Ashes Scattered In UK's Ganges

July 20, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Sky News,,30100-1276292,00.html

A river on Tyneside could become Britain's answer to the Ganges as the place for people to scatter the ashes of their loved ones.

Gateshead Council has designated part of the River Derwent for Sikhs and Hindus to carry out the ceremony, believing that by immersing ashes into flowing water they will be sent to heaven.

A leading Sikh, Bahal Singh Dindsa, has praised the council for being "forward-thinking".

But many authorities prohibit the scattering of human remains in UK rivers, for fear of contamination.

Believers have been forced to scatter the ashes secretly or take them out to sea - where scattering is allowed.

Some make the long pilgrimage to the Indian subcontinent to take part in ceremonies at the shores of the Ganges, in the hope of sending their relatives to salvation.