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January 21, 2010

Gorakhpur cremation ground emerges as tourist spot

     Gorakhpur: A cremation ground is usually a place visited under compulsion, but Muktipath in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh has surprisingly become a tourist spot. Muktipath, which means path to salvation, has been beautified in such a manner that it no longer scares people off. Its foundation was laid on August 3, 2001 under the guidance of Nana Ji Deshmukh. "This place was earlier full of dirt and garbage. Bodies were burnt here for almost fifty years. Once we had come for a funeral ceremony and it started raining. Some people who had come along started playing cards, one of them said that the dead person is such an evil spirit that even after death his body could not be burnt. After hearing it we thought why not to put a shade so that the bodies could be burnt and nobody says anything like this ever again," said Durgesh Mishra, a member of Muktipath." Today, Muktipath is no more an ordinary cremation ground but also a place to perform marriages and hold other religious ceremonies. It's the only cremation ground in the state, which is recognised as a tourist place by the state government. The inscribed walls and the blossoming flowers in the garden attract the visitors. "I haven't seen such a beautiful place before. To convert a cremation ground into a tourist place is a great achievement. People were scared to visit a cremation ground but this place has been so beautifully decorated that it seems we have come to a park. I have come here for the second time," said B.N. Gupta, a tourist. Its maintenance is looked after the Cultural Department of the state, which will also look after its maintenance.
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