Aerial photos taken from Indian Army helicopters show how homes and entire villages clinging to the mountainsides of Gorkha District were flattened by Nepal's earthquake. Piles of stone and splintered wood and orange plastic tarpaulins dot the cliffs and terraced rice paddies carved into the Himalayan land.

Nepal earthquake aerial photos
Collapsed houses and debris on steep terraced hillsides in Nuwakot are seen from a helicopterDanish Siddiqui/Reuters
Nepal earthquake aerial photos
Destroyed houses are seen on a terraced hillside in NuwakotDanish Siddiqui/Reuters
Nepal earthquake aerial photos
An aerial view of makeshift shelters clinging to terraced hillsides near Sirdibas village in Gorkha DistrictAthit Perawongmetha/Reuters

Many people in remote regions such as Gorkha have had to walk 20 miles or more over mountainous paths to get help. Their villages can't be reached by vehicle, helicopters are scarce during the crisis, and rainy weather has further reduced their flights. Nepal is appealing to foreign governments for more helicopters to help in rescue operations.

Aid is yet to reach many in need, given the quake damage, poor weather and aftershocks. Many people are living outdoors with little food and water – even though boxes of biscuits, juice and sacks of rice and wheat are being stored in a nearby government office, unable to get to them.

The future is uncertain – farmers who miss the planting season that is expected to start late May will be unable to harvest rice until late 2016.

Nepal earthquake aerial photos
An aerial view of earthquake-houses on a terraced hillside in NuwakotDanish Siddiqui/Reuters
Nepal earthquake aerial photos
An aerial view of houses flattened by the earthquake near Sirdibas in Gorkha DistrictAthit Perawongmetha/Reuters
Nepal earthquake
Indian military personnel prepare to drop relief supplies from a helicopter near Laprak Village in Gorkha DistrictAthit Perawongmetha/Reuters
Nepal earthquake aerial photos
A goat wanders through the ruins of damaged houses in Paslang village in GorkhaAFP
Nepal earthquake
A man tries to salvage useful articles from the ruins of his damaged home in PaslangAFP
Nepal earthquake
Earthquake survivors board an Indian helicopter as they are evacuated from at Sirdibas village in Gorkha DistrictAthit Perawongmetha/Reuters
Nepal earthquake
Nepalese children sit inside an Indian Air Force helicopter at Pokhara airport after being rescued from an earthquake-hit villageSajjad Hussain/AFP
Nepal earthquake aerial photos
An aerial view of earthquake-damaged houses in Nuwakot, through a helicopter's porthole windowDanish Siddiqui/Reuters

The death toll from the earthquake has risen past 6,200 and the overpowering stench of bodies trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings in the capital is making it hard for residents to return to their homes.

Disposal of the hundreds of bodies still being found six days after the 7.9 magnitude quake devastated the Himalayan nation is becoming a problem for officials, who have ordered immediate cremations.

Nepal earthquake
Flies investigate the mud-covered hand of an earthquake victim in a body bag after it was recovered from a collapsed building in KathmanduNavesh Chitrakar/Reuters
Nepal earthquake
Anita, 14, mourns next to her father's body after it was recovered by a rescue team from a collapsed building in KathmanduAdnan Abidi/Reuters

"Morgues are full beyond capacity and we have been given instruction to incinerate bodies immediately after they are pulled out," said Raman Lal, an Indian paramilitary force official working in coordination with Nepali forces.

Mass cremations are held at the city's Pashupatinath temple, a revered Hindu site by the sacred Bagmati River, where the dead pulled daily from the city's ruins have been brought non-stop since the massive earthquake shook this impoverished mountain nation.

nepal earthquake cremation
Mass cremations are held along the Bagmati River at Pashupatinah Temple in KathmanduDavid Ramos/Getty Images
nepal earthquake cremation
An earthquake victim is prepared for cremation at Pashupatinah Temple in KathmanduDavid Ramos/Getty Images
Nepal earthquake
A man walks next to a burning pyre as a family member is cremated along the river in KathmanduAdnan Abidi/Reuters
nepal earthquake cremation
A relative mourns over the body of a woman on the banks of the Bagmati River at Pashupathinath temple in KathmanduOlivia Harris/Reuters

Bidhar Budathoki, a priest, said around 150 bodies were being burned daily at Pashupatinath alone. Day and night, acrid smoke fills the air, and mournful wails echo continuously through the sacred complex. The ancient Hindu cremation rite is meant to purify souls for the afterlife.

You can help. See our guide on how to donate money to help the victims of the Nepal earthquake.