The Crematoria

The Crematoria, Kathmandu

The Crematoria
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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1,475 reviews
Very good

Kew, UK71 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
I feel a bit strange giving this place 5 stars, but it’s certainly an extraordinary experience and contrary to what some people might think, the experience isn’t morbid but insightful.
We visited it at about 3 pm, we bought the tickets to access the temple (1k Nepali Rupees entry fee that should go towards the area conservation ) and a guide pretty much attached himself to us. Although we didn’t want to really have a guide, his knowledge came in handy for an extra 500 rupees that were negotiable.
If you get a guide do negotiate the fees in advance, getting tickets is NOT necessary to access the cremation area, as you can get into by an adyacent Street.
The place provides an incredible insight into the rituals, beliefs and culture of the Hindu faith, live and death side by side, death is just part of live, in a continues circle called Samsara: birth, suffering, death and rebirth. No one cries, the ceremony is quiet and relatively quickly.
The experience was totally surreal and to a point for me at least shocking but insightful to witnes other cultures views on death.
Written January 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

47 contributions
Jul 2019
Everything can be warded away, but death looms within and without all the time. Only after seeing the open cremation, the sacred of death and the rites of passage gets unfurled. Give thtree hours around here.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hong Kong, China208 contributions
Feb 2020
This is real life people, or should i say the end of life, this is real.
For those wanting to stay poolside, have a massage and send a postcard, you are missing out.
These places are the reason you are here, death is celebrated and bodies are burned all day, an amazing spectacle to witness.
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Adelaide, Australia1,650 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
Go here with a guide so you can learn about the interesting religion and cast system. They don’t plant their dead in the ground with a stone on top like we do in Aus, they burn them. Makes sense really.

Nothing too graphic, the bodies are covered up pretty well
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Abdel-Hafid B
Temara, Morocco30 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
During my visit to this temple, I was able to attend two cremations. One was dedicated to a child and the second to an adult. Note that cremations are of two types: one reserved for the rich and another for the average and poor. I admit that I was not very comfortable seeing a human body being consumed by fire
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Yekaterinburg, Russia64,088 contributions
Feb 2020
Open-air cremations for those of the Hindu faith are very public events here. As part of the cremation ceremony, holy water is used to bless the pyre on which the casket containing the body is placed.
Written March 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Toronto, Canada1,489 contributions
Feb 2020
I found the smell from the cremations to be very unpleasant and repugnant. Although we visited it, it is not for everybody. Now a must see.
Written March 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Betty P
San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina2,589 contributions
Jan 2013 • Friends
First of all, I must say I agree with a previous review that the Crematoria is a sacred place which has nothing morbid about the Hindu practice of cremation and what it embodies. It provides a unique sight, rarely experienced by Westerners.

The Crematoria is within the complex of the Pashupatinath Temple. A fascinating site, an open air crematorium where you can learn about the Hindu way of dealing with the departed ones; a large and well kept ancient complex of temples, stupas, and old buildings sitting on the river Bagmati where a traveller can get a good eye-view of the cremation process of a Hindu believer. Also an interesting place to learn a bit about the Hindu and Nepali culture.

Ceremony: Impossible to describe it! You need to prepare yourself for this experience and be aware that you might find what you see difficult for the Western eye (Western sensibility can be deeply touched as it can be a bit disturbing for Western eyes). Bodies are brought here within the first few hours of death to be cremated; all the family gather round and help to prepare the bodies before they are cremated. According to the rank of the dead person, the body is cremated in the respective ghat. Families share their grief, come together and prepare their loved one for the next journey. In this cultural and spiritual ceremony the feet of the bodies are unwrapped and washed in the holy waters of the above mentioned river. After that, bodies are decorated with flowers and powder. Some holy milk from the temple is poured into the dead’s mouth and after the performance of the family rituals, the bodies are placed on the fire stand (pyres). Bodies, covered in wood, take around 5 to completely cremate. Afterwards, the ashes are pushed and scattered into the holy river. Last but not least, young boys search the river waters for gold and other metals that did not burn.

Westerners don't seem to accept death as part of living; Hindus see it as a sacred end. So, this is an excellent opportunity to learn about the Hindu way of returning and disposing the "empty shell" (the human body) where it belongs to.

Photography: cremations are a very moving affair. Observed all the goings with due respect and decorum, discreetly. I took no photos, as I felt it was rude to intrude. I hate tourists who despite being told not to take photos take their huge zoom lens intruding into families’ grief. It is really irritating for me to observe those who clearly prioritize a photo to show the friends and relatives back home than to a human being's pain.

If you choose not to pay the entrancee fee, as a non-Hindus you may observe the cremations and preceding ceremonies from a close vantage point across the river. Absolutely worthwhile as they are so different from our closed doors burials! Not for the faint of heart, though. One may feel terribly impressed here.

An amazing cultural, touching and spiritual experience! A heart moving site to the Western traveller. An interesting glimpse of another culture. A cultural curiosity, an eye opener. Not confronting, just outside our experience. I really learnt a lot.

Give yourself ample time and indeed hire a site guide (some with faultless English) who may have much to offer (Non Hindus normally may not get to see these rituals anywhere else. I would strongly advise a guide for a better and further understanding and appreciation of Hindu way of life).

Great to see how another religion deals with death. Absolutely worthwhile if you want a cultural lesson, a learning experience. Not for the light – hearted as I said before.

A life experience! I felt privileged. Touching, moving. A deeply recommended spiritual place. Certainly educational, indeed. A must see to understand this ancestral culture!

Westerners, watch out! We have much to learn!
Written September 3, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alan A
Edinburgh, UK24 contributions
Nov 2014 • Friends
Please do not think of this as sightseeing. Or an attraction This is a sacred place where. Grief stricken people say goodbye to their loved ones. The services are very dignified with the body being washed and prepared for the funeral pyre. Some tourists are very ghoulish. Please respect the Budhist Hindu traditions. Watch in reverence as you would at a funeral in your own country. A new modern crematorium as we would recognise it is being built. But I think the traditional method will be used for a long time
It is a very humbling experience to visit this place and it will remind you of your own mortality
On a lighter note when I was there ambulances would arrive bringing the dead on litters to take to the funeral pyres from one ambulance came an old man with a long white beard wrapped in white cloth. Poor soul I thought. Making his way to be cremated. All of a sudden he waved a bony hand. my God I thought. He is not dead. Then I was informed that he was being taken to the hospital round the corner. Puts a twist on the old saying. In the midst of death we are in life. Go and watch in reverence. Remember nothing in the universe is permanent. Namaste
Written May 16, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Waterford, Ireland435 contributions
Jun 2014 • Friends
This is well worth a visit, to see the bodies being brought for cremation being washed in the river prior to burning, fascinating to me as a westerner. Photos are allowed unlike in Varanasi, India. Lots of people offering guide services but charging high prices. Agree your price beforehand, I did but saw others that didn't have aggravation from the guides afterwards for saying their price was too expensive. The various holy men etc charge you for taking their photo and I was told that I couldn't go into a nearby temple as I wasn't the right religion, not sure how correct that is but check it out as I was charged for the ticket to the temple anyway! As it was raining hard I didn't protest too much, but I got a feeling of scamming throughout this area. Crematoria is cool though.
Written August 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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The Crematoria is open:
  • Sun - Sat 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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