“Kaashi Banaras Nahi Ghume to Bhaiya Kya Khaak Ghume Bharat Me?“😀 Known as the spiritual capital of India – Varanishi is the most religious city to Uttar Pradesh with a blend of culture and beliefs. Well, there are many popular attractions for visitors to look up at Varanshi like Sarnath, divine views of River Ganga, Ramnagar Fort, Alamgir Mosque, but majorly what made it so much popular are the majestic Ghats of Varanasi.
Overview of Ghats
There are almost 90 ghats in Varanasi but every Ghat is special in its own giving the vibes of sacredness and panorama at the same time. This is the reason these ghats drag a large number of devotees and tourists. The Ghats of Varanasi on the Ganges River was established mainly between the 17th – 18th century. These Ghats offers a great and unique experience with its historical value to its visitors. Memories of touring the old city of Uttar Pradesh never fade in your memory. It is also believed that on taking a soaking in the river Ganga washes away the devotee’s sins. Thus to experience the holiness and traditions of India, visiting the Ghats of Varanasi are must for everyone.
Here, take a look at most popular Ghats in Varanasi that you must see during your holy trip.
Manmandir Ghat – Architectural Glory of Rajputs
Man Mandir Ghat is very ancient Ghat of Varanasi and renowned for its magnificent architecture designed of Rajput. Famous Rajput king of Jaipur Man Singh constructed his this Ghat in the 17th century. Earlier it was named as Someswara Ghat and is a classic illustration of the imperial Rajasthani architectural brilliance. Dwelled on the bank of river Ganga, this Ghat will give you magnificent views of dusk and dawn.
On top of the Ghat, there is a Jantar Mantar Observatory which is established by Sawai Jai Singh II in the 1730s. When you reach the top of the observatory, you will observe the remarkable spectacles of River Ganga. In the vicinity of this Ghat, many Hindu Temples are situated thus the ghat is known to be a home of Hindu deities and heaven for their worshippers. The ghat is renowned for being a paradise for the Hindu devotees.
Manikarnika Ghat – Place of Hindu Cremation
Manikarnika Ghat is known as the Burning/ Cremation ghat of Varanasi. Here on this Ghat majority of dead bodies are cremated. It is believed in Hindu Mythology, that cremation rituals performed here will release them from the cycle of death and rebirth and eventually helps in getting Moksha. When you will visit there you’ll openly watch the mortality at Ghat as many stacks of burning dead bodies lined up on the shore.
One interesting tale is associated with it which says this ghat that when Sati lost her life and set her body burning and died, Lord Shiva took her body to the Himalayas at this time Sati Mata’s ornament had dropped here on this Ghat. Another mythological story related to Manikarnika is that Lord Vishnu convinced Lord Shiva not to destroy Kashi in anger when he returned from after thousands of years of salvation.
Kedar Ghat – Known as Bathing Tirthas in Kashi.
The Kedar Ghat houses the Gauri Kund, a small pool of water that has an image of Gauri, the wife of Lord Shiva can be seen at the eastern wall. The water in this Kund is said to possess healing properties. The Kedareswara Shiva Temple, at the Kedar Ghat, has great mythological significance and it is believed that after visiting Kedarnath Temple, anyone who visits this temple would receive blessings of Lord Shiva as well.
According to mythology, the Kedar Ghat was Manikarnika Ghat’s original site, and the Gauri Kunda on the ghat steps is known as “Adi Manikarnika”.
Also Read: A Divine View Of Shri Jagannath Puri On Magnificent Chariot – Rath Yatra
Assi Ghat – Amalgam of River Ganga & Assi River
The southernmost ghat of Varanasi – Assi Ghat is positioned at the junction of River Ganga and Assi River. According to ancient history, it is said that the Goddess Durga had thrown her sword in the river after killing the demon Shumbha-Nishumbha though it is named as Assi Ghat. Pilgrims take a dip at this ghat before offering their prayers to Lord Shiva in the form of lingam beneath a peepal tree.
Another Lingam worshipped here at Assi Ghat is known as Asisangameshwar Lingam, which is positioned on the ghat inside a marble temple. As per history, it is the same ghat where Tulsi Das, Saint & the great Indian poet wrote the Ramcharitmanas as took his last breath. This Ghat is the perfect place to spend hours in a peaceful atmosphere but during the time of Hindu festivals, it’s very crowded.
Dashashwamedh Ghat – The Oldest and Holiest Ghat
Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the top attraction in Varanasi. This is the oldest and most sacred one in Varanasi. The reason for its popularity is that the Ganga aarti takes place on this ghat every evening. As per Hindu convictions, Lord Brahma formed this ghat to welcome Lord Shiva and it is also that he dedicated ten horses during a Yagya/Yagna here.
This is the reason, it is known as Dashashwamedh Ghat. Several Puja shops and markets are situated nearby. Here, most festivals are organized on a very big scale. It is located close to the Vishwanath Temple. You can sit here for hours to relax your mind.
Scindia Ghat is a truly peaceful and picturesque location. A tilted Shiva temple can be found at this ghat, lying partially submerged in the Ganges River, and it is believed that this ghat collapsed during the development of the ghat in 1830 under its intense load.
The partially submerged Shiva temple at the edge of the water can be seen nearby. The narrow cave of backstreets above the ghat covers a number of important temples of Varanasi. This area is called Siddha Kshetra and attracts lots of people.
Darbhanga Ghat – Rich in Cultural Heriatge
In a city brimful of ghats, the Darbhanga Ghat stands out due to its rich heritage and an amazing palace situated near the bank. A royal family from Darbhanga named the ghat on themselves and erected the magnificent palace with sandstone from Chunar. It is one of its kinds when it comes to architectural grandeur.
Set amongst other ghats such as Dashashwamedh ghat and Ranamahal ghat, it is a popular choice for many religious events. Darbhanga Ghat is the best place to visit in Varanasi due to the enormous Shivalinga which is known to fulfil every wish of devotees.
Shivala Ghat – Capture Vistas of Sunrise & Sunset
Shivala Ghat is also known as Kali Ghat which is maintained by the former Kashi Naresh. It was one of the main ghats throughout medieval times. Close to it, you can see a beautiful mansion which was created in the 19th century by King Sanjay Vikram Shah Nepal’s. At backwards of this, you can also visit the fortress of Chet Singh, who was the delegate of the Oudh’s Nawab. While on the other side, you can spot the 19th-century impressive mansion of Nepali royal, King Sanjay Vikram Singh. The ghat is a great spot for photography enthusiasts who wish to capture scenic views of dusk and dawn. Tourists here enjoy resting peacefully near the banks and taking a boat ride in the tranquil river.
There are also many Ghats in Varanashi which are equally popular such as Chet Singh Ghat, Tulsi Ghat, Bhonsale Ghat, Panchganga Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat. If you left with some time or you halting for two-three days then you can visit them all. Visiting these Ghats of Varanasi will give you a lifetime experience and many moments to cherish. Apart from this, savouring a delicious Banarasi Paan is must here.
Also Read: Divine Tour of Kedarnath Dham: An Eternal Hindu Pilgrimage Site of India