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photo series: death & the ganges - rhea kothari

"Death is no stranger to the banks of the Ganges. Descending from the Himalayas, the Ganges flow through the cities of Rishikesh and Haridwar: two very culturally important places in the Hindu religion.  Cities vibrant in colors, and with life and death residing harmoniously. Funeral pyres and cremation is a common sight on the banks.  The last of the Saints and Gurus reside in these cities, making it a very religiously prominent place in India. According to Hindu pantheon, the holy river is the form of Ganga Mata, the Hindu Goddess of purity and life, the one who liberates mortals from the cycle of life and death and helps attain Moksha.  Hindus strongly believe in performing rites & rituals on the banks of Ganga as it is said to bring about fortunes and wash away one's sins, bestowing one with heavenly blessings. It's common for Hindus to spread the cremated ashes of the deceased, allowing the sacred water to direct the souls of the departed."


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