One of the most special moments of our trip was witnessing and being part of the daily aarti (public puja ritual) that takes place on the banks of the mighty Ganga each evening at Rishikesh. A heavily bearded guru stands at the river's edge in the middle of the picture (later, he will lead the singing), on the stony breach sits the figure of Shiva. After dusk has fallen, people take turns to crouch down by the water and set floating blessings of candles, flowers and burning incense on their way. The Ganga is not simply a river in India, it is the sacred stream that binds all Hindhus together throughout history. And Rishikesh is a gathering place for holy men and women from across the country, to be close to the water, cold and clear from its descent in the nearby Himalayas.
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