The Dasaswamedh Ghat (pronounce Das-ash-wah-medh) is the holiest of the holy ghats of Banaras (Varanasi). The photograph here is of the Sandhya Aarti (Sandhya means Evening). It is a 'must see' for anyone spending a night at Banaras.
Dasaswamedh Ghat is one of the most important Ghats of Varanasi. Dasaswamedh literally means the Ghat where ten horses were Sacrificed. According to legends ten horses were sacrificed by Lord Brahma to allow Lord Shiva to return from a period of banishment. The Ghat was renovated by Bajirao Peshava I in 1740 AD and later by the Queen of Indore, the princess Ahilyabai Holkar in 1774.
Aarti or arathi, aarthi (from the Sanskrit word "आरात्रिक" ) is a Hindu ritual of worship, a part of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. Aarti is generally performed one to five times daily, and usually at the end of a puja or bhajan session. It is performed during almost all Hindu ceremonies and occasions. It involves the circulating of an 'Aarti plate' or 'Aarti lamp' around a person or deity and is generally accompanied by the singing of songs in praise of that deva or person (many versions exist). In doing so, the plate or lamp is supposed to acquire the power of the deity. The priest circulates the plate or lamp to all those present. They cup their down-turned hands over the flame and then raise their palms to their forehead – the purificatory blessing, passed from the deva's image to the flame, has now been passed to the devotee. When aarti is performed, the performer faces the deity of God (or divine element, e.g. Ganges river) and concentrates on the form of God by looking into the eyes of the deity (it is said that eyes are the windows to the soul) to get immersed. The flame of the aarti illuminates the various parts of the deity so that the performer and onlookers may better see and concentrate on the form. Aarti is waved in circular fashion, in clockwise manner around the deity. After every circle (or second or third circle), when Aarti has reached the bottom (6–8 o' clock position), the performer waves it backwards while remaining in the bottom (4–6 o' clock position) and then continues waving it in clockwise fashion. The idea here is that aarti represents our daily activities, which revolves around God, a center of our life. Looking at God while performing aarti reminds the performer (and the attendees of the aarti) to keep God at the center of all activities and reinforces the understanding that routine worldly activities are secondary in importance. This understanding would give the believers strength to withstand the unexpected grief and keeps them humble and re mindful of God during happy moments. Apart from worldly activities aarti also represents one's self - thus, aarti signifies that one is peripheral to Godhead or divinity. This would keep one's ego down and help one remain humble in spite of high social and economic rank.
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holmertz (38627) 2013-10-27 9:55
This is an interesting photo with a good atmosphere. Mst Europeans will probably find it very exotic. You shot this from a good angle, where the men, their raised arms and the fires create a number of fine dgonals. You have used the spares light very well and captured very good colours.
papagolf21 (84002) 2013-10-27 12:27
Excellente prise de vue bénéficiant d'un effet important sur le spectateur. Nous sommes au coeur de l'action.
Image très réussie.
Un grand merci pour la note d'accompagnement très détaillée.
Noel_Byrne (22106) 2013-10-28 3:37
I love the drama in this scene, brought about by the fire and the way the men in the scene are holding it aloft. Once again, a beautiful addition to this series, you really are breathing life into the whole collection of images by revealing the built environment, then a close up and now the activity of the people. Lovely work, and again an excellent note.
ikeharel (54157) 2013-10-28 4:44
A stunning picture taken during the ceramony, Arunava.
The fire-torchs added to the drama on scene, and you managed superbly with the light condition indoor's.
Colorful costumes added vivid texture to the wonderful image.
timecapturer (46487) 2013-10-28 5:27
a fascinating capture this, full of the action and intense significance of this ceremony. Superbly executed image with clear detailing and wonderful colours. An intriguing and mesmerising presentation. Well done and very informative notes too!
Have a great week - Brian.
abmdsudi (41214) 2013-10-28 8:26
A delightful dynamic night shot remarkably done, really have captured the main subjects so well with fantastic cultural details and colours. Lovely clarity achieved and so wonderfully exposed with some good shadow highlights as the flames draw the eye in. The warm glow - the best element here- finishes it off perfectly, a fine night scene well captured. TFS
Tx to the infor notes pleasure to read.
subhendu_bagchi (25400) 2013-10-29 2:02
this is great. The chosen POV is just superb and you captured it at a right time with their hands extended upward. Nice clarity. Good control over noise and very good light. Excellent frame. Tfs.
daddo (23104) 2013-10-29 3:33
Namaste Arunava.It's like a devotional ballet, a choreography of dynamic movements enhanced by the flames. Wonderful costumes which in themselves look aflame. Most effective composition. Regards. Klaudio.
delpeoples (52777) 2013-10-29 4:19
Namaskar dear Arunava
This is a fascinating ritual and you have done really well in the low light. The warm light is very inviting and I love the sense of movement. Excellent work.
Have a happy day
Fis2 (83182) 2013-11-07 9:07
A very curious scene.
Excellent colors and frame.
Very impressive picture!
Have a nice evening
thebest (4272) 2013-11-27 19:25
I can imagine how exciting & moving it can be to watch this Hindu Ceremony - Very colourful & dramatic - the flames bellowing out of the unusual Chalice like cups adds to the intensity of the moment... I agree it would be wonderful to experience this Ritual Celebration.
Excellent photo & notes!!!
adidas5nb (4648) 2013-11-27 19:42
nice timing and very nicely managed light to get this nice pic.the aarti is really beautiful.
- Copyright: Arunava Ghose (Highmountains) (2255)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-10-13
- Categories: Ceremony, Event, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Olympus E-500
- Exposure: f/5.3, 1/80 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Banaras or Varanasi - the Eternal City [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-10-27 8:51