Varanasi, Apr 1 (UNI) Gone are the days when devotees used to appease the Ganga by offering flower petals, lighting incense sticks and earthern lamps.
Times have changed and so do the taste buds of the holy river to propitiate whom the faithful have changed the entire course of its menu with sweetmeats -- gulab jamun and barfi-- occupying a place of prominence in the offerings.
Devotees, specially women, offer the two sweets to the Ganga for a long and prosperous life of their families.
A ritual that started in rural areas has now reached the doorsteps of the city too.
On Sundays and Tuesdays, people, also from the nearby areas, come to offer prayers to the holy river and wish prosperity for their family.
The unusual and striking part of this belief is that women go and beg at the nearby villages and purchase 'gulab jamun' and 'barfi' from the alms thus collected.
Besides, they buy other puja material from the collected money.
UNI JAS SB GC1530