Witnessing the spectacle of Ganga evening Arti is a blissful experience. The melody of ringing bells and the sparkling Ganga river due to the brightly lit lamps culminates to form a unforgettable experience. The enchanted devotees offering their prayers to the holy river adds a lot of exuberance to the whole set up.
I recently attended the evening Arti in Rishikesh and the surreal experience left an everlasting impression on me. There are 3 places in India where the evening Arti of Ganga is organized; Varanasi, Haridwar & Rishikesh. If you consider the scale of each, Varanasi is considered to be the biggest, attracting the maximum volume of devotees. Haridwar follows Varanasi and evening Ganga Arti in Rishikesh is considered to be the least crowded event.
So, during my visit to Rishikesh, I decided to experience the spiritual event of evening Ganga Arti. In Rishikesh, the evening Ganga Arti can be witnessed at Triveni Ghat or Pramarth Niketan Aashram. Triveni Ghat attracts more visitors as compared to Pramarth Niketan Aashram. So, we decided to visit the later, hoping to soak in the experience better.
Along with my friends, I reached Parmarth Niketan Aashram, situated in proximity to Ram Jhula. If you are staying in the main Rishikesh town you will have to cross the Ganges in order to reach Rishikesh. To reach Parmarth Niketan Aashram, you can either prefer a boat ride at Rs 20 per head or cross Ganga by Ram Jhula (Bridge).
We reached Parmarth Niketan Aashram on time and waited for the evening Ganga Arti to start. As the preparations were in full force, I just sat at the banks, admiring the immense energy the Ganga river possessed. The flow was rapid and it withheld force enough to uproot a mammoth mountain! I couldn’t help but thank nature for Ganga river, an immense source for well-being of mankind. The sun was finally about to disappear and the evening Ganga Arti had just started
The Ganga evening Arti starts at the time of sunset. Depending on the season, the timings can differ. Make sure you reach Parmarth Niketan Aashram around sunset to witness the spectacular event and find a decent place to observe the Arti.
When we reached the Aashram, hundreds of devotees had gathered. As the sun was setting in the backdrop, the atmosphere turned dynamic due to loud chants of spiritual music. The devotees settled comfortably as the evening Arti started, offering prayers to Ganga river. The atmosphere was electric with spirituality and the exuberance was rampant amidst the attentive devotees. As the prayers ended, the devotees proceeded towards Ganga river to offer prayers and lit a magnificent lamp which would swim in the sacred river. After seeking blessings from the river, devotees peacefully started walking out of the Aashram premises.
We also offered our prayers and after seeking blessings from Ganga river, we started walking towards Ram Jhula. We had to cross the river back and catch a bus to Dehradun. We observed some street food vendors and decided to give it a try. We tried Aloo Chat & Chole Kulche which are considered trademark North Indian dishes. The food was really scrumptious and I would surely recommend trying the local food here.
With happy tummies, we walked towards Ram Jhula and eventually started for Dehradun.
The next day, I was going to start my first high altitude trek. As the taxi paved it’s way through the traffic, I couldn’t help but imagine, how would Himalayas look from 15,000 feet!