Evening Aarti – Bagbazar Ghat
Aarti is a ritual of worship, a part of puja of Hindu Culture. The basic things one can see during the aarti are light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor which is offered to one or more deities. Today I will take you at Evening Aarti – Bagbazar Ghat.
The word Ganga Aarti instantly reminds you one of the famous Hindu religious states Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh.
But in this blog I am writing about one of the most beautiful aarti for River Ganges(River Ganges is the holy river for Hindu Religion and consider as Ma Ganga) of Kolkata that takes place on the BagBazar Ghat each evening which is worth watching.
A year before, I also went to click some pictures and I decided to return after 30mins of starting the evening aarti. But once it started I was stuck there for next 1 and half hour. During the aarti the surroundings became so amazing that if you wish to leave your heart will resist you from leaving.
Now I am narrating the whole scenario of my experience of the Evening Aarti:
I reached there a little early before the sun gets down clicking the pictures of Ganges and the surrounding. After that I was waiting eagerly for the aarti to begin. In the mean time you can experience how nicely and in a proper way the priests make the whole set up of two big alters placed side by side and above each alter a small alter and a designed “Aashon” (seat) for the priest, placed for the aarti.
Above the small alter a Sankha, a water sankha, a camphor vase, a hand bell (Mongol ghanta), Incense stick in a holder and a Mongol Ghat along with some flowers,nicely arranged side by side along the edge of the alter.Besides the priest a Chamara, a 108 Pradip stand and big Camphor stand partly shaded by snake head. The priests take their respective place on the alters and the starting of the aarti with resonance of Sankha makes a Devotional ambience followed by the smell of Incense stick and the sound of the Mongol Ghanta. You can also hear the chanting mantra if you manage to sit near the priests.
After that you can see the art of aarti posture holding the Water Sankha.
All the devotees give claps following a node of ascending and descending alternately.
Priests show the resin smoke towards the Ganga to worship along with 108 pradips and burning camphor. They lift up the resin smoke,108 pradips and burning camphor one by one and worship the river Ganges by rotating their hand in a full circle or semi-circle way or sometimes both. The smoke rises up and creating smoky all around. Both the priest doing their aarti simultaneously, this makes the image brighter.
The reason behind the use of burning camphor is to take away the evil eye from our beloved God who is really handsome. Incense, used to fulfill the body of God with fragrance and also signifies one soul aspiring to reach God. Showing 108 burning Pradip signifies bringing of light into ones place and life.
The aarti ends with pouring of milk and flowers on the Ganga Water which are meant to dedicate to the feet of Devi Ganga for her blessings.
When you completely give your entire mind and heart within the aarti, you will get a feeling of peace and purity from inside.
Reach the place before sunset so that you can take pictures of beautiful Ganga and also the Bagbazar Ghat and the surroundings which resemble the memory of old Kolkata.
How to reach:
Take the metro up to Shayam Bazar. From there 15 minutes walk. You can also take bus route from any part of Kolkata.