Camphor or Cotton Wicks soaked in Ghee
Flower Petals and Manthrakshathe (Rice smeared with Ghee and Kumkum or Ghee and Turmeric Powder)
Aarathi is a Hindu ritual, in which the camphor or the cotton wicks are placed at the end of the Aarathi plate and is lit and offered to the gods and goddesses at the end of the pooja in a circular motion with bells ringing in the back ground. The Aarathi is usually accompanied by songs in praise of the deity or chanting of Mantras.
Picture1 – Aarathi with Camphor or Cotton wicks (This has to be lit before performing the Aarathi)
Another type of Aarathi consists of cotton wicks dipped in Ghee/clarified butter, which is put in two silver/brass/steel lamps and the depression in the lamp will be filled with Ghee. These are lit and an Aarathi is performed.
Picture2 – Aarathi with Ghee/Clarified Butter
In temples different types of Aarathi plates are used. Some of them will be multiple tiered with a handle. The wicks are arranged in the depressions on the Aarathi plate and oil or ghee is used and lit to perform the Aarathi. When the Aarathi is performed, with bells ringing in the background and the chanting of the mantras it arouses a deep devotion to god.
Aarathi is also prepared using only water, lime, Turmeric powder and Kumkum/Vermillion colored powder and Turmeric Powder and few Manthrakshathe. This mixture is poured in a plate and offered to the god.
Picture3 – Kadalarathi/Aarathi with water
This Aarathi is also offered to people during auspicious occasion like Abhyang Snan/Yenne Shastra (a ritual before taking head bath), Weddings, Upanayana, Kari Yereyuvudu during Makara Shankranthi, and so on.