of dolls will give you nightmares

Read Full Story

People are Reading