This sacred river is the 'gateway to heaven'

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

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