“The coffin, or sometimes a stretcher, is carried by an all-male troupe to the temple and the body removed. The deceased is then covered in pure-white cloths leaving only the head uncovered. The family take the body to the temple for its final visit and then respectfully undress it. After throwing the clothes into the river the body is bound with more white cloths, again leaving the head exposed.
The men take-up the stretcher and walk three times, in a clockwise direction, around the wooden funeral pyre before placing the body on top. The family’s oldest son then walks around the pyre before lighting the kindling near the head of the deceased. This is significant as Hindu’s believe the person’s spirit is freed through the mouth.
The moment the pyre ignites into flames the body is covered with a mass of wet straw which produces a cloak of white smoke. The smoke shields the body from view as the cremation process takes place. The family then wait a number of hours until the body has been completely cremated. Finally, the remains are scattered into the river.” [LINK]