Visiting India is an incredible experience all around – from the delicious food, to the incredible art and history, to the unique culture, there’s something for every kind of traveller across this beautiful country. Part of that culture, and a part that no trip would be complete without, lives in Varanasi, and today we’re heading there to take a closer look at it.
Every evening at dusk, something amazing happens in the three holy cities (Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Varanasi). The ritual is called the Ganga Aarti, and it’s not to be missed! An aarti is a ritual which offers fire to the gods, and, in the case of the Ganga Aarti, diyas (handmade clay pots used for rituals such as this and on holy days like Diwali) float down the Ganges River in devotion to the Goddess Ganga.
With the belief that the beautiful lamps on the river take on the power of the Goddess Ganga, devotees cup their hands over the flame and bring their palms to their foreheads, in hope of receiving the Goddess’s blessing.
Every Ganga Aarti ceremony is a sight to behold, but the ceremony in Varanasi is something extra special. A carefully-choreographed routine, the Varanasi Ganga Aarti is performed on stage, by specially-trained young pandits.
It’s a truly special, spiritual thing to witness a Ganga Aarti, but being a part of the ceremony in Varanasi can be just that little bit more magical! If you know you need to see the ceremony in person, why not start planning a spiritual excursion to India for yourself? Head to TourRadar to see this tour’s itinerary, or one of hundreds of others.
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