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Dev Deepawali to be held without ‘maha aarti’ in Varanasi

Varanasi, Nov 12 (IANS) It is Dev Deepawali on Tuesday, but the famous “Ganga Maha Aarti” will not be a part of the celebrations this year.

The organisers have decided to perform the routine “Ganga Aarti” and not the “Maha Aarti” on the festival day as a protest against denial of permission from the administration for installing a giant dais on pontoons in front of the Ghats to enable their invitees, including celebrities and VIPs to watch the spectacular event.

The Ganga Seva Nidhi head, Sushant Mishra, has cancelled all decoration work at the Dashaswamedh Ghat, and the Gangotri Seva Samiti headed by Babu Maharaj which holds daily Ganga Aarti at Old Dashaswamedh Ghat, has also extended support to the decision of not holding Maha Aarti on Tuesday.

The regular Aarti is performed every day with seven priests while the Maha Aarti, is performed by 21 priests, accompanied by 42 girls.

ADM city Vinay Kumar Singh said that lakhs of people from different parts of the country and abroad throng the city to enjoy the beauty of mythological Ghats on the occasion of Dev Deepawali.

“These two organisers obstruct the view of both the Dashaswamedh Ghats by installing giant dais and placing high backdrop. On the dais only their invited guests are accommodated while pilgrims and tourists taking a boat ride to enjoy the view of Dev Deepawali at all the Ghats are unable to see the beauty of these two Ghats,” he explained.

The official further said that a large number of complaints against this practice had been received following which both the organisers had been asked not to install the dais.

“They informed us that they had already distributed invitations and we asked them to create a small dais with a low backdrop. They were also asked to give it in written that they would not install any dais from next year, but the two did not agree and then the administration denied them permission,” he added.

–IANS

amita/dpb

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