Ganga Aarti

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Ganga Aarti4.5


Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi was commenced in 1991, assimilating grandeur and many other finer aspects of Ganga Aarti on Har Ki Paidi in Haridwar. The Ganga Aarti in Varanasi has now become very popular as a major tourist attraction among domestic as well as foreign tourists. Kashi has fully adapted the tradition of Haridwar. The culture of Varanasi is inherently integrated with the river Ganga and its religious significance. Kashi, meaning ‘city of light’, is considered as the city of religion, work and salvation, symbolic of three prongs of Shiva’s Trishul (trident). Varanasi has been known all over the globe as the seat of culture, ‘sadhna’ & art. Water flowing down the Ganges at that time is completely bathed in light. Dashshwamedh Ghat, where the evening Ganga arti takes place, is a historical site where King Divodas performed ten Ashwamedh Yajna. This ghat was historically first constructed in the present form by Peshwa Bajirao.

Ganga Arti is one of the five rituals performed regularly for the worship of Holy River Ganga in Varanasi. Evening Aarti being the final ritual of the day when thousands of locals and pilgrims gather together to offer their prayers to the Mother Ganges. Evening Ganga Arti is a Hindu religious ritual of worship or we can say a form of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities.

Kashi Vishwanath, Ganga, ghats and Ganga aarti are famous attractions of the city of ‘Dharma’ and spirituality – Varanasi. Ganga Aarti is conducted on a dais facing river Ganga by seven young priests under the tutelage of Gangotri Seva Samiti. The priests utter holy hymns of the Vedas and Upanishads along with billowing conch shells. Fragrance sticks, oil lamps and camphor are burnt following centuries old traditional rituals. The priests wear religiously sanctioned traditional dress. The dais is decorated colorfully. The viewers sit on the stone-steps and the boats, knotted together. The worship of Ganga is basically showing reverence by performing religious rituals along with chanting of ‘mantras’. Thousands of faithful and tourists gather to watch Ganga Aarti daily. Though the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi performed 365 days a year but the grandest aarti takes place during Kartik Purnima (in October/ November).

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Timing of Gange Aarti

Gange aarti takes place at 6.45 PM in the evening after the sunset for around 45 minutes at the Dashashwamedh ghat in the Varanasi. Devotees have started to come to see the Gange aarti at least one hour before.

A group of young priests starts aarti in a well organized manner by having a lighting lamp in their hand, start a rhythmic chant of mantras. An announcement at 7.00 pm indicates the beginning of the aarti. Music starts by someone and priests involving in the aarti stood up to begin the Gange aarti. Devotees at present make clapping together with the chanting of the mantras. Priests blown the conch shells in between the aarti very loudly and aarti continues with the incense sticks. After completing the mantras, priests do aarti with the multi-tiered brass lamps having firing camphor or kapoor. Gange aarti ends up with the final aarti and after that the environment become very silent.

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