Varanasi : Daily Evening Aarti to the Ganga

Hindus in India worship the river Ganga as a goddess. Every evening in Varanasi, aarti is performed at the Dashashwamedh ghat. We watched it twice, once from the ghat, the second time from the waterside, in a boat.

It is a beautiful, resonant, and majestic spectacle with a very precise choreography involving rituals performed by several priests, to the sound of bells, drums, cymbals, and Sanskrit mantras.

The rituals begin with the priests blowing in a conch ; they then hold incense sticks in their right hands and perform intricate gestures, while the left hand constantly plays a bell ; the incense is then replaced by a large camphor lamp, and finally a pyramid of little flames, as seen above. The river is also worshiped with flower petals.

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