Hinduism in Brahmanbaria

Hinduism is the second largest religion in Bangladesh. Just over 9% of the population practice hinduism. In terms of population, Bangladesh is the third largest Hindu state in the world after India and Nepal.

In Brahmanbaria, I was able to visit a Hindu temple, Kal Bhairab dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is seen as the Supreme God. The temple, dating back to the 19th century, is famed for the giant statue of Shiva, said to be the largest in the country. The temple is a major pilgrimage place for Shaivites in Bangladesh.

I was also able to visit the Hindu burning grounds in Brahmanbaria. In the Hindu religion, outdoor cremation takes place when a person passes away. During the day of the funeral, family members cover the corpse with bright orange cloths and carry it along the streets while singing songs to Shiva. They wear white clothing and do not cry because public display of sadness are thought to bring bad luck to the karma of the person who is about to be cremated. Once they arrive at the burning grounds, the cremation ritual takes place. The body is given a last bath and then is given to Agni, the Hindu God of fire.


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