The Bagmati River is considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists and runs through the Katmandu Valley of Nepal separating Katmandu from Patan, another metropolitan city in Nepal.

Located along its banks is a number of temples. Its length is 597 km (371 miles). Public cremations of a deceased person occur on the Bagmati River, a location where Hindus complete this scared ritual on the banks. Also, the Kirants (alternative spelling- Kiranti) are buried on the hillside. The Kirants are an ethnic group from the Himalayan region of South Asia, extending eastward from Nepal to Northern India.

According to the Hindu tradition in Nepal, an elaborate ritual unfolds including the deceased's body being dipped 3 times into the Bagmati River before cremation, so that the cycle of reincarnation cycle ends. After the body is completely consumed in the funeral pyre, the remains are deposited into the Bagmati River. The chief mourner, typically a firstborn son, lights the funeral pyre and then subsequently must take a bath in the Bagmati River after the cremation is finalized.

It is believed that the Bagmati River serves to purify people in a spiritual way. This river is believed to be the source of Nepalese civilization and urbanization. Various holy texts mention the Bagmati River including an inscription dated 477 CE describing its significance.

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