Rivers spawn life. Many a mighty civilization thrived on the generous banks of great rivers. The immense role that the Ganges has played in the upkeep and proliferation of life in the Indo-Gangetic plains, is a case in point. The Ganges commands reverence and worship. Last month, when I had been to Uttarakhand, I was fortunate to witness one of the most soul touching experiences - The Ganga Aarti. A sea of humanity gathers at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar every evening to worship the life-giving river. The force of the flow of water here can leave you staring at it in amazement. It's a picture of boundless beauty and prodigious power. Here are a few clicks from the venue.
Devotees starting to gather at Har Ki Pauri.
Cell phones have reached everywhere. They didn't spare the river.
I would rather experience the river in solitude.
But man has bonded himself in the name of connectivity.
They all wait patiently as a 'guide' explains them
about the religious significance of the place.
The awe-inspiring Ganga Aarti.
Behold the forceful flow of the Ganges.
The Malviya Dvipa and Birla Tower at Har Ki Pauri.
It is at Haridwar that the Ganges leaves the pristine mountains and enters the plains. By the time it merges into the Bay of Bengal, sadly, it wears a dark and weary appearance. How long can a river carry the sins (read effluents) of a greedy and ungrateful civilization?