A man sits with his dog alongside a flooded river in Varanasi, northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Aug. 25, 2016. The state has been reeling under heavy rains and floods since the past one week, with many rivers flowing above the danger mark. (Xinhua/Tumpa Mondal)
NEW DELHI, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Floods due to heavy rains have brought Hindu funerals to a halt along the banks of the holy Ganges river in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh's temple town of Varanasi, also the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A senior local government official told the media Wednesday that a number of the 80 ghats -- steps going down to the river -- are inundated due to heavy rains, forcing several people to cremate their loved ones on the terrace roofs of many houses in the town.
The ghats of Ganges in Varanasi are famous for cremations of Hindus as they believe that a funeral there will help the dead achieve release from sufferings of the cycle of birth and death. Hundreds of bodies are cremated daily on the banks of the river.
The state has been reeling under heavy rains and floods since the past one week, with many rivers flowing above the danger mark. Some 10 people have died in rain-related incidents in the state so far and thousands of others are left displaced.
Floods, which are common in India during the monsoon season between June and September, have also hit the neighboring states of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, claiming the lives of more than 40 people and displacing tens of thousands of people.