Located in the foothills of the lofty Himalayas and cradled lovingly by the sacred Ganga river, Rishikesh is city of temples and ashrams in the northern state of Uttarakhand. Every year it attracts thousands of people across the globe who come here seeking spiritual enlightenment.
I clearly remember witnessing the Ganga arti in the cold evening of November. Triveni ghat is famous for it is the point of confluence of three most sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswathy. The pundits chanting sacred mantras, lighting camphor and circulating the elaborately designed tall lamps paying their respects to the river goddess.
It is said that during the arti which is a fire ritual performed at the end of a puja, the lamp acquires the power of the deity to whom the puja is offered.
The air was filled with music of the chants, rhythmic tinkling of the bell and the soft gurgles of the river flowing by. My eyes were mesmerized at the sight of tall ornate lamps lit with fire going round and round offering obeisance to the goddess. Once the arti was completed, the lamp was circulated among the devotees. We all reached out to receive the blessings; moving our palms over the sacred flame and placing it over our head.
Earlier in the day, we had stopped by Haridwar. Here are a few sights.
This post was written as part of the month long #septemberchallenge hosted at Everyday Gyaan.