Salvation House
One hotel in India bestows death and freedom to the soul.
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2011 11:13 GMT

Filmmakers: James Leong and Lynn Lee

Guesthouse manager Bhairav Nath Shukla has an unusual rule: if you do not die within two weeks of checking in, he will ask you politely to leave. Most guests, 30 to 70 each month, oblige. 

Shukla is in charge of the small guesthouse Mukti Bhawan, 'Salvation House', in the ancient and holy city of Varanasi in India.


Send us your views and join the Witness community

Varanasi attracts Hindu faithful from across India. Many of them come there to die.

Hindus believe that by dying in Varanasi and having their ashes scattered in the holy Ganges river, they will be freed from the constant cycles of death and rebirth.

For the families who bring dying relatives here from all over the country, Shukla is a hero who can help their loved ones attain salvation.

But predicting when death will come is an inexact science, which makes choosing to travel here a gamble.

Salvation House follows two families as they bring their dying relatives to India's holiest city for what they hope will be a final stopover on the road to attaining salvation.

Salvation House aired from Thursday, January 7, 2011.

Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.