Puja on the Ganges
There are many ways you can choose to appreciate the “Mother Ganges”; what is considered one of the most holiest rivers in the world. Activities which take place along the Ganges river banks include bathing to purify oneself before the daily happenings begin. You may participate in Ganga Aarti – the nightly act of placing prayer candles with flowers in the Ganges river (as pictured above) as part of the worship. You may also attend one of the hundreds of festivals such as Kumbh Mela held every 4 years, a Sadu festival where millions make pilgrimage to bathe in the river and partake in Ganga Aarti – meaning you will see the river appear as if it were lit on fire as millions of candles float past.
Many children use this opportunity to make some extra money for their family, by selling the candles and flowers to locals and tourists alike. It is an excellent source of income for their families, and keeps the children from begging and stealing. If you choose to participate, you may want to consider buying from one of the children, as opposed to the shops (which may be overpriced anyway).
The Ganges river is a quintessential part of anyone’s visit to India. There is definitely a special feeling from being there, even if you don’t participate in any of the blessings of the river.