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How Long After Death Is a Hindu Funeral?

The Hindu religion is unique in many ways, and funerals are especially interesting; these sad events represent a glorification of the decedent. And various burial rituals refer to offering the last sacrifice to the gods so that the deceased’s soul may find peace.

The Hindu funeral takes place within two days of death. And the deceased’s body remains at home until cremation, which takes place 24 hours following demise, along with a special ceremony. Then, the mourning period starts.

What Does a Hindu Funeral Look Like?

If the dying person is at home, the priest and family gather around them to chant the mantra. It’s a special prayer that leads to clear and positive thoughts. That’s like a blessing for a dying person to think about happy things and calmly set out to the other world.

After death, the deceased’s body stays in an open casket at home for 24 hours. Then, everyone who comes to express their condolences approaches the casket to say the last goodbye.

Following the burial, the family brings the body to the cremation (mukhagni), which should be done near water. Before this act, the priest reads a prayer while putting three rice seeds in the deceased’s mouth. 

The last step is covering the dead body with a shroud and putting it in the crematorium. The next day, the family takes the deceased’s ash and scatters it over the water or wherever the dead person wanted.

How Long Does the Funeral Last?

Overall, the funeral act doesn’t last more than 30 minutes, depending on the decedents’ wishes and their families. Then, the mourning period lasts between 10 and 30 days. It’s also known as the period of ’cleaning’ after the cremation.

Hindu Beliefs about Death

According to Hindu beliefs, the body dies, but the soul has no beginning or end. Instead, it just takes another form with every reincarnation. And what it’ll turn into depends on karma, i.e., merits during someone’s life.

This disbelief in the physical form is why Hindus cremate the dead. And this act is performed next to water (most often the holy river Ganges) so that the souls of the departed go to heaven.


After performing the Hindu funeral and the following rites, the mourning period starts. Although sadness and emptiness remain throughout life, these are days when the family performs various rituals to prepare the deceased’s soul for reincarnation and a new life.