Haridwar’s magical Ganga aarti now at the banks of Yamuna in Delhi

- April 27, 2024
| By : Mohd Shehwaaz Khan |

DDA’s initiative at Vasudev Ghat offers serene 'aartis' twice a week, revitalising riverfront ghats and rekindling residents' connection with the Yamuna

RITUAL: Priests perform the aarti ceremonies

Nestled near Delhi’s bustling Kashmere Gate metro station, the Vasudev Ghat now hosts aartis reminiscent of those held on the banks of Ganga in Haridwar.

Spanning 16 hectares, this project, spearheaded by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), is a pivotal component of the agency’s broader mission to revitalise 66 hectares of riverfront ghats along the Yamuna. From Wazirabad to the Old Railway Bridge, these rejuvenation efforts aim to breathe new life into the city’s waterfront areas.

TWICE A WEEK: A priest performs the Yamuna aarti that takes place every Tuesday and Sunday

On March 12, Lt Governor VK Saxena unveiled the ghat, marking DDA’s inaugural endeavour of its kind in the city. Featuring vibrant gardens adorned with tulips and marigolds among other flora, the site offers visitors a serene retreat, where they can bask in the river’s gentle breeze.

The evening aartis, held every Tuesday and Sunday, draw crowds eager to partake in the spiritual experience.

ON THE BANKS: Vasudev Ghat with river Yamuna in the background

“Due to ongoing construction, aartis are currently limited to twice a week,” notes Suman Gupta of ‘Badi Panchayat’, the organisation overseeing the ritual’s arrangements.

Drawing inspiration from the nearby Qudsia Ghat, the newly developed ghat showcases landscaping in the Charbagh style, offering visitors a tranquil oasis to escape the scorching summer heat.

FACING: Priests face the Yamuna as they offer aarti praying for everybody’s health and fortune

Adorned with majestic elephant statues crafted from pink Kota stone, the project captivates the eye with its grandeur. Ujjwal Singh, a first-time visitor, expresses his delight, remarking, “I’m thoroughly impressed with the work here; it’s shaping up to be a fantastic tourist destination. I’ll definitely return with my family.”

Shankar, another visitor, shares, “Previously, I had to travel to Rishikesh or Haridwar for river aartis, but this spot presents a compelling alternative.”

GETTING SET: Visitors relax while waiting for the aarti to begin

Gupta emphasises that the newly completed ghat aims to reconnect Delhi residents with the river.

“In the past, people would bathe in the river and then head to work, with the riverbank also hosting wrestling akharas,” he recalls.

Suman elaborates that factors like overpopulation, pollution, and evolving lifestyles have contributed to distancing the river from residents’ daily lives.