Monday, 2 April 2018

Rishikesh

We are now in Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalayas.
It is known as a pilgrimage town.and is regarded as one 
of the holiest towns in India.

At sunset each night Ganga Aarti - a devotional ritual - is celebrated 
on the banks of the Ganges River. Aarti is only celebrated in three 
holy places in India - Haridwar, Rishikesk and Varanasi




Hundreds of Indian people cross this enormous, high, swing bridge 
each day to get across the Ganges River.

    

Once over they visit the 13 storey Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple.
It is traditional to walk up the thirteen levels to the top.


The aarti ceremony involves song, prayer, the ringing of bells and the 
lighting of oil lamps as an offering to God.
It is done facing the deity - in this case the Ganges River.
After facing the deity the burning ghee is turned towards the worshippers
so they may find the path to humbleness and piety.
The flames send forth light and chase away darkness.



The other parts of this tradition in Rishikesh is to drive to the top of the mountain area we are in to visit the temple at the very top and to bathe in the Ganges river as shown in the sunset photo above.

It is such a magical and spiritual town.



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