Photographer's Note

It is the second half of the ritual, where these men stand facing the holy river Ganges at Dasaswamedh Ghat, and do the Aarti.
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 (God) or person (many versions exist). In doing so, the plate or lamp is supposed to acquire the power of the deity.

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Additional Photos by Arunava Ghose (Highmountains) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 307 W: 38 N: 676] (2674)
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