Varanasi, June 27 : The last three days' incessant rains have left the River Ganga swollen in Varanasi and has led to the submergence of the famous bathing Ghats and several temples situated along the banks here.
The water level has risen so much that the steps where daily rituals are performed and the temples located on the riverbanks have been submerged.
The condition is so bad that it has led to suspension of the Ganga Aarati at Dasaswamedh, one of the prime attractions of Varanasi that draws tourists from across the country.
Local shopkeepers selling articles used in the worship at the riverbank by devotees have also been badly affected.
"The situation here has upset our lives as we had to shift our shops that we run by the river banks. We sell things required for performing daily rituals here. Some of them have been submerged in the water. We are performing all activities at the top. There is very limited space. Shopkeepers are compelled to move away and half of their things get damaged," said Vinod Kumar, a local.
Tourists, who had arrived here from far off places to have a feel of Varanasi and experience the Hindu rituals being performed at the Ghats, are disappointed to find half of the city affected due to rainwater and the main attraction, the Ghats, submerged in water.
"We came here to see Varanasi's Ghats but because of the monsoon rains and water level rising, we have missed watching them here," said Sichowiki, a Korean tourist.
Many tourist guides say the swollen river has affected their business.
"When the water level was low, it felt nice as I could show the Ganga Ghats to tourists. Now as it has increased, it has created a lot of obstacles to tourists who want to visit the ghat and enjoy its beauty. Boating this time is also not so safe as the current is really strong," said Sunil Sharma, one tourist guide.
Ganga Aarti is the prime attraction of all religious rituals performed here every day.
Boating is also one of the prime attractions of the place. But as the current is very strong boating too has been suspended for sometime until the current is back to normal. y Girish Kumar Dubey