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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > December 2017 > Postcards



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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In the December issue… Discover which countries, cities and regions topped our Best in Travel 2018 list - beginning with a Great Escape to Chile, from the peaks of Torres del Paine to the Atacama Desert; also, delve into many-faceted Hong Kong, a city of Chinese painting, horse-racing, skyscrapers, fishing villages and an all-hours appetite; explore the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard by boat, snowmobile and dog-sled; and much more