India is known for its glorious past, architectural beauties, vivid landscape, and the most important thing, Religion. Most Indians follow Hinduism. It is unbelievable that Hinduism has 33 crores of Gods and Goddesses. One of them is “ Maa Ganga”(Goddess Ganges).
Ganga is the most important river of India. The origin of the river Ganga lies at the height of 13,800 feet in the mountain ranges of Himalayas, in Tehri,Garhwal near Gangotri . Mythologically it is said that Ganga originated from Lord Shiva’s head. Among the Hindus, the river Ganga is considered to be sacred and worshipped by the Hindus who believe that bathing in the river causes the remission of sins and facilitates “Moksha”(liberation from the cycle of Life and Death).
River Ganga is worshipped daily all over the country .The worshipping of Maa ganga is known as “Ganga Arati” . Arati is held at sharp 6o’ clock in the evening. Haridwar(Harkipouri Ghat),Varanasi(Dashaswamedh Ghat), Allahabad are the cities famous for Ganga Arati . These are the places of attraction for tourists and especially photographers. It is good to see that Ganga Arati is also being held in other cities situated at the bank of river Ganga . Being a Kolkatan I came to know about this Arati from Anirban Saha and Arya Chakraborty . In Kolkata Ganga Arati is being held at Mayer Ghat ,Bagbazar . I was glad to witness this Arati that also in my home town.
The bank of the river is washed with the holy water of the river Ganga .In Kolkata two priests do this Arati . The ingredients are placed altogether at a place near the priests.
Ganga Aarti has recently found significance amid the tantrums and monotony of city life.
Before the aarti begins, preparations are made local visitors are prohibited to touch the Ganga, that is, to bathe in it or take water from it, prior to the aarti. This is to maintain the chastity of the goddess. The platforms are placed in their positions, and necessary arrangements are made by the devotees of the goddess.
With the arrival of the designated priests, to perform the task, the aarti begins……
Priests hold brass containers containing burning camphor, and make circles in the air facing the holy river, accompanied by the ringing of the sacred bell, the ghonta.
Next, they used the jolshonkho, or shells, instead of the brass containers and the camphor. Only the mantras, or the excerpts to be sited from the scriptures differ, and the ghonta is silent.
Bostro or clothing, is the next prop used. The ghonta is audible again. While the two priests rotate around their fixed positions halting at right angles performing the steps of worship, the fellow devotees sit barefooted, as the ancient gimmicks of Hinduism, deemed it necessary to consider shoes or any form of leather or any flexible footwear as unclean.
As the priests shuffle through the props in definite order, the next prop that follows is the worship by offering flowers, which in turn is followed by the Eksho Aat Prodip.
The ritual of using 108 prodip widely attracts viewers from all over the world, and most importantly, photographers
“Being present there and witnessing the adoration for the goddess , I assure you, is sure to send a chill down your spine and rekindle your spirit. For the first time, ceremonial worship found place in my heart. “
(My partner in crime)
Swarnava and Srijoy thanks for accompanying me to this wonderful place .:)
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