The main entrance
The Holy women
These women sit and read holy texts waiting for someone to give them offerings.
Pashupati is a Hindu god who is an emination of Shiva. As Shiva is the one of the three most important gods in the Hindu pantheon, is revered. Shiva used used get around on a bull, so Pashupatinath is a save haven for sacred cows.
Behind is the holy temple of Pashupatinath, the most holy temple in Nepal. Pilgrims flock here daily and also take the opportunity to watch the cremations below.
The last bath
Bodies shrouded in holy clothes are placed down at the rivers edge and then bathed with holy water. They are then cared to the funeral pyre
This used to be the ghat reserved for Nepal's royalty. Not any more. This was quite an elaborate cremation.
Stoking the fire.
The cremation begins by putting a flame in the decreased mouth. The face is then covered with layers of dried strawer and up it goes.
On the ghat
A less elaborate cremation of a woman.
There lack of women here. Its is the man's role to dispose of the dead. However, it seems Nepal does have one amazing efficiency - look at the sign behind the onlookers. It was closed the day I was there.
The low caste cremation master watches over his pyre to ensure their is adequate heat to carry out the task.
Watching these cremations is the most moving thing I have ever done. You share the grief even though you don't know anyone. You are also very cognisant of your own mortality.
All adornments are caste aside into the river. One could think they are offerings, but this might be hopeful
All that remains
The adornments and the ashes are all swept into the river to be carried off to India.
Not one, but many
The Lonely Wait
Once the body is placed on the pyre, the man responsible sits and waits until there is nothing left other than ashes.
Some of the beggars trawl through the filthy waters hoping to stumble on something of value.
Waiting for a puja
A Brahmin priest sits on the bank opposite the ghats waiting for someone to come and request a puja for a loved one.
Pashupatinath is also the home of many smalll temples each with ornate adornments on the corners and over the entrance.
The lingam is a phallic representation of Shiva. It sits on a yoni with is symbolic of the woman. Vermillion is offered
Incense offering for the dead
Sadhu's devoted to Shiva carry a trident. This is has been placed at the embers of last nights fire. The ashes are still providing warmth to one of many stray dogs.
The trident, the dog and the camera touting tourist
This lady is a resident in the hospice for the old located within the grounds of the Pashupatinath complex. I didn't realise for some time that she was blind.
The halls of commerce are ever-present outside religious sites, even here. Jesus would have been dismayed.
The pilgrims and the tourist
A tile on a wall perhaps to stop men urinating on the wall.
A pilgrim holds a vessel of scared water from the Bagmati River.
Prayers for the dead
The oldest male in the family is responsible for holding a puja. He always wears white and shaves his head apart from a small tuft at the crown.
Real or tourist sadhu? Only he knows.