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Ganga Aarti is the most auspicious and holiest ritual performed on the ghats of Rishikesh in the evening at the time of dusk. Considered to be a major source of tourism boost in the river town, the ceremony is a grand affair. The river bank is lit up with dainty floating diyas and the smoke of the hawans floating the skies. The chiming of the temple bells, the chanting of mantras and the overall ambiance of the place is an experience of a lifetime. Besides being a soulful and peaceful experience, the rituals offers an insight into the Hindu culture.
Although the aarti is performed at several ghats, the most popular ones are performed at Parmath Niketan Ghat and Triveni Ghat. It is performed by Vedic priests, basically students who are studying the Vedas. The prayers are made to Agni - the God of Fire, and the saffron clad pandits hold large bowls of fire which go round and round in front of the river bank. You can either sit as a spectator and enjoy the ambiance from afar or participate in chanting the bhajans and performing the aarti yourself. Pilgrims also offer flowers to the gods that float in the waters along with the diyas.
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