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Ghats in Varanasi

Introduction:

Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities in the World, Varanasi is called from many names such as The City of Salvation (Moksha Nagari), The City of Lights, Kashi, Banaras, The Cultural Capital of India etc. It is famous for its ancient temples and beautiful ghats, People from all over world come to experience the divine vibe of Kashi, according to Hinduism, Kashi is the most favourite place of Lord Shiva. There are 12 Jyotirlinga’s in India, and the most significant Jyotirlinga of Baba Vishwanath is situated in Varanasi. There are many places to visit in Varanasi if one comes to explore Kashi such as Baba Vishwanath Temple, Baba Kaal Bhairav temple, Durga Kund temple, Trayambkeshwar Mahadev temple and the beautiful ghats of Kashi. In this Article we are going to know about the Ghats in Varanasi.


Ghats in Varanasi:

There are 86 Ghats in Varanasi but in this article, we will know about the major ghats in Varanasi:

1.Dashashwamedh ghat:

Dashashvamedh ghat is one of the oldest ghats of Varanasi, located on the Ganges near the old Vishwanath Temple. The Ghat of the ten sacrificial horses is the literal meaning of the Dasashwamedh (Das means 10, Ashawa means horse, Medh means sacrifice). The world-famous Ganga aarti is performed daily at Dashashwamedha ghat. Dashashwmedh is one of the most famous ghats of Banaras from the religious-cultural and historical point of view. The name Dashashwmedha is found in Rudra Sar (Kashi Khand). According to Hindu religion, Dashashwamedha is named after Brahma performed ten Ashvamedha yagnas here. According to history, in the second century AD, after defeating the Kushans, the kings of Bhar Shiva performed ten Ashvamedha yagnas on this part of the Ganges in Kashi, the abode of their adorable God Shiva, from which the ghat was named Dashashwamedha. According to Matsya purana, it is one of the five major pilgrimages of Kashi. The Dashashwamedha ghat was constructed by Bajirao Peshwa (1735 AD). The largest number of people who take bath in the Ganges on daily and special occasions is at this ghat. Ganga Aarti is performed every day from 6 pm to 7 pm, which is the main point of tourist attraction. Maha Aarti is organized on special festivals at this ghat.

Ghats in Varanasi
2.Manikarnika ghat:

The Manikarnika Ghat is one of the oldest and sacred ghat of Varanasi where all the cremations are performed, according to Gupta inscription, it is believed that a human's soul attains salvation (Moksha), and hence breaks the cycle of rebirth when cremated here. According to Hindu religion, When Mata Sati sacrificed her life and set her body ablaze after Raja Daksh Prajapati who was one of the sons of Lord Brahma tried to humiliate Lord Shiva in a Yagna practiced by Daksh, Lord Shiva took her burning body to the Himalaya. After seeing the unending sorrow of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu sent the Divine chakra to cut Mata Sati’s body into fifty-one parts, which then fell to earth. These places are called "Ekannya Shaktipeeth". Lord Shiva established Shakti Peeth wherever Mata Sati's body had fallen.


3.Assi ghat:

Assi ghat is one of the major ghats of Kashi Located at the union of the River Ganga and Assi river, According to Hinduism, Goddess Durga threw her sword “ASI” after killing Shumbha-Nishumbha into the river after which the place was named Assi ghat. In Kashi Khand, the name Assi Ghat is mentioned as ASI “Saimbeda Tirtha,” which means if someone takes bath in holy Ganga River, he gets the Punya. Assi ghat has been also described in ancient Hindu literature such as Matsya Purana, Padma Purana, and Agni Purana. According to mythology, Assi Ghat is known as” SAIMBEDA TIRTHA” meaning that one who dips in the Ganga here once in his lifetime will get the blessings of all the Hindu Tirthas. People from all over world come here to take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga in the month of Magh and Chaitra (sometime between January and April)."Assi Ghat is very famous for the morning program Subah-e-Banaras." It occurs every day before sunrise when beautiful songs are sung, hymns are chanted, and a morning Aarti is held venerating the rising sun. The morning Aarti at Assi Ghat is one of the best things that you would see in Varanasi. You can Watch daily live Aarti on Mahatarpan youtube channel.


3.Harischandra ghat:

This ghat is named after the eminent king Harishchandra, Harishchandra Ghat is one of the eighty-eight well-known ghats of Varanasi. It is one of the two main cremation ghats, the first one is Manikarnika Ghat.Hindus from all over India bring dead bodies of their loved ones here for the last rites as it is believed that if a person is cremated at the Harishchandra Ghat, he reaches moksha or salvation, thus gets rid of the tedious cycle of rebirth. According to mythology, it is said that after a long series of adverse events in the life of King Harishchandra, the owner of Manikarnika Ghat bought him as a slave and made him work on this site. King Harishchandra was known for being truthful, honorable and a man of rare integrity. But misfortune befell him, and he and his family were stripped of all wealth and royal comforts. As the story goes, those who work at the ghats and help with cremations must be necessarily paid as part of the ritual. And so, during his days of hardship, when Harishchandra’s son died and his wife brought his body for cremation to the ghat and had no money to pay Harishchandra with, the duty-bound Raja did not allow the rites to be performed for his own son. It is said that the gods rewarded him for his resolve and self-righteousness, and later restored his lost throne and his dead son to him.


4.Raja ghat:

Raja ghat is one of the most famous ghats of Varanasi where all the afterlife rituals like Tripindi shraddha puja, Pind daan, Asthi Visarjan are performed. People from all the south states of India gather here to perform those after life rituals for the salvation of their departed elders. Pandits all over on this ghat can be seen performing death rituals either online or offline.


5.Chet Singh ghat:

Chet Singh Ghat is one of ghats of Banaras. In between 1781 AD to 1781 AD, A war took place between British troops and Raja Chet Singh’s army and because of this fight the britishers defeated Raja Chet Singh and seized this area. One can easily see the traces of the struggle of Raja Chet Singh. There are four ghats “Chet Singh Ghat, Nirvani Ghat, Niranjani Ghat, and Shivala Ghat” that makes up the original Chet Singh Ghat. Chet Singh was born in Gwalior but after his father’s death, He became the heir to the Banaras throne. He ascended to the throne by paying the Nawab of Awadh, but British Governor Warren Hastings did not accept him as the legal heir. Chet Singh denied supplying his troops to the East India Company. Because of this decision, a bloodbath broke out at Chet Singh Ghat. Chet Singh lost the battle and spent the next 30 years in obscurity, but Hastings was court-martialled for attacking the King of Varanasi.

Ghats in Varanasi 1
6.Kedar ghat:

Kedar Ghat is one of the oldest Ghats in Varanasi and is considered cleaner for bathing in the holy River Ganga and offering prayers to Lord Shiva at the Kedareshwar Temple. Kedar Eshwar temple is located at the highest point of Kedar Ghat, the benefactor god of the southern consecrated order. Maharaja of Vijayanagar had developed this ghat. Kedar Ghat is a standout amongst the most visited religious ghats of Varanasi, as it borders the Branch Math of Kedar Math. The Kedar Math Varanasi is portrayed by an old sanctuary that houses hallowed places of Sri Maha Ganapati, Sri Sharadamba and Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Maharani of Burdwan-Radha Rani Devi revamped the sanctuary and its holy places.


7.Namo ghat:

The old name of Namo ghat is Khidkiya Ghat. Namo ghat is the 85th ghat of Varanasi. There is a three-hand folded sculpture in the shape of hands folded in ‘namaste,’ it has become a popular tourist attraction. The sculpture is a main reason of tourist attraction for this ghat. It is also considered that the ghat welcomes the visitors in this way.


Conclusion:

Varanasi is a charming city that needs no introduction. This is a place where one can get the divine inner peace and the main reason of its fame is its ghats, On the ghat of Dashashwamedh one can experience the divine Aarti performed after sunset daily, and on a distance of 200 meters there is a cursed ghat, Manikarnika where all the cremation ceremonies are performed, and at the distance of 20 meters the most divine temple of Varanasi Baba Vishwanath is situated, A place where people come to ask worldly things to Lord shiva for the satisfaction of their desire and there is Manikarnika where are desires fade away with the burning body.



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