Home - Varanasi Ghats
The city of Varanasi, the city of Hinduism, is also the city of Ghats. Ghat is a term referring to the banks of a river. The Ghats of Varanasi are the cemented stairs on the western bank of the Ganges leading to the holy water of the river. There may be more than a hundred Ghats in the city. Many are as old as the city of Varanasi itself and some are new constructions by certain communities, sects or even individuals. The river Ganga is believed to have the power of cleansing your sins with a dip. Worshippers and believers visit the Ghats for that holy dip and offering their prayers to the holy waters. The city of Varanasi is associated with Nirvana or deliverance from the cycle of birth and death. The Ghats of Varanasi are the Bathing Ghats and the Burning Ghats. Varanasi, the aged Kashi, is a city of pundits in orange shawls and wooden sandals; a city where the smoky haze of funeral pyres blends with the sound of temple bells. For Varanasi is ground zero for Hindus who come here to die in the hope of breaking out of the cycle of karma and re-birth. Carved out along the banks of river Ganges at precisely the only place along its course where the river flows from the South to the North (in Hindu mythology towards the abode of the Gods and hence the sanctity of the place). If Varanasi is the mortal frame of salvation, then undoubtedly the stepped Ghats, nestling along the shimmering waters of Ganges, are its soul. People define all the Ghats on the holy river as points on the divine cosmic road guiding to a hallowed destination. The spectacular 4 km sweep of the Ghats is a unique sight, best viewed at dawn, in the soft first light, when the river drenching the feet of these solitary stairs have a timeless appeal. A panorama unfolds from dawn to dusk, as a steady stream of devotees swelling to thousands on festival days perform rituals by the Ganga. Indeed, if you plan to spend your next holidays in India, blend yourself with the spiritual aroma of the revered Ghats of Varanasi and add cream to your vacation cake. Varanasi or Kashi is older than traditions. Varanasi presents a unique combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. According to the Hindu mythology, Varanasi liberates soul from human body to the ultimate. It is the Ganga Ghats of Varanasi that complement the concept of divinity. Ghats of Ganga are perhaps the holiest spots of Varanasi. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins. There are number of temples on the bank of the Ganga river in Varanasi. It is believed that people are cleansed physically, mentally and spiritually at Ganga Ghats. It is at the Ganga Ghats where we see life and death together. For thousands of years people have been thronging these Ghats to offer their morning prayers to the rising sun. There are more than 100 ghats along side Ganga in Varanasi. Some of the prominent and popular Ghats at Varanasi are the Dasaswamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Harischandra Ghat, Kabir Ghat and Assi Ghat.
Varanasi is symbolized by its Ghats. There are as many as 81 Ghats in Varanasi for different purposes. Some of them are related to particular deity while others are simply to bathe. Some of the important Ghats of Varanasi include Assi, Dasaswamedh, Manikarnika, Tulsi and Panch Ganga among others. Tulsi Ghat is named after the famous 16th century poet Tulsi Das, who spent many years on this Ghat composing the Ram Charit Manas. A temple dedicated to Lord Ram stands on the Ghat. Another historically important Ghat is Panch-Ganga Ghat. Panch -Ganga Ghat as its name indicates, is where five rivers are supposed to meet. Dominating the Ghat is Aurangzeb' s smaller mosque popularly called Alamgir Mosque. Following are other important Ghats in Varanasi: -