Haridwar Ganga Arti
Ganga Aarti is carried out at Har-ki-Pauri Ghat in Haridwar. Har Ki Pauri is one of the most famous places to take holy dip in the river Ganga. Ganga Aarti in actual sense means prayer of River Ganga. Bringing in tourists and devotees from all over the world, it is a ritual of light and sound where the priests perform prayers with bowls of fire and the ringing of the temple bells. Visitors float “diyas” (small candles) and flowers, surrounded by the chanting of the mantras and the reflection of the lights off the surface of the flowing river, which is said to be blessed by the Goddess Ganga.
Aarti offered at Har Ki Pauri Ghat is built by King Vikram in 1st century. Bhratuhari who was the brother of King Vikram meditated at Har ki Pauri ghat for Lord Vishnu and Lord Vishnu appeared and gave him his blessings. This way the place named Har Ki Pauri which means Foot Prints of God.Haridwar is a sacred town in the state of Uttarakhand, on the banks of the river Ganga. The town is believed to be blessed by the holy trinity of gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Haridwar, literally translating to “Gateway to the Gods”, is a passage of pilgrimage for all worshippers who wish to purify and cleanse themselves of sins in the present and previous lives. She is the Mother Goddess – freely give to all without any discrimination, expectation or hesitation. One gets purified after drinking and bathing in the river Ganga.
History of Ganga Aarti
According to Hindu traditions Ganga Aarti means prayer for River Ganga. Prayers are dedicated to gods and godesses. River Ganga is believed to be a goddess who lived in heaven. River Ganga is not only a river but is truly a godly Mother. She flows forwards from the Himalayas as the giver of life, carrying bliss, purity and liberation in her waters. She not only irrigates our farms, but also our minds, hearts and souls.. When the fury of sage Kapil reduced the ancestors of Saint Bhagirath to mere ashes, the latter prayed and meditated for a very long time and was ultimately blessed with Ganga by the gods. Lord Shiva had held Ganga to reduce the steady flow of water, and the flowing water then provided liberation or moksha to the ancestors. This same water of the holy river is also believed to remove sins from the devotees who take a dip in the sacred water. The Ganga Aarti is thus a way to thank the River Ganga for all that she offers.
Ganga Aarti Timings
The Ganga Aarti takes place twice a day, once in the morning and once on the evening. The starting of the Aarti depends upon the time of the sunrise and sunset in Haridwar.
In the summer months from March to October, the morning Aarti commences anytime between 5:00 AM and 6:50 AM, while the evening Aarti starts between 5:30 PM and 7:00 PM.
During the winter months, the morning Aarti begins between 6:30 AM and 7:00 AM, and the evening Aarti begins between 5:00 PM and 5:30 PM.
Ganga Aarti Pre-Ceremony
The Ganga Aarti is organized at Har Ki Pauri Ghat, Haridwar.The Ganga Aarti is a magnificent event that attracts around 3,000 to 30,000 tourists every evening. The number of tourists can even touch a lakh during times of important festivals. The evening ritual commences with the bringing of an idol of Ganga from a small temple that is located nearby. The goddess is carried in a decorated ‘palkhi’ to a platform near the river and is accompanied by the singing and dancing of the pundits as well as devotees. Worshippers then seek the blessing of the idol, following which the ceremony begins.The pundits chant Sanskrit mantras and offer milk, honey, curd and other such items to the idol. Loudspeakers in the vicinity of the river ensure that the chants can be heard by all devotees, including those who are standing far away. This is then followed by the singing of ‘Ganga Lahari’, which is a Sanskrit poem that was written by Pundit Jagannath. The pundits then ask the gathered devotees to promise that they would not pollute the sacred holy river, and the people acknowledge by raising their hands and chanting the phrase ‘Har Har Gange, Jai Ma Gange’.
Ganga Aarti Location
The Ganga Aarti is organized at Har Ki Pauri Ghat, Haridwar. Har Ki Pauri is located on the main highway. From Haridwar Railway Station and bus station it is 2 – 3 kms far. Nearest airport is Dehradun 35 kms.
Best time to visit Ganga Aarti
The best time to visit the Ganga Aarti entirely depends on your personal preference. If you like to be a part of a large crowd that is bustling with activity, visit the river in May or June; and to explore a quieter side, visit the river in July and August.
Evening aartis are much more vibrant than the morning ones since the lights from the candles and diyas can be thoroughly enjoyed, and hence are more recommended.
Who performs the Ganga Aarti
Ganga Aarti is done by the pundits (priests) selected by Ganga Sabha. Ganga Sabha is NGO which is managing Ganga Aarti since it is started. Ganga Sabha is also manages the ghat along with help of govt.
How to Reach Ganga Aarti
Har Ki Pauri is located on the main highway, in the centre of the city. It can be reached either by bus or train. It is about 3 km away from the Haridwar Railway Station. You can hire an auto rickshaw from ay part of the cit