India is known for its spiritual side, but it would not be wrong to say that a good part of that spirituality comes from the holy city of Varanasi. The ‘City of Light’, as it is called, is a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Not just that, the place where Lord Buddha got enlightened, Sarnath, is also very close by.
The River Ganges is the spiritual lifeline of Varanasi; Hindus strongly believe that the river cleanses one’s soul and every day droves of people religiously bathe in the holy water. An evening beside the Ganges ghats is a next-level spiritual experience because the most famous Ganga Aarti is performed at many ghats.
The picture here is of an evening Aarti performance at Dasaswamedh Ghat. While many ghats performs this grand prayer ceremony, the one held at Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the largest and best known. Here, five young, extremely talented Hindu priests perform the highly choreographed ritual with super agility and dexterity. It is so popular that people start arriving at the ghat as early as 5pm.
The prayers, choirs, ringing of bells, the incense smoke – all of it together builds the moment so strongly that it is hard not to be filled with awe.