If you plan to travel to Varanasi or Haridwar just to watch the mesmerizing ‘Ganga aarti’, hang on. Bihar Tourism promises to replicate the ritual in all grandeur at the river’s Gandhi Ghat in Patna __ every Saturday and Sunday, to begin with.
Close on the heels of creating a picnic spot in the riverine area across the Ganga in the city, Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation has now made a move to satiate the spiritual urge of those residing in or visiting Patna. “The picnic spot is for fun and frolic. We are now in the final stages of organizing ‘Ganga aarti’ which people can enjoy in the company of calm and serene waters of the holy river,” a tourism official said.
The ritual, of an hour’s duration, would be a grand affair and a visual delight not only for devout Hindus but for all nature lovers. It will begin at 6pm.
Select priests from Patna were sent to Varanasi for training in conducting the ‘aarti’. After their return, a rehearsal of sorts has been on. Deputy chief minister will inaugurate the ‘aarti’ on February 25, a day ahead of the formal beginning on Saturday.
If the popular response to the ‘aarti’ in Patna is encouraging, the tourism department would make similar arrangements in other cities situated on the Ganga bank, like Munger and Bhagalpur. “The frequency of the event can also be increased and special ‘pujas’ held during festivals,” principal secretary (tourism) Deepak Kumar informed TOI.
The ‘aarti’ move, according to Kumar, is aimed at promoting river tourism. There’s also a move to run a cruise on public-private partnership model, he said and added details in this regard are being worked out.
Source: The Times of India