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Nepal; Kathmandu Valley, Pashupatinath, 1986

  • Carole Reeves
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Credit: Nepal; Kathmandu Valley, Pashupatinath, 1986. Carole Reeves. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Nepal; the Kathmandu Valley, 1986. Cremation on the sacred Baghmati river at Pashupatinath. About 89.5% of Nepalese are Hindu, and the most sacred Shiva shrine in Nepal is here, 5 kilometres from Kathmandu. In the sacred but highly polluted waters, people come to ritually bathe and cremate their dead. Here, two ghats still smoke after recent cremations, and straw used as fuel, litters the bank. The ashes are pushed into the river, and a sacred cow wanders along the bank while two priests pay their respects. Adjacent to the nearest ghat, two boys wash the family's pots and pans. For Shiva devotees, Pashupatinath is one of the four most important pilgrimage sites in Asia.

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