Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, is probably the last holy and immaculate place left in the world. Legend asks that Hindu people cross the entire country to die in Varanasi, sometimes by foot for the poorest, and have their remnants burned there. The family of the deceased pray on a hill near the pyre, while the deceased, wrapped in linens and flowers, is washed in the sacred waters of the Ganges. The Japanese photographer Kenro Izu fell for this funereal ceremony—one at incredible odds with modernity—when he was invited by a family to observe the three-hour ceremony. His latest series of photographs, on view at the Howard Greenberg in New York, is an exploration of sacred places for Indian Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.
This article is reserved for subscribed members only. If you are already a member, you can log in here below.
Subscribe for full access to The Eye of Photography archives!
That’s thousands of images and articles, documenting the history of the medium of photography and its evolution during the last decade, through a unique daily journal. Explore how photography, as an art and as a social phenomenon, continue to define our experience of the world. Two offers are available.
Subscribe either monthly for $5 or annually for $50 (2 months offered).