Ganga Aarti is a holy ritual that is done by using fire as an offering and is usually made in the form of a lit lamp. The offering is done for Goddess Ganga also called Maa Ganga by all devotees and is the holiest river in India. Haridwar is among the three holy cities in India where the famous Ganga Aarti is performed; the other two are Rishikesh and Varanasi. Ganga Aarti Haridwar is considered to be the most powerful as well as an uplifting sacred ritual. Haridwar is popular for mainly two things, i.e. Har Ki Pauri and Ganga Aarti. Many travelers visit Haridwar every day for this mesmerizing Aarti held in the evening by the priest. During Ganga Aarti priest holds large fire bowls in the hands and at the same time bells in the temples at the Ghat start ringing.
Along with it the chanting of mantras also begins and flows in the air, people also float diyas along with flowers on Ganga. One of the best views of Ganga Aarti is the shadow which reflects on the river after lighting and floating of diyas on flowing Ganga. The beauty of this cannot be expressed in words.
In what way Ganga Aarti is performed?
The famous Ganga Aarti is performed by facing River Ganga and by lighting lamps. Many Hindu priests stand in a circle in a clockwise manner and start chanting songs in praise of Maa Ganga. It is believed that lamps acquire the power of the deity and after the ritual is completely performed devotees shape their palms as a cup over the fame and raise the palms to their foreheads to get the blessings of Goddess.
Where the Ganga Aarti is performed
In Haridwar, the Ganga Aarti is performed at the well known Har Ki Pauri ghat, as the name shows the meaning is Feet of the Lord. There is a footprint on a stone here which is believed to belong to Lord Vishnu. Har Ki Pauri is recognized to be equal to Dashashwamedh Ghat which is in Varanasi. Out of the three cities where Ganga Aarti has performed the Aarti in Haridwar is the most interactive and attacks pilgrims from all over the world. All things including pundits, people, babas, loudspeakers, idols of all gods, singing, incense, flames and flowers combine together to give this Aarti a magical touch and offer a sensory experience. Ganga Aarti in Haridwar is considered as the most awe-inspiring things to witness in India.
Ways to attend Ganga Aarti in Haridwar If you want to experience and attend the beautiful Ganga Aarti in Haridwar, then you have to follow some basic recommendations.
Timing of Ganga Aarti Haridwar
Ganga Aarti in Haridwar is performed at night at Har Ki Pauri since 1910. The name of this Ghat means Feet of the Lord and whose steep steps descend into the silt-laden waters of River Ganga. Reaching Har Ki Pauri is a very easy task as visitors arriving here via bus or train will be on Haridwar Station and from there only they can easily get many rickshaws which would take you to the Ghat. Ganga Aarti takes place in the evening and the start time varies as it would be around 5 pm in winters and 6:30 pm during summers. It is recommended to arrive at the ghat one hour before the Ganga Aarti timings as the Ghat quickly fills up with tourist as well as worshippers.
Shoes Not Allowed
Alleys remember that shoes are not at all permitted on the Ghat and you will be instructed to take them off. In case you came up with your shoes, take it off and keep them at the storage area with minimum fees. While keeping the shoes you will receive a badge from the attendant sitting there where your shoes are stored.
Find the Exact Spot
Har ki Pauri comprises many bridges and platforms and which all form islands in the middle of the Ganga river. The Ganga Aarti takes place in the vicinity of Shri Sringeri Math Temple located on the city side of the Ghat. Here you will also get a chance to take a glimpse of a 108 foot high Lord Shiva Statue. The best spot is to cross the bridge to the island platform. This is the best place from where you can easily enjoy an uninhibited view of Ganga Aarti. Keep in mind to come on time as when the Aarti time is near the bridge will be closed by authorities to prevent from excess crowding.
Watch Locals and Copy
The best thing to do is just to follow and watch the locals and do what they do. You will find locals chanting in praise of Goddess Ganga during the Ganga Aarti and also raises one’s arms towards the sky. The most significant aspect of Ganga Aarti is the large lanterns which are placed in a clockwise manner by the priest. Some of the priests will light those places lanterns along the Ghat and allowing the worshippers to bring Goddess’s blessing upon them and all. Here you can also buy diyas; one flower filled and candle illuminated boats that float down the river.
On your way towards the Ghat, you may find people offering to guide you to some vacant spot. They can also help you to buy diyas and all or being friendly to you to make some money. Be aware regarding those people as they only need money or else doing for commission. You should always choose to experience the Aarti by your own.
After Ganga Aarti
After the chanting done by the priest during the Ganga Aarti stops, the sea of worshippers began climbing up the steps of the Ghats. So be cautious at this time as everybody will push everyone. However, the large part of the devotes will turn for the adjacent outdoor market and many of the devotes will prefer simply standing near the Ghat to receive blessings.
Ganga Aarti in Haridwar is considered as one of the one of the most beautiful experiences in India which is performed daily to honor the River Goddess Ganga. This Ganga Aarti ritual is of high religious significance, so get to the river Ghats as early as possible to secure the location to attend this ceremony. Try to be close to the water as from here you will get the beautiful Ganga Aarti glimpse.