Place of the month: Mukti bhavan, the hotel where people come to die

Indians are fueled by faith, they are emotional and they are believers. Unlike others who crave for heaven after death, Indian wants Moksha. Moksha is the concept of getting liberation from materialistic pleasures and becoming one with yourself or Atman. However, moksha or true liberation can be achieved even while living, but it is said that getting moksha on your death-bed frees you from the life and death cycle and your soul becomes free ever after.

The Moksha Bhavan, also known as Salvation House has 12 rooms placed side by side with a small temple and place for the priests. Varanasi, the incredible, old town located on the banks of the River Ganges, is deemed as one of the most divine places in India. People from all across the country and even overseas, visit the town to rinse off their sins and achieve moksha. But, living at the Moksha Bhavan comes with its own rules and regulations. Guests are not allowed to stay there further than two weeks. In case, if they do not die within the stipulated duration, they are respectfully asked to move out to make way for other guests who are on their last legs.

Bhairav Nath Shukla, the manager of this hotel has been praying for moksha of people for over 44 years. Amusingly, he can even foretell when a person is likely to expire.

Shukla and his family are now used to the dead bodies and the weeping relatives around them. While he prays for their moksha, his kids play and have fun in the same compound.

Whereas most of the people have attained moksha, the others, who couldn’t die within the given period, had to leave disheartened.