If you are planning to visit Varanasi, don’t miss watching evening Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat. This shows the ancient tradition of River worship in India. Thousands of people gather every evening to watch this mesmerizing Ganga Aarti.
Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the series of Ghats at the bank of Holy river Ganga. Dashashwamedh Ghat is an important Ghat because it is believed that Lord Brahma created this to welcome Lord Shiva.
A group of young priests, dressed up with silky saffron and white robes, conduct the Ganga Aarti. Aarti begins with the blowing of conch shells. They use oil lamps having a snake hood. They move lamps up and down in a synced motion. Sanskrit Shlok Chants provide the perfect backdrop to this act. Few people see the Aarti from the back while many people us parked boats in Ganga to see the Aarti. Priests perform the Aarti in all direction. So, all people get a chance to see the Aarti from the front.
Here are a few shots I captured during my visit to Dashashwamedh Ghat and experience the Ganga Aarti.
Few important points.
- Ganga Aarti happens every evening, but special aartis are held on Tuesdays and on religious festivals.
- A maha aarti (great aarti) takes place on Kartik Purnima.
- There is no fee to attend the Aarti. You just need to go and find a place to see. If someone asks for money, refuse.
- I suggest you reach the ghat 30 minutes in advance to get a proper place to sit or photography location
- Dashashwamedh Ghat becomes too crowded during Aarti, so take care of belongings
Ganga Aarti Timing
Ganga Aarti starts soon after sunset. So, the timing of the Ganga Aarti changes with sunset time. In winters, it starts at around 6 PM while in summers, it starts at around 7 PM. The duration of Aarti is around 45 minutes.
How to reach
Dashashwamedh Ghat is the most popular Ghat in Varanasi. You can take an auto rickshaw and then ask people for the direction.