Agra, Sep 8: A specially decked-up chariot, carrying in urns the remains of 1,500 people, left Agra Sunday for Soron on the banks of River Ganga, also in Uttar Pradesh, where the remains will be immersed in the river in accordance with traditional practice, officials said.
The urns contain remains of those who died between Jan 1, 2010 and June 30, 2013, and were cremated at the Taj Ganj crematorium in Agra. The kin of the dead did not return after the cremation to collect the ashes, and so a local organisation arranged for the final rites to be carried out at Soron, about 80 km from Agra.
The remains were first anointed, taken through havans and pujas and sermons for several hours, before being placed on the decorated “rath” (chariot) and taken out in a procession with musical brass bands through the streets of Agra.
The “Mukti Rath” (freedom chariot) was welcomed by religious heads of all sects and senior officials of the district administration. A few politicians were also in attendance at the ceremony.
The ceremony was arranged by the 130-year-old Kshetra Bajaja Samiti that manages all the crematoriums in Agra, providing concessional firewood and other material for rites relating to death. The electric crematorium from where the ashes were collected is also run by the Samiti.