Udayavni Special

Varanasi: The holiest city with a death hotel

Shivani Kava, Mar 1, 2021, 12:01 PM IST

Source: AFP

Varanasi, home to the holy Ganges, revered temples, and the traditional Benarasi weave is one of the most visited cities in India.

Apart from being known as the ultimate pilgrimage spot, Varanasi, also known as Kashi is the abode of Lord Shiva and has a Death hotel since 1908.

Mukti Bhavan or Death hotel is unique and has existed in Varanasi to fulfill the wishes of the believers. It consists of 12 rooms, but the place is known to set up beds in the corridors in case there are more guests.

Dying in Varanasi is a privilege and the popular notion is here to celebrate it and not mourn.

Bhairav Nath Shukla is the caretaker of Mukti Bhawan. He says that most of the residents die within a few days, further he adds that two weeks is the maximum limit for using the room.

Mukti Bhawan is run by a charity, the accommodates can pay a small fee of Rs. 20 and those who can’t afford are accommodated for free.

Daily prayers followed by four-hour-long rituals are performed by priests in the Bhavan’s temple. The place is poorly lit and has a dull ambiance which oddly fits the house of death. With various developmental projects in Varanasi, Mukti Bhawan no longer has a view of the river.

People across India travel thousands of kilometers just to die in the land of Kashi.

Reports reveal that more than 15,000 people have died at Mukti Bhawan and have been taken to the Ganges for cremation.

A visit to Mukti Bhawan influences you into accepting the reality of death while also helping you put your own life in perspective.

This is not it, even mortals like you and me who have the will to live can find places to explore at Varanasi.

The city is home to the largest university in Asia, also known as the hub of literature as literary minds like Tulsi Das and Munshi Prem Chand hail from Varanasi. Not only that, Varanasi is home to over 23,000 temples, and exploring all of them is next to impossible.

Enough reasons to explore this magnificent city? Happy exploring!

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