The Garuda Purana (Garuḍa purāṇa) is a smriti Purana (smṛti, Hindu customary law). Its first part contains a dialog between Vishnu and Garuda, the King of Birds. The second half contains details of life after death, funeral rites and the metaphysics of reincarnation....
Sutji, while giving the names of some prominent places of pilgrimage told the assembled sages-’The banks of Ganga are considered to be the holiest among all the places of pilgrimage. The holy Ganga, which originates from the Himalayas in the north, ultimately gets merged with the ocean in the east. During her entire course of flow, she passes through numerous holy places, which owe their holiness mainly to her. Although, any place situated on the banks of Ganga is considered holy, yet Prayag, Haridwar, Varanasi and Ganga sangam (The place where she meets the ocean) have special significance and there is no other place as holy as each of them. Prayag is believed to fulfil both the wishes, which a man aspires for- worldly enjoyments as well as salvation.
Performing the rituals of pinda daan here not only helps the ancestors to liberate but also himself. Varanasi is the same place where lord Shiva and Keshav have their respective abodes. Donating at Kurukshetra brings incomparable virtues and gives both worldly enjoyments as well as salvation. Kedar teerth is capable of liberating even a heinous sinner from all his sins. Few other places considered very holy are- Shwetdweepa, Naimisharanya, Pushkar, Ayodhya, Chitrakut, Gomti, Kanchipuri, Sri Shail, Kaam- teerth, Amarkantak, Ujjain, Mathura, Govardhan, etc. All these places have great religious significance and each of them is capable of liberating a man from all his sins.