Varanasi, also called Kashi, is one of the oldest towns in the world that has continuously been inhabited. It has a lot of sacred importance for Hindus. Varanasi is on the holy Ganges River, famous for its ghats, which are steps down to the river. These ghats are important places of worship, but they also host many social, cultural, and spiritual events. In this piece, we’ll look at some of the most popular and clean ghats in Varanasi that you should visit to get a sense of what this old city is like.
1. Dashashwamedh Ghat
Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the most well-known and respected ghats in Varanasi. There is a story that Lord Brahma did the Dashashwamedh Yajna (a ceremony in which ten horses were killed) at this ghat. The evening aarti (a religious act of prayer) that takes place daily at the ghat is very well known. Many devotees and visitors come to see the aarti, during which priests say prayers, sing songs, and do complicated routines to the sound of conch shells and bells. Dashashwamedh Ghat is a must-see in Varanasi because of its lively atmosphere and beautiful view of the aarti.
2. Assi Ghat
Assi Ghat is another vital ghat in Varanasi. It is located where the Ganges and Assi rivers meet. It is thought to be where Lord Shiva threw his sword (asi) into the river after killing the monster Shumbha-Nishumbha. Assi Ghat is known for its spiritual atmosphere, and it’s a popular place for followers to take a holy dip in the river. The ghat also has artistic and musical events, especially during the yearly Shivratri holiday. Visitors can also ride boats along the river and watch the morning and sunset from Assi Ghat.
3. Manikarnika Ghat
One of the most essential and holy ghats in Varanasi is Manikarnika Ghat. Hindu folklore says that a person cremated at this ghat will be freed from the circle of birth and death. It is said that Lord Vishnu pondered here, and his earring (Manikarnika) fell into the well, giving the place its name. The constant death pyres and funeral ceremonies can be intense for tourists, but they also warn that life is short. Even though you can’t take pictures at this ghat, seeing the traditions and learning what death means in Hindu culture can be very meaningful.
4. Harishchandra Ghat
The Harishchandra Ghat is another vital funeral ghat in Varanasi. It is right next to Manikarnika Ghat. It was named after the famous King Harishchandra, known for being honest. Like Manikarnika Ghat, people come here to burn their dead, and the mood is severe and peaceful. Harishchandra Ghat is a beautiful place that shows how life goes in a circle and how vital death is in Hindu thought.
5. Kedar Ghat
Kedar Ghat is known for its beautiful design and peaceful setting. People think that this is where Lord Shiva taught his followers. The ghat has many shrines for different gods, including one for Lord Kedareshwar, a form of Lord Shiva. This makes it a sacred place. Kedar Ghat is also known for its beautiful scenery. People can take boat rides and get amazing views of the river and the other ghats in Varanasi.
6. Tulsi Ghat
Goswami Tulsidas, a famous Hindu poet and saint who wrote the epic Ramcharitmanas, got his name from Tulsi Ghat. The ghat has a temple for Lord Ram, and followers and tourists come from all over the country to visit it. Tulsi Ghat is a great place to meditate and think about things because it is quiet and spiritual. People can watch the evening aarti at this ghat, a peaceful and soul-stirring event.
7. Panchganga Ghat
People believe that Panchganga Ghat is where five holy rivers meet: the Ganges, the Yamuna, the Saraswati, the Kirana, and the Dhutpapa. Mythology says that dipping in the water at Panchganga Ghat will wash away all your sins. There are a lot of shrines and churches on the ghat, which makes it an important religious and spiritual spot. People can also check out the old churches in the area and take in the spiritual atmosphere.
8. Scindia Ghat
Scindia Ghat is known for its beautiful building and was named after the family that ruled Gwalior at the time. The ghat is a beautiful structure made of rock that is a work of art. The beautiful designs and size of the ghat make it a popular place for people who like to take pictures. Scindia Ghat is also where many cultural events and shows take place, giving people a taste of Varanasi’s rich cultural history.
9. Darbhanga Ghat
One of the oldest and most important ghats in Varanasi is Darbhanga Ghat. It is named after the royal family of Darbhanga, which is in the state of Bihar because they helped build and keep up the ghat. The architecture of the ghat is a mix of Mughal and Rajput styles, and it has many beautiful figures and paintings. Darbhanga Ghat is a calm and peaceful place where people can watch the river and feel the spiritual atmosphere of Varanasi.
These are just a few of Varanasi’s well-known and clean ghats that give tourists a unique and enlightening experience. Each ghat is essential from a historical, cultural, or religious point of view and adds to the rich mix of this old city. Visiting these ghats is a must if you want to understand and respect the true spirit of Varanasi, a holy city on the banks of the Ganges. Whether you are looking for spiritual peace, a cultural experience, or want to see the city’s lively traditions, these ghats are a must-see.