The Varanasi Project
Rooted in the hearts of many Hindus is the belief that if you breathe your last in Kashi (Varanasi) you attain what is popularly known as “KashiLabh” —moksh or “release from the cycle of rebirth impelled by the law of karma”.
There are places in Varanasi where people check-in to die, or attain KashiLabh. We travelled to three such salvation homes - KashiLabhMuktiBhawan, MumukshuBhawan, Ganga LabhBhawan - to unearth stories of many a lives lived, and the lessons learnt in the process.
Our curiosity for understanding death, as this city knows it, was quenched by people all around us in Varanasi such as a young tea seller who was born by the ghats and has lived near the pyre throughout, a son who has put his life on hold and relocated to Kashi to take care of his ailing mother, an 80-year-old yogini who left home at the age of 12, the manager of one of the a salvation homes who has seen over >12000 deaths and many more.
Photo Credits: Anita Isola