Passage to India – The Charnel Ground

I went to the cremation ground in Puri today. I was deeply moved and it helped me to reflect on our own lives and deaths.

I’ll only show one photograph because it seemed that my taking lots of photographs was disrespectful. That said, as I was leaving, two more bodies had arrived at the gate and one entire family was having its photo taken with the deceased, whose head was being held up so it was more visible.

“Incredible India”

This is the cremation ground just across from the beach. The small fire on the left is the last of someone’s funerary pyre. The fellow with the pole is poking some body parts back into the fire. I watched another one being started nearby, complete with a ceremony I didn’t understand.

Cremation Ground, Puri

Cremation Ground, Puri

It was not quite what I had anticipated, which by itself should teach me to not anticipate anything in this country. People wandered through yakking on cell phones (mobiles) since there was a walkway here between streets. There were the usual dogs and cows, and hawkers too.

Wood Stash

Wood Stash

This is the hardwood used in the cremation. As you can see the whole affair is tucked in between beachfront hotels.

It was a good experience. Actually none of my adventures here can be said to be bad. It’s just life and death in another manner than our own. And that realization has been important to me.

Safe travels everyone, and keep your minds open while you’re at it.


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