Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Boat Ride along the River Yamuna in Mathura

After the stroll on the banks of the River Yamuna in the morning, evening saw us at the banks once again, this time to picture the city through a different lens – The Boat Ride.

We are at the Vishram ghat (the main ghat of Mathura), the best and perhaps the only place where one will find several different boats strapped up to the Yamuna riverfront. All the boats are manually oared and you have a choice to either take a personal one that’s exclusively for you and your family or share it with a group of pilgrims.

We choose the personal one for ourselves and after haggling a bit, fix our canoe for Rs. 120 for 4 persons for the complete tour of the Ghats and back. The prices are highly negotiable and different for different boats with the personal ones demanding a bit on the higher side than its counterpart, so bargaining hard is a must or else you run the chance of burning your pockets unnecessarily.

The harsh afternoon sun is gently making its way for a soothing and a pleasant evening. I am excited for we are told that we will conclude our boat tour with the evening Yamuna arti and watch it from the boat itself. Flashes of Varanasi Boat Ride and the Haridwar Ganga arti dance in the picture of my eye. These ghats are not as ornate and beautiful as Varanasi, but the boat ride still seems to afford everything that a traveler seeks the most –- SILENCE... in plenty, I muse. With exhilaration in my spirits and joy in my stride, I step in and take my seat...

Thus, keeping in tune with this serenity, I rest my pen here and request all of you to hop in and come along. Let us all virtually enjoy this ride in serenity - The Boat Ride on the River Yamuna - together.

Our Boatman during the Yamuna Boat ride in Mathura
Vishnu, our oarsman, paddles the oar back and forth.
And... there starts our boat ride!

A panaromic view of Mathura Ghats as seen from the Yamuna River Boat ride
Mathura Ghats as seen from the Yamuna River Boat ride
Spectacular view of the soaring temples and cenotaphs,
dating back centuries, still so full of charm... isn't it?

Kids playing in the Yamuna River, Boat ride
A few children diving in, laughing and enjoying
as if they were having the time of their lives.

A View of mathura during the Boat ride
The sight of the people bathing on the ghats fades out in the distance and long boats take their place, the accompanying chit chatter absolutely dying out eventually giving way to absolute tranquility and serenity.

Sun Set at the Yamuna River in Mathura during the Boat ride
The River literally comes to life as it is touched by the
soft rays of a late evening sun

Sunset at the Yamuna River, Boat ride
The Yamuna bridge lets the sunshine in, to dance softly
on the gentle waves of the divine river

Boat ride on the Yamuna River in Mathura
Heading back to the ghats before the dusk hits the sky

Back again at the Vishram ghat, the boat comes to a halt. We sit in anticipation waiting for the Yamuna arti which should commence any moment now. A loud gong of bell strikes and a series of several smaller and larger bells start ringing. Chants of Yamuna Maiyya ki Jai (Victory to the Goddess Yamuna) fill the air. A priest in white and saffron attire appears on the raised platform of the ghat with a huge lamp in his hand and starts the prayer. Hundreds of burning wicks flame the dark of the night.

Yamuna Evening Arti in Mathura
The priest standing on a raised platform with the lamp in hand
(in the far background)

Evening Yamuna Arti in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
Yamuna River Arti in full swing at the Vishram Ghat in Mathura

The night pulsates at the ghats as a mass of devouts exuberantly sing glory to the river. Amid all the glow of divine chantings and recitations, closer home... a small flicker of light twinkles in the waters of the Yamuna...

My leaf diya...
quietly makes its way forward,
to a world, unknown...

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  1. Lovely soul stirring description with brilliant pictures! 'The Arti' could not have been better described by Arti herself:)

  2. I do love the water and boats!! Your captures are terrific, Arti, as always! I love taking your tours -- even from a distance! Hope your week is going well!


  3. Wonderful. Nice captures.


  4. I love your words and photos, Arti. This post convinces me that unless you speak the local language, the average tourist will be lost. It is best to see India with a tour group so you can avoid bargaining/haggling -- something we don't do in the USA.

  5. What a beautiful trip, I love the sunset. All those buildings and temples right on the water, do they not ever flood or begin to sink?

  6. Love the pictures and the way you comment on them. The sunset over the bridge is amazing.

  7. The pictures are amazing and brings so much life! The boat ride sure must be so memorable..lovely yamuna bridge during sunset...

  8. WOW.. How badly i want to go there.. Excellet Arti..

  9. i love the last two photos. they look so dramatic, almost like a painting. it's a good thing you were able to capture the mood of the place despite the dim light (or maybe because of it).

    i wanted to squeeze in varanasi in our itinerary but time's a bit limited. perhaps we'll just visit the ghats along jamuna river in delhi.

    have a great week, arti!

    (thanks again for the movies!) :)

  10. @Arti Beautiful post with Awesome photographs.Thanks a lot.

  11. I love the beautiful view from the boat, lovely panorama and aptly said the silence of rowing in the boat and watching the history of civilizations that grew along the banks of this ancient river. And to imagine lord krishna in these waters is a divine experience. The goswamis of vrindavan have extolled the spiritual significance of goddess yamuna as she was lucky to touch krishna feet.Lovely pictures, enjoyed the boat ride so much with you.

  12. Beautiful sights. We missed all this. Had I read your post and gone there, things would have been different. I never expected the river to have so much of water. This reminds me of Varanasi ghats.

  13. What amazingly beautiful and serene shots! Just gorgeous.

  14. A nice yatra . Beautiful set of photos along with the narration gave a wonderful experience !

  15. nicely taken pictures with interesting description...

  16. wonderful photographs... water looks so beautiful when it reflects the sun's rays... the river looks splendid!

  17. Beautiful pictures. :) Really spectacular view of the temples and the sunset, especially the one over the bridge. :)

  18. It's a great river and the second shot is perfect reflection.

  19. So descriptive, I can feel the water lapping the sides of the boat, I can hear the ringing of the bells, I see the priest approaching in his white and saffron attire.

  20. a paint brush of golden color on the bridge.

    So beautiful.

  21. what a wonderful scenery and joyful experience to behold, love the reflections and colors in the photos.

  22. Lovely boat ride with lovely views.

  23. BEautiful pictures ..
    loved them all


  24. Beautiful beautiful beautiful :)

  25. Once again you have transported me to India.... I'm planning a trip to India in August! I will definitely break down your blog to plan my itinerary :)

  26. Oh my, so lovely these water pictures Arti - such a great atmosphere, it carries something of the world, unknown ... Have a happy and adventurous week!

  27. "My leaf diya..
    quietly makes it forward
    to a world, unknown..."

    Succinct portrayal of faith. Lovely.

  28. That would be an awesome way to view the festivities. Lovely photos and explanations, Arti. :)

  29. Varanasi is my favorite spot i have visited several times but never visited through boat. After reading your blog I will defiantly visit Varanasi through boat. Thanks for wonderful trip and nice picture

  30. Spectacular pictures-great photography !

  31. My goodness... out of this world!

  32. How lovely! We love boats (although don't think we're young enough to row all day any more).. the River is a wonderful one and what a perfect place to witness that ceremony.

  33. wow...you've penned it excellent Arti..thanks for the awesome visual tour ..:)

    Tasty Appetite

  34. the photos are crisp and clear, your writing descriptive and flowing, like the river. all this is very beautiful - the colors, the sky, the water. I truly enjoyed the ride Arti! Thanks for the serenity. happy day to you.

  35. @ Ginny
    Yes, during the rainy season the water level does rise and the ghats do flood but then it recedes slowly and everything is back to normal in few days again.

  36. A loud gong of bell starts and a priest with a huge lamp starts prayer.They sing glory to the river. It must be great view. Exciting explanation and beautiful pictures.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  37. I enjoyed the river cruise with you Arti listening to the poetry contained in your flowing words. The set of photos is another fantastic one. I feel like that I’m hearing the shouts of the children. River is always beautiful from dawn to dusk, sunny, rainy, and in between, and I especially like it when the setting sun starts painting the sky while darkness falls on the ground.


  38. What a peaceful boat ride. Thanks for taking us along.

  39. What an experience. As if I was beside you in this journey. You're a best storyteller, Arti. Thank you very much for sharing this.

    Wonderful photos too esp the sunset images. Breathtaking.

  40. A boat ride was just what I needed this Sunday. Thank you, Arti. :D
    Lovely, lovely piece!

  41. Lovely shots! That's one of the places on my bucket list.

  42. You make me feel I am missing out a lot by not visiting this place. Lovely pics.

  43. Arti,
    How delightful to imagine the scenery where the priest is in prayer, the devout are chanting in the middle of soft lights twinkling. The flowing river is making music together with them. Everything is fused in one! Just divine!! All photos are enchantment!
    Have a great week!

  44. Boat ride in Mathura, that's great! Surprisingly Arti, the river looks clean! :) Loved the pics where river and the sun appears to meet..

  45. Excellent selection of photos! They capture the essence of the place well.

  46. The Picture of the River was great Arti, remind me a night moment in Varanasi.

  47. Such a beautiful place. I would love to be on that boat.


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