Bathing and Cremation Ghat on banks of Bhagiratti [Bagmati], Pashpatti
Photographer: Herzog and Higgins
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 30 prints credited to Herzog and Higgins, taken in ca. 1901 and part of the Curzon Collection. A view of the ghat [stepped embankment] leading to the Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest Hindu shrine in Nepal, which is dedicated to Shiva, worshipped here in his form as Pashupati, Lord of the Animals. Inscriptions date it from the 5th century AD but it is believed to be even older, although restored and rebuilt over the centuries, the last major restoration being in the late 17th century. Situated on the sacred river of Nepal, the Bagmati River, a branch of the Ganges, the temple overlooks bathing and cremation ghats. The soul of the dying person is released by immersing the feet in the waters of the river, and after death the body is cremated on this riverside ghat. People bathe in the river to cleanse their sins.