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Haridwar


Haridwar is one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage places. River Ganges enters the North Indian plains at Haridwar. Haridwar or 'Gateway to Gods' is also known by the names of Mayapuri, Kapila and Gangadwar. Hindu pilgrims and devotees gather at Haridwar to offer prayers on auspicious occasions. The water of River Ganga is considered so sacred at Haridwar that pilgrims carry back the water from the Ganges.   It is believed that Haridwar has been sanctified by the presence of three Gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Devout believers feel that they will attain salvation and go to heaven after a dip in the sacred Ganga at Haridwar. Haridwar is also one of the four venues of the Kumbh Mela (occurring after a rotation of every twelve Years) and Ardh Kumbh (afer every six years). According to mythology drops of Amrit (Elixir) fell into the Brahm Kund of Har-Ki-Pairi, therefore a dip in the Brahm Kund on this particular day is considered very auspicious.  

 

Ganga Aarti

Ganga Aarti Haridwar is performed at Har-ki-Pauri Ghat. Har Ki Pauri is one of the most famous place to take holy dip in the river Ganga. Ganga Aarti means prayer for the River Ganga. Aarti is a ancient Hindu ritual offered to Gods, holy things, spiritual leaders or to the guests. Aarti is performed at the Har Ki Pauri Ghat which is built in 1st century by King Vikram. Bhratuhari was brother of King Vikram who meditated here for Lord Vishnu and Lord Vishnu appeared here to give him blessing. That is why the place named Har Ki Pauri (Foot Prints of God). This is also the same place where drop of nectar fell down and that is why it is also prime attraction in Kumbh Mela Festival in Haridwar. Ganga is not only a river. She is truly a Divine Mother. She rushes forth from the Himalayas as the giver of life, carrying purity, bliss and liberation in Her waters. Ganga is not only water. She is nectar - the nectar of life, the nectar of liberation. She is a source of inspiration to all who lay eyes on her ceaseless, boundless, rushing current. She irrigates not only our farms, but also our hearts, minds and souls. She is the Mother Goddess - giving freely to all with no discrimination, hesitation or expectation. Her waters purify all who bathe in them, all who drink from them. In fact, She is the remover of contamination. Each evening as the sun’s last rays reflect off the boundless waters of Mother Ganga, people gather for Ganga Aarti. This divine light ceremony is filled with song, prayer, ritual and a palpable sense of the divine. Aarti is the beautiful ceremony in which Diyas (oil lamps) are offered to God and it removes darkness. Aarti can be done to a deity in the temple, it can be done on the banks of the Ganges to Mother Ganga, or it can be done to a saint. It is performed to God, in any manifestation, in any form, and by any name. The essence of the Aarti ceremony is that all day long God offers us light – the light of the sun, the light of life, and the light of His (Her) blessings. Aarti is a time when we say, “Thank You,” and we offer back the light of our thanks, the light of our love and the light of our devotion. Ganga Aarti is organized twice a day every evening. Morning at sunrise and evening at sunset. Timing is different in summer and winter according to sunset and sunrise timings. Evening Ganga Aarti is more famous. Ganga Aarti has two parts. First part is offering to the river ganga to get blessing. Offerings are done with backgrounds of live chants in Sanskrit language. After short break of 5 mins after offering the second part starts which is Hindi Song for River Ganga. The priest also light the Big Diyas (Multiple wicks are soaked in Ghee and the holder is made from copper) during this song. These Diyas are waved in clockwise direction towards River Ganga.

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