The death rituals practices here are same as the rest of India.
The dying person is made to lie on the floor with his head facing
the north. The floor is first cleaned by cowdung and a few strands
of Khusha grass (sacred grass) are placed on it. It is believed
that if the dying person makes some offerings to god, then his
soul departs in peace. In the mouth of a dying person, panch ratna
composed of gold, silver, diamond, sapphire or pearl is put. If
the person belongs to the lower caste, then it consists of honey,
Gangajal, cows urine, tulsi leaves and gold.
As soon as the soul departs, an earthen lamp is lit which is
kept burning for the next 10 days. After all the relatives and
friends have been informed, arthi i.e. bier is prepared. Near
relatives bathe the corpse with lukewarm water and cover it with
a white cloth. The body is taken to the cremation ground in a
procession. The people who hold the bier from the head side are
the two near relatives of the deceased. Before the procession
starts, a pind (ball of barley flour) is offered to the departed
soul. On the half way to the cremation ground, second pind is
offered. In the procession, a person keeps on blowing the conch
shell at regular intervals and others keep on chanting 'Ram Nam
Satya Hai' (True is the name of God).
On reaching the cremation ground, pyre is prepared and the body
is placed on it with its head facing the north. The pyre is lit
near the head . The priest chants the mantras (sacred verses).
When the corpse is half burnt, then the deceased person's son
or his near relative performs kapal kriya (ceremonial breaking
of the skull of a corpse at cremation). In this he taps the head
of the corpse with a long bamboo stick three times and then throws
it in the pyre. After this, the mourners return leaving behind
the relatives. Ashes are collected on the third day and are disposed
of in the nearby river or these ashes are send to Haridwar to
be disposed of in the Ganges.
For the next 10 days, pind dan ( i.e. small balls of kneaded
barley flour) is offered in the river. On the 10th day, Shuddhi
is performed. On this day, the entire house is cleaned and clothes
are washed. The lamp is put off and buried deep down. Havan (fire
sacrifice) is performed in the house and recitation of Garuda
Puran, a legend, which narrates the journey of the soul to the
other world, is arranged.
Kriya is performed between 11th day to 17th day from the day
of the death. Till the day of kriya, the family members of the
deceased do not eat onions, heeng (asafetida), eggs, fish and
meat. On this day, havan (fire sacrifice) is performed by the
priest and he is given clothes, utensils, ghee and grains by the
family. The family gives food to the close relatives and friends
and it is known as 'Gati'.
On the first, second and third death anniversary, clothes and
some other articles are given to the priest. The fourth anniversary
is called 'chaubarkha'. On this day, alms are given to the priest
and the relatives and the friends are invited for food.
For rest of the years, shradhs (a ceremony in honor and for the
benefit of the deceased relatives) are performed in which the
pandits are given food.