Pashupatinath is the sacred Shiva temple on the banks of the Bagmati river in Kathmandu. One of the most important Hindu shrines in Nepal, the dead are cremated along its riverbanks. There are 2 ghat areas for cremation- the one closest to the temple is for the royals and the rich- the one further down is for everyone else. Family members may actualize the cremation ritual, which is the case with the 2 young men pictured with shaved heads who were cremating their father (observing a timeless tradition) or, the family may opt to hire someone to take charge of the pyre. Mourners gather, and the atmosphere is serious, but almost festive, as death is integrated as an inevitable part of human life.
Not far from the river and the temple is a poor home for the elderly, who, not far from death, are within an arm's throw to the ghats.