Varanasi Ghats, Uttar Pradesh
Stretched for some 3 km along the west banks of holy river Ganges,
the Varanasi ghats or ceremonial stairs are undoubtedly the prime
attractions of the city. It is widely believed that a dip in the
sacred river may bring salvation leaving you free from all sins. You
may also take a bathe and mingle with the crowd in the ghats and you
will be amazed to know the immense belief people are having for these
customs and traditions being celebrated for centuries. A number of
boat rides are arranged along the river and you can savour the true
flavour of the ghats of Varanasi.
Divine Legendary Ghats of Varanasi
Dasasvamedha Ghat is the main bathing destination in the city and you will always find it crowded with pilgrims, salvation seekers and tourists. It is said that Lord Brahma performed Dasasvamedha (das meaning 'ten', aswa meaning 'horse' and medha meaning sacrifice) Yajna here and hence the name. Bathing here is said to give the same merit as received by doing the 'ten horse sacrifice' that was performed here. Manikarnika Ghat and Kund is another attraction of the city and is associated with a number of legends and myths of Hinduism. Manikarnika means 'Jewelled Earring' and it is said that Lord Shiva's earring fell here, which gave it the name. You will be mesmerized to see the Lord Vishnu's footprints at Chakra-Pushkarini, which is located between Kund and the river. This is said to the holiest spot in Varanasi and Manikarnika is considered to be the holiest of all the ghats. The cremation ground just next to the ghat is hugely visited by the tourists coming to Varanasi. Harishchandra Ghat is another cremation ground in Varanasi. It is believed that those who leave their body in Varanasi attain moksha (liberation) at once. Panch-Ganga Ghat is one of five main ghats of Varanasi and the five holy rivers Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswati, Kirana and Dhutapapa are said to meet beneath it. Bathing here during the month of Kartika (Oct-Nov) is considered to be auspicious.
Life on Varanasi Ghats
As you enter in the ghats of Varanasi, the door to a different world of divinity and spiritualism is opened to you. You will never be bored by taking a stroll in the ghats rather will be engulfed by the activity of the various people accumulated here for various purposes. But most of the crowd are here in search of the nirvana which is believed to be gained by taking a dip into the holy waters of the Ganges. The life in ghats keep on changing as the sun rotates in the sky. In the morning the place is filled with hustle bustle of devotees rushing to take bath and offering 'puja' to the rising Sun. Chanting of Sanskrit mantras by the Sadhus make the ambience even more mesmerizing. The evening comes with a different flavour when the ghats are lighted with thousands of earthen lamps floating in the river carrying some wishes with themselves.
Fascinating Boat Ride Along the Ghats
As you take up a boat ride in the Ganges in Varanasi, the exclamatory expressions start to come out of you naturally and effortlessly. People coming to Varanasi make it a point to take up this charming boat ride along the river preferably in the morning. The boat ride starts from Dasashwamedh Ghat and ends at Manikarnika Ghat, which starts at 3 am in the morning. You will be mesmerized to see the morning life at the ghats involving daily routine and religious activities of the devotees. The nature also comes to bedazzle you as it melts golden red into the river when the sun peeps in the East. Enjoy this moment to have an everlasting memory.