Hark-i-Pauri ghat in Haridwar occupies a special place in the hearts of India’s Hindus. It is precisely here that the sacred waters of the Ganges are believed to emerge from the mountains and flow for the first time on to the plains.

Each evening, crowds of animated pilgrims gather around the ghat’s principal tank, Brahmakund, to place little floats of flowers, ghee candles and incense in the river as offerings to the Goddess Ganga. A cacophony of bells, temple gongs and sacred bhajan songs accompany the flotilla as it drifts serenely downstream into the gathering darkness.

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