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VARANASI, INDIA The light fantastic

Every evening thousands of people assemble at Dashashwamedh Ghat, the wide riverfront steps in Varanasi, to view the Hindu ritual of aarti. Priests in traditional Indian clothes hold oil lamps and move in time to music. Hundreds of pilgrims, photographers and tourists rent boats to watch the show, and every inch of the ghat is occupied, with people even standing on nearby rooftops. It was an extraordinary experience and a visually beautiful ceremony. I wanted to take a picture so I could relive it again and again. For me, there is no better place to celebrate my life than with the multitude of people, of all colours and cultures, at the aarti ceremony.

Aarti is a Hindu ceremony of light, in which wicks are lit and waved around the deities in thanksgiving
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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - December 2017
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