Ganga Aarti - Ganga Aarti in Haridwar
Ganga Aarti is performed at Har Ki Pauri Ghat in Haridwar. Ganga Aarti in Haridwar is one of the most famous in Haridwar. Visit to Haridwar is not complete if you have not seen its Ganga Aarti.
Meaning & Importance of Ganga Aarti
Ganga Aarti means prayer for River Ganga. Prayers are dedicated to gods and godesses. River Ganga is not just a river in India, It is Divine Mother. River Ganga gives life in the form of water. The same water also removes sins when you take a dip in its holy water. River Ganga also gives liberation to souls. Its not just a river but whole culture itself. Historically millions of people are living on the bank of the river ganga. For agriculture her water is still precious for India. River Ganga is considered godess which was originally living in heaven. Saint Bhagirath made a long meditation to give liberation to his ancestors (reduced to ashes due to curse of sage Kapil). He was blessed with Ganga by gods. Lord Shiva held her to reduce her mighty flow. When Ganga flow on the remainings of acncestors of Bhagirath they got Moksha (Liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth). Following the same tradition still Hindu people offer remainings of their dead relatives (after bunring the body) to the river Ganga and expect the moksha for them. In the name of the saint Bhagirath river ganga is known as Bhagirathi at the source and gets name Ganga when it is meeting Alaknanda River at Devprayag. Since hundreds of years people are considering river ganga as holy river and it became part of thier life where they come to get moksha for their relatives which passed away and to remove thier sins. The Ganga Aarti is kind of thanks giving to River Ganga.
History of Ganga Aarti
It is very difficult to say when the tradition of Ganga Aarti started. However the Ganga Aarti at Har Ki Pauri was started by Pundit Madan Mohan Malviya in 1910s. Recently he was awarded as "Bharat Ratna" highest civilion award by Indian Govt. The small island infront of Har Ki Pauri Ghat is named after him.
Ganga Aarti Timings
Ganga Aarti is organized two times in a day, morning (at sunrise) and evening (sunset). Starting time will depand on sunrise and sunset timing at Haridwar. Morning Ganga Aarti is not as famous as evening one. Approx timings of Ganga Aarti you can see in below table. Minor diffreance of +15 mins or -15 mins can happen. You should reach at least 45 mins before the aarti time for morning Ganga Aarti and 75 mins before the evening Ganga Aarti Ganga
Ganga Aarti Location
Ganga Aarti is organized at Har Ki Pauri Ghat. Average 3000 to 30000 or even more people come to experience evening ganga aarti. The crowd will depand on season (May June is highest season while july and august is low season) as well as weekend - non weekend and also the festivals. On Long weekends and all big indian festivals more people will join the Ganga Aarti. Har Ki Pauri is most famous ghat to take holy dip in the ganga. Har Ki Pauri is located on the main highway.
From Haridwar Railway Station and bus station it is 2 - 3 kms far. Nearest airport is Dehradun 35 kms. The ghat is religiosly very important as according to the ancient hindu religious books Lord Vishnu appeared here to bless Bhratuhari. That is why it is known as Har Ki Pauri (means footprints of god). During every festival days, no moon days, fool moon days and weekends you can see more crowd. Everyday at least 5000 to 10000 people come here to take bath. On weekend the number can reach even more. On some of the big festivals such as baisakhi, makar sakranti, somvati amavasya, shivratri number of people in one day can easily reach at 1,00,000 to 3,00,000 or even more.
It is also the same place where drop of nector fell down during the battle between devas and asuras for nector. Due to this it is considered one of the holiest place to take bath in the holy river ganga. Obiously where holy river and holy place comes together it will attract large amount of people. Specially during the Kumbh Mela when the time is also auspicous it attacts millions of people to take bath in ganga during kumbh festival which comes after every 12 years in Haridwar. There are some other ocassions where you can see large gathering here such as Ardh Kumbh Mela after every 6 years (During Jan to May), Kanwar Mela (7 days normally comes in July August).
Who performs the Ganga Aarti
Ganga Aarti is done by the pundits (priests) selected by Ganga Sabha. Ganga Sabha is NGO which is managing Ganga Aarti since it is started. Ganga Sabha is also manages the ghat along with help of govt.
What happens during Ganga Aarti
Initially people start coming early to get good spot. Later they carried out the idol of River Ganga from the small temple located close to the ghat. Idol is normally carried out in "palkhi" by pundits and other people which they put on the platform of ghat near river ganga. Some people also go to the idol of Ganga and take blessing. A few minutes later pundits come and starts the ceremony. Initially they are chanting sanskrit mantras along with offering such as cotton, colors, milk, honey, suger, curd, ghee and some other things. These are symbolik offerings so there is not large qauntity but just small amount. The chantings are done by pundits live which you can hear on loud speakers. After the offering are completed they starts singing Ganga Lahari - A Sankrit Poem written by Pundit Jagannath. Pundit Jagannath was sanskrit scholar and poet born in 1590. For complete Ganga Lahari Stotram in Sanskrit with English translation Click here. After the Ganga Lahari the pundits takes promise from everyone to not to pollute the river ganga which people promise by raising both hands. Some time they also chant the name of ganga "Har Har Gange, Jai Ma Gange" for a while. There is little break in before the main Ganga Aarti starts. The workers of Ganga Sabha asks for the donations if people want to donate somethings. This donation is not compulsory and one can donate whatever they like. Donations will be used for the expanses of Ganga Aarti and some other religious and social welfare. Soon after this the pundits lights the Aartis and you can here the Ganga Aarti song on loudspeaker with the background music of bells. This song is just 5 mins song during which you can see three or more pundits waving aarti infront of river. For complete Ganga Aarti in Hindi and Its Translation in English Click Here
Seating Arrangements for Ganga Aarti
For better view you can seat on the small island type of Ghat known as "Malviya Dwip". If you seat here you can see the priest performing the ganga aarti clearly in front of you. There will be river ganga between you and the preist but the distance is not much (approx 50 feet). You can sit on the steps or ghat. There are no chairs or carpet. The platform is normally cleaned by staff of ganga sabha just before the Ganga Aarti. If you want you can use something like cloth or paper to put on plaform for your seating. If you have problem in seating on platform you sit on wooden platforms which cost you approx 30 to 60 per person. This small wooden platform are established by local people.
Suggetions for Ganga Aarti
The place is visited by many hindu pilgrims and many of them do pooja or rituals with the help of local preists (pundit) here. Normally people also offer some donations to the preist after this pooja. If you are not interested in this you can simply avoid people if they are asking you for ganga pooja or something like that.
You will see some people asking for donations, they are from various NGOs or social welfare groups (some of them are good some of them are fake). You can donate if you like but nothing is compulsory. There are also some people from Ganga Sabha (who organize the ganga aarti) who ask people for donations. You can donate them if you like. Your donation will help them in cover cost of arranging ganga aarti.
Try to avoid any kind of activity which cause pollution in the holy river ganga or nature specially plastic.
Ganga Aarti Pictures
Ganga Aarti Video
Sightseeing Tours for Ganga Aarti
Haridwar Walk Tour
Haridwar walk tour is cultural walking tour. Haridwar walk tour is more suitable to people who want to experience Hindu culture and want to learn about Hindu religion. This tour is private tour because each guest has diffrent understanding level of Hindu religion and culture. The tour is not just about explaining sightseeing places but more about learning about religious and cultural things. This tour will start from Kotwali Police Station. First we will walk throu the old traditional market to reach Mansa Devi Temple. The temple is accesible by cable car but we will visit the temple in traditional way - by walking. Cable car seems fast option but some time it takes longer time than walking due to rush. Later we will visit the temple which is dedicated to Godess Mansa Devi. The temple is famous for having wishes fulfilled. The current temple is built in 1815 but renovated multiple times after that. In the temple we will offer flowers to godess like every other people do. Later we will tie a sacred red cotton string on the tree and make wish to godess. Later we will return to main street. Here you can visit Pahupatinath Temple (Lord Shive Temple) built 200 years ago by the King of Nepal. Later we will walk through Moti Bazar to reach Har Ki Pauri. Har Ki Pauri is most popular place to take a holy dip in the Ganga. At Har Ki Pauri you can see many pilgrims taking dip in the ganga. You can also see people performing various rituals. Later we will take our seat to see the famous Ganga Aarti which is must do thing if you are in Haridwar. After ceremony we will arrange small "Pooja" for you with Hindu priest for you with flower offering to Holy River Ganga. The tour will end at the same place where it started. The tour needs a minimum 05 hours but still you will not get tired because all these things are located close to each other.
Type of Tour Package : This is not a group tour. This is private tour. Tour starting time is at 13:30. Advance booking is required.
Tour Package Cost : INR 1800/- for single person. Aditional guests will be charged INR 400 per person. For example (2 Guests - INR 2200, 3 Guests INR 2600. Child above 12 will be charged same as adult. Child below 12 will be complimentery.
Tour Package Timing : This tour can be done any day through out the year. Tour need average 05 to 07 hours.
Tour Package Includes : The Haridwar walk tour cost includes English speaking guide, mineral water, all monument entry fees & flower offering with small pooja by hindu priest.
Tour Cost Does not Includes : Meals or any other thing not mentioned in including.
Note : Pick up and drop from any hotel in Haridwar by car or by auto rickshaw is also provided on request with nominal additional charges.
Haridwar Sightseeing Tour Package
Full day Haridwar sightseeing tour contains visit to famous and interesting places of Haridwar. Places of sightseeing can be included as per interest of people. Standard sightseeing tour starts in morning with visit to Mansa Devi Temple, Pawan Dham Temple, Jain Temple, Shantikunj Ashram and Daksha Mahadev Temple. Later you can visit local market visit by walk at Moti Bazar. Evening we will visit Har Ki Pauri for famous Ganga Aarti.
Type of Tour Package : Private tour with dedicated a/c vehicle and professional english / hindi speaking guide.
Cost of Tour Package : INR 3000 for single person. INR 3500/- per couple. For more guests email us for best rates.
Tour Package Timings : Haridwar sightseeing tour can be done any day through out the year. Standard starting time is 10 am. Tour need average 07 to 09 hours.
Tour Package Includes : Haridwar sightseeing tour includes A/C car, English speaking guide, cable car charges, mineral water, all kind of entry fees. Pick up and drop to hotel in Haridwar is also included.
Tour Does Not Include : Meals or any other thing not mentioned in including.
Haridwar Tour Package from Delhi
Haridwar Rishikesh Tour 2 nights 3 days
Haridwar Rishikesh Tour is 02 nights 03 days tour from Delhi. The tour contains all major attractions of Haridwar and Rishikesh. Pick up and dropping to Delhi is included in the tour. This tour is private tour not group tour on sharing basis. We do not have any group tours on sharing basis. The tour plan below is ideal plan and includes all major attractions according to overall time you have. However we can customize the places if you have any personal choice.
Day 01: Delhi to Haridwar (210 Kms/ 6 Hrs)
Morning 8 am meet our driver at your home / hotel / airport / railway station and transfer to Haridwar. Check in to the hotel at Arrival in Haridwar. Afternoon visit Daksh Temple, Pawan Dham & Moti Bazar. Visit Har Ki Pauri for Ganga Aarti. Return to hotel. Dinner and Night stay at Haridwar.
Day 02: Haridwar Rishikesh Sightseeing
Morning you can take holy dip in the river ganga. Later return to hotel. After breakfast visit Mansa Devi Temple (By cable car). Transfer to Rishikesh. Visit Triveni Ghat, Bharat Mandir, Lakshman Temple, Lakshman Jhula & Ram Jhula. Evening visit Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Niketan. Return to Haridwar. Dinner and Over night stay at Haridwar.
Day 03: Haridwar to Delhi (210 Km/ 6 Hrs)
Morning after breakfast, check out from hotel. Visit Chandi Devi Temple (by cable car). Transfer to Delhi. Dropping at Delhi home / hotel / airport / railway station.