During our stay in India we traveled high north in the Himalayas to Rishikesh. I just couldn’t travel all the way to India without visiting the famous birthplace of yoga and dipping my feet in the smooth holy waters of the Ganges. I had heard stories of the Ganga Aarti ceremony that takes place during dawn and dusk near the river bank. Of course this was something I had to see and it had to be the first night we arrived after a 7 hour train ride.
The Ganga Aarti is a spiritual ceremony where fire is used as the offering. The translation pretty much means prayer for the river Ganges. The ceremony is preformed by Priests and accompanied by a Mantra. They hold brass lamps covered in ghee which are then lit on fire. All of the Priests dress in similar clothes and chant while facing the river and simultaneously swinging their lamp over the water. The ceremony is beautiful and I’d highly recommend experiencing it to anyone traveling to Rishikesh, Haridwar, or Varanasi.
Here is a small video of clips from the Ganga Aarti
All Photos by Joy Hmielewski | Joyelan.com