DAILY PHOTO: Boats & Ghats, Varanasi
Manikarnika is the main ghat for cremation on the Ganges in the city of Varanasi. It’s noted by its vast stacks of firewood and steady flame. In Hindu mythology, it’s said to be where Mata Sati’s ear ring fell when Shiva was carrying her to the Himalayas and it’s an important Hindu site for reasons beyond the burial rights conducted there.
[When the caste system was legal] one of India’s wealthiest untouchables ran operations at the ghat. Untouchables being the only caste considered suitable to do this work, but it being a lucrative operation.
Travelers beware, sadly, this area attracts con-artists as well as mourners.