Haridwar Town lies at the precise spot where the Ganges leaves the mountains and enters the plains. The ghat is on the west bank of Ganges canal through which the Ganges is diverted just to the north. Har ki pauri is also the area where thousands of pilgrims converge and the festivities commence during the Kumbha Mela, which takes place every twelve years, and the Ardh Kumbh Mela, which takes place every six.
Each evening at sunset priests perform Ganga Aarti (Aarti is said to have descended from the Vedic concept of fire rituals, or homa. In the traditional aarti ceremony, the flower represents the earth (solidity), the water and accompanying handkerchief correspond with the water element (liquidity), the lamp or candle represents the fire component (heat), the peacock fan conveys the precious quality of air (movement), and the yak-tail fan represents the subtle form of ether (space). The incense represents a purified state of mind, and one’s "intelligence" is offered through the adherence to rules of timing and order of offerings. Thus, one’s entire existence and all facets of material creation are symbolically offered to the Lord via the aarti ceremony.
The word may also refer to the traditional Hindu devotional song that is sung during the ritual. Aarti is performed and sung to develop the highest love for God. "Aa" means "towards or to", and "rati" means "right or virtue" in Sanskrit.)
Thus Ganga Aarti - is an offering of a tribute of lights to Mother Ganga (River Ganges). During this ceremony, lights are set on the water to drift downstream. This is the most amazing and soul touching spectacle. A large number of people gather on both the banks of river Ganges to sing its praises. The priest hold large fire bowls in their hands, the gongs in the temples at the Ghat start ringing and the chants flowing out of lips fill the air. People float earthen diyas, with burning flickers and flowers in them as a symbol of hope and wishes .The golden hues of floral diyas reflected in the river Ganges present the most enchanting sight.
This Painting depicts this event in an Impressionistic Assessment of the above event and is done by the artist from a combination of several photographs taken by him on January 13th and 14th of the year 2010 when a solar eclipse occurred coinciding with Makar Sankranti* festival, a harvest festival celebrated through out India. The coincidence of a Solar Eclipse and the Chief Harvest of India was considered an epochal moment in the Hindu Calender and an unually large crowd gathered at Haridwar to worship the Mother Ganga (the Ganges River) and offer Special Aartis to her.
Makar Sankranti, apart from a harvest festival is also regarded as the beginning of an auspicious phase in Indian culture. It is said as the 'holy phase of transition'. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid-December. It is believed that any auspicious and sacred ritual can be sanctified in any Hindu family, this day onwards. Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights. In other words, Sankranti marks the termination of winter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season.
*All over the country, Makar Sankranti is observed with great fanfare. However, it is celebrated with distinct names and rituals in different parts of the country. In the states of northern and western India, the festival is celebrated as the Sankranti day with special zeal and fervor. The importance of this day has been signified in the ancient epics like Mahabharata also. So, apart from socio-geographical importance, this day also holds a historical and religious significance. As it is the festival of Sun God and he is regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom, the festival also holds an eternal meaning to it.
Artist: E. Ramki
Title: Ganga Aarti - Haridwar, India
Style: Contemporary Indian Art
Medium: Oil on stretched Canvas
Date of Artist's Signature: 2011
Size: 30 inches by 24 inches
Signed by the artist: Yes.
Certificate of Authenticity: Yes.
All the paintings in this gallery are original work by E. Ramki and is available in limited edition of 1 piece only. Artists signature is on the painting to prove authenticity.
A left arm Thumb Impression is also affixed on the reverse of the Painting.
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