Popular Ghats in Varanasi you must visit at least once

Tripoto
2nd Mar 2018
Photo of Popular Ghats in Varanasi you must visit at least once by Rohith T V

Even though the city of Varanasi is on the banks of Ganges (also Ganga), it’s name is taken from two tributaties of Ganges (Varuna and Assi). The city lying between these 2 rivers Varuna and Assi is called Varanasi. So when we speak about ghats the city starts from Assi ghat beside Assi River to Adi Keshav Ghat (sometimes called Varuna Sangam Ghat) beside Varuna river. A ghat, in this context, is a series of steps leading down to a body of water (River Ganges in this case).

There are more than 80 ghats in between these 2 rivers. Almost all of the ghats were built in early 18th century during Maratha period. Most of the ghats are used for bathing and worship, while two are used for cremation sites. We will talk about it later.

View of one of the ghats from a boat early in the morning

Photo of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

View of one of the ghats from a boat early in the morning

Photo of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Viewing ghats from the tip of the boat

Photo of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Dashashwamedh Ghat. You can see how busy it can get on early morning

Photo of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Assi Ghat

Situated on the southern side of the city, Assi Ghat is known for morning aarti that starts from 5-5:30 AM. It is organised by Subah-e-Banaras, a cultural and spiritual organisation. This morning aarti is a recent phenomenon started from 2014.

View of all ghats from Assi Ghat

Photo of Assi Ghat, Nagwa Road, Assi ghat, Anandbagh, Dumraon Colony, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Night view from Assi ghat

Photo of Assi Ghat, Nagwa Road, Assi ghat, Anandbagh, Dumraon Colony, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Dashashwamedh Ghat

Dasaswamedh Ghat is considered to be the main ghat of Varanasi. It is the closest ghat to Kashi Vishwanath Temple and most lively ghat in the city. According to a legend, Lord Brahma sacrificed ten horses during a yagna performed here hence named as Dasashwamedha Ghat (Dasha means ten, Ashwa means horse and ashwamedha is a type of yagna performed by sacrificing horses).

View of Dashashwamedh Ghat on  day. At this very area Ganga Aarti is performed.

Photo of Dashashwamedh Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat Road, Ghats of varanasi, Godowlia, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Dashashwamedha Ghat early morning. It gets golden color due to sunrise.

Photo of Dashashwamedh Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat Road, Ghats of varanasi, Godowlia, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

The most popular Evening Ganga Aarti is performed in this ghat. It is a one-hour spectacle performed beautifully. More on this in a different post.

Picture of Holika. Holika Dahan is a celebration by burning the pyre with Holika picture

Photo of Dashashwamedh Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat Road, Ghats of varanasi, Godowlia, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Folk songs by Local gang on dashashwamedh ghat

Photo of Dashashwamedh Ghat, Dashashwamedh Ghat Road, Ghats of varanasi, Godowlia, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats

These two ghats are used exclusively for cremation. Hindu devotees believe that they will go to heaven if they die here in Varanasi. Old men and women visit Varanasi and wait for their judgement day. Cremation is an important activity here in Varanasi and hence separate ghats.

There is a legend associated with Manikarnika Ghat. It is said that at some point of time Lord Shiva was moving with his devotees. In order to avoid this her consort Goddess Parvati hid her earrings and asked him to find it. Since then Lord Shiva ia trying to find that ring at Manikarnika Ghat (Manikarnika means earning). Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi was born as Manikarnika in Varanasi taking the name from this ghat.

Harishchandra Ghat was ancient cremation site considered to exist even before Manikarnika Ghat. A legend has a saying that there existed an ideal king named Harishchandra had to renounce all his belongings to uphold truth. He had worked as a slave after relinquishing at this ghat and hence it is named against him.

Not posting photos of these ghats as I did not want to show cremation pictures publicly.

Tulsi Ghat

Named after the great Vaishnava saint and hindi poet of 16th century known for his devotion towards Lord Rama. Major notable works are Ramcharitmanas and Hanuman Chalisa are still read even today.

View of Tulsi Ghat. The yellow building is here the great saint and poet Tulsidas stayed.

Photo of Tulsi Ghat, Assi Road, Ghats of varanasi, Shivala, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

There are many other ghats constructed and dedicated to different kingdoms of medieval India like Scindia Ghat, Vijayanaram Ghat, Bhonsle Ghat, Raja Ghat etc.

You can visit all these ghats by taking a boat ride on the river Ganga. An early morning boat ride is the best time for the boat ride. Varanasi is on the western banks of Ganga and hence early morning boat ride with sun rising in the east will illuminate all the ghats giving a shiny golden colour.

Early morning shot in Varanasi

Photo of Assi ghat, Shivala, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Ghats view from the tip of the boat

Photo of Ganga Mahal Ghat, Sonarpura Road, Pandey Ghat, Bangali Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rohith T V

Know more about Heritage Walks in Varanasi. Wait for my next post on Food Trail in Varanasi.

Be the first one to comment