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Varanasi Tourism - Travel to Varanasi - Varanasi India - Varanasi City - Varanasi City Portal, Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benaras, is the cultural capital of India. Varanasi is a melting pot, where both death and life come together. Ghats of Varanasi, education in varanasi, shopping in varanasi, places to visit in varanasi, festival of varanasi, business in varanasi, how to reach varanasi, hospital in varanasi, blood bank in varanasi, varanasi news, accomodation in varanasi, real estate in varanasi, city of temple varanasi, art and culture varanasi, pilgrimage center varanasi, yellow pages varanasi, about varanasi. Ganges & Ghats
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Varanasi Tourism - Travel to Varanasi - Varanasi India - Varanasi City - Varanasi City Portal, Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benaras, is the cultural capital of India. Varanasi is a melting pot, where both death and life come together. Ghats of Varanasi, education in varanasi, shopping in varanasi, places to visit in varanasi, festival of varanasi, business in varanasi, how to reach varanasi, hospital in varanasi, blood bank in varanasi, varanasi news, accomodation in varanasi, real estate in varanasi, city of temple varanasi, art and culture varanasi, pilgrimage center varanasi, yellow pages varanasi, about varanasi. नवभारत टाइम्स
Varanasi Tourism - Travel to Varanasi - Varanasi India - Varanasi City - Varanasi City Portal, Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benaras, is the cultural capital of India. Varanasi is a melting pot, where both death and life come together. Ghats of Varanasi, education in varanasi, shopping in varanasi, places to visit in varanasi, festival of varanasi, business in varanasi, how to reach varanasi, hospital in varanasi, blood bank in varanasi, varanasi news, accomodation in varanasi, real estate in varanasi, city of temple varanasi, art and culture varanasi, pilgrimage center varanasi, yellow pages varanasi, about varanasi. इकनॉमिक टाइम्स
Varanasi Tourism - Travel to Varanasi - Varanasi India - Varanasi City - Varanasi City Portal, Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benaras, is the cultural capital of India. Varanasi is a melting pot, where both death and life come together. Ghats of Varanasi, education in varanasi, shopping in varanasi, places to visit in varanasi, festival of varanasi, business in varanasi, how to reach varanasi, hospital in varanasi, blood bank in varanasi, varanasi news, accomodation in varanasi, real estate in varanasi, city of temple varanasi, art and culture varanasi, pilgrimage center varanasi, yellow pages varanasi, about varanasi. Dainik Jagran
Varanasi Tourism - Travel to Varanasi - Varanasi India - Varanasi City - Varanasi City Portal, Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benaras, is the cultural capital of India. Varanasi is a melting pot, where both death and life come together. Ghats of Varanasi, education in varanasi, shopping in varanasi, places to visit in varanasi, festival of varanasi, business in varanasi, how to reach varanasi, hospital in varanasi, blood bank in varanasi, varanasi news, accomodation in varanasi, real estate in varanasi, city of temple varanasi, art and culture varanasi, pilgrimage center varanasi, yellow pages varanasi, about varanasi. Dainik Jagran Varanasi

 

   Ganges & Ghats

 


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: -

 

 

Dasaswamedh Ghat
Dasaswamedh Ghat falls second in line of the Panch-Tirtha Yatra. When you start moving from Assi towards North then falls past the plain, flat-roofed building that houses the shrine of Shitala. The name of Dasaswamedh Ghat indicates that Brahma sacrificed (medh) 10 horses here. Conveniently central, it's one of the most important and busiest ghats and therefore is a good place to linger and soak up the atmosphere.

 Dasaswamedh is an extremely popular pilgrimage. Even in the rainy season when Ganges is on spate, people can be seen visiting the temple on boats. It is interesting to know that Shitala represents both benign and malevolent aspects of life; ease and succor as well as disease.

Dasaswamedh can be safely adjudged as the most popular and easily accessible Ghat of Varanasi. It is very easy to locate this Ghat because of its typical environment that consists of rows of pandas sitting on wooden platforms under bamboo umbrellas. This is the most featured scene of Varanasi all over the world. This place is featured in every possible paintings and stills of Banaras. The place looks like a mini India in itself. Masseurs share space with sometimes irritating boatmen who jostle for customers all along.

Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat has a great significance not only in Hindu mythology and way of life but also in the philosophies of life and death. Manikarnika is basically a cremation Ghat. It is interesting to know that cremation Ghats are usually placed outside the main town, as they are considered inauspicious. Nevertheless this doesn't stand true in the case of Varanasi where Manikarnika is situated quite in the middle of town itself.

  This is precisely because the entire city of Varanasi is considered a "Maha-Shmashan" or the Great Cremation Ground.

Manikarnika Ghat is perpetually crowded with funeral parties. You will find shops lined up with things used during the cremation such as Ghee, wood, offerings and clothes. These cremations are felicitated by Doms who are considered the guardian of dead. Seeing bodies being cremated so publicly has always exerted a great fascination for foreign visitors to the city who find it utterly amusing and deviated from the one practiced in Semitic religions. It is worthy to note that photography is strictly considered a taboo. So please avoid doing that as this might be seen as a provocation and act of hostility and might lead to unwanted troubles.

The philosophical aspect of Manikarnika lies in the fact that this Ghat is an optimal amalgamation of both life as well as death. Manikarnika that lies at the center of the Panch-Tirtha symbolizes both creation and destruction, epitomized by the juxtaposition of the sacred well of Manikarnika Kund and Manikarnika Ghat. While Vishnu has dug the former at the time of creation of earth Shiva, the destructor, inhabits the hot and sandy ash-infused soil of the later. Manikarnika Kund is considered to be even older than Ganges and as legend has it, Vishnu cared the kund with his discus, and filled it with perspiration from his exertions in creating the world, at the behest of Shiva. When Shiva quivered with delighted, his earning fell into this pool, which as Manikarnika - "Jeweled Earring" - became the very First Tirtha in the world.

 

Assi Ghat
Assi is a clay-banked Ghat that stands at the southernmost part of Varanasi where river Assi meets Ganges. This Ghat is the first when you start walking from South towards the Manikarnika. It is mandatory for the pilgrims to bathe at this Ghat before worshipping at a huge lingam under a Peepal tree. There is another Lingam that is worth visit.

It is called Asisangameshvara or the "Lord of the Confluence of the Assi". This has been placed in a small marble temple just off the Assi Ghat.

There has been a long held tradition where pilgrims visit the Lolarka Kund next. Lolarka Kund or the tank of "Trembling Sun" is a rectangular tank that is 15 meters below the ground level that is approached by a flight of stairs. This tank has rather sadly been abandoned lately and comes to life only during the Lolarka fair, when thousands come to propitiate the gods to bless them with a son. Interestingly Lolarka Kund is considered one of the two sun-sites that are related to the origin of Hinduism and is considered the oldest site in Varanasi. The Kund is equated with the twelve divisions of the sun and attracts pilgrim on the day of Buddha Purnima. The Assi Ghat is also considered one of the five special ghats that pilgrims are supposed to bathe at in sequence during the ritual route called Panch-tirthi Yatra.

Harish Chandra Ghat

Harish Chandra Ghat is one of the oldest Ghats of Varanasi. Harish Chandra Ghat is name after a mythological King Harish Chandra, who once worked at the cremation ground here for the perseverance of truth and charity.

It is believed that the Gods rewarded him for his resolve, charity and truthfulness and restored his lost throne and his dead son to him. Harish Chandra Ghat is one of the two cremation Ghats (the other being Manikarnika Ghat) and is some times referred as Adi Manikarnika (the original creation ground).

Hindus from distant places bring the dead bodies of their near and dear ones to the Harish Chandra Ghat for cremation. In Hindu mythology it is believed that if a person is cremated at the Harish Chandra Ghat, that person gets salvation or "moksha". The Harish Chandra Ghat was somewhat modernized in late 1980's, when an electric crematorium was opened here.

Tulsi Ghat

Tulsi Ghat is another important Ghat of Varanasi. Tulsi Ghat is named after the great Hindu poet of the 16th century, Tulsidas. Tulsi Ghat is an important window into the Hindu mythology. Tulsi Das composed the great Indian epic, Ramcharitmanas at Varanasi. According to mythology, when Tulsi's manuscript fell into the River Ganga it did not sink and kept floating instead.

It is also believed that the Ramlila (story of Lord Rama's life) was staged here for the first time. Perhaps, to commemorate this a temple of Lord Ram was built on the Tulsi Ghat. Many of the relics of Tulsi Das are preserved at the Tulsi Ghat. The house in which Tulsidas died has been preserved and his samadhi, wooden clogs, pillow and the idol of Hanuman, which Tulsi worshipped, are all still intact here.

Earlier, Tulsi Ghat was known as Lolark Ghat (mentioned in Gaharwa Danpatra and Girvanapadamanjari). It was in the year 1941 when Tulsi Ghat was made pucca (cemented) by the famous industrialist, Baldeo Das Birla.

Tulsi Ghat is associated with a number of important activities such as bath of Lolarkkunda (to be blessed with sons and their long life) and the sacred bath to get rid of leprosy. Tulsi Ghat is also a center of cultural activities. During Hindu lunar month of Kartika (Oct/Nov), Krishna Lila is staged here with great fanfare and devotion.

Pancha-ganga Ghat & Bindu Madhava Temple
Beneath this ghat the Ganges, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Kirana, and Dhutapapa Rivers are said to meet. It is one of the five main ghats in Varanasi. It is considered especially auspicious to bathe here dur­ing the month of Kartika (Oct-Nov), and even more so on the full moon day of Kartika.

 

At this ghat is the large Alamgir Mosque built by Aurangzeb in the 17th century, after he destroyed the major Bindu Madhava Temple that used to be here. The present Deity of Bindu Madhava is in a small temple by the mosque. It is located just above the Pancha-ganga Ghat. If you are taking a boat by yourself, you can have the boat stop here and walk up to the temple.

Other Ghats
Beside the main ghats there are over 100 more. The best time to visit the ghats is at dawn, when the river is lined with bathers and worshipers; it is very peaceful. The southern-most ghat is Asi Ghat, which is one of the five special ghats in Varanasi. There is a large Siva-linga here under a peepal tree.

 

Asisangameswara (“the lord of the confluence of the Asi River”) is a Siva-linga temple located near here. This ghat is the first place to bath at when you do Pancha-tirthas. From this ghat you can get a boat across the Ganges to Ramnagar, the Maharaja of Varanasi’s palace.

Lolarka Kunda is a bathing tank dedicated to the Sun. There is the Lolarka Mela Fair in Aug/Sept. Women come and bathe in this tank to get a son.

 

At Bachraj Ghat there are three Jain temples on the riverbank. Dandi Ghat is the ghat of the Dandi Panths holy men. At Hanuman Ghat there is a temple dedicated to Hanuman. Hanuman Ghat is where Vallabha Acarya, who was a Vaishnava saint who spread the glories of Sri Krishna, is said to have been born in the 16th century.

 

At Kedar Ghat there is a well half-way up the ghat called Gauri Kund, which is named after Lord Siva’s wife, which is said to have healing properties. At this ghat is the Kedareswara Siva-linga Temple.

 

Manasarovar Ghat is named after the holy lake which is found at the foot of Mt Kailash in Tibet. Man Singh of Jaipur built it. At Chaumsathi Ghat is the temple dedicated to the Chaumsathi (64) Yoginis, which has deities of Durga and Kali.

 

At Someswara Ghat there is a temple of the moon, and every kind of disease is supposed to be healed here. Munshi Ghat is an interesting ghat to look at. Ahalya Bai Ghat is named after the Maratha queen of Indore.

 

Maharajah Man Singh of Jaipur built Man Mandir Ghat in 1600. Man Mandir Ghat has an Observatory built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh in 1710, the founder of the city of Jaipur. The observatory is made up of stone instruments and is very small compared to the ones in Jaipur or Delhi. It is a little hard to find.

Located near this ghat is a Siva-linga temple where the linga is immersed in water. The house of the Dom Raja, who is in charge of the cremation grounds, is nearby and has tigers painted on it. Dom Raja is a hereditary title.

 

At Mir Ghat there is the Vishalakshi (“Wide-eyed Goddess”) Temple. This temple is a shakti pitha and is said to mark the place where a part of the body of Sati, the wife of Lord Siva, fell.


Next is Lalita Ghat, where there is located the Nepali Temple dedicated to Pashupateswara Siva, which is a Nepali-type wooden temple with interesting sculptures. Also here is a Vishnu temple dedicated to Ganga Keshava.

 

Further north is Jalasayin Ghat, where bodies are cremated. Directly next to this ghat is Manikarnika Ghat, which is one of the most holy ghats.

 

At the very big Scindia Ghat, there is a partially submerged Siva temple. Agni, the god of fire, is said to have been born near this ghat.

 

At Dattatreya Ghat, there are the footprints of a sadhu of the same name. At Rama and Laksman Ghat there is a Rama and Laksman Temple. The king of Jaipur built it. Next is Panchganga Ghat. Gai Ghat has a cow made of stone on it.

 

Next is Trilochan Ghat, where there is located the Siva temple of Tri (“three”) Lochana (“eye”), who has three eyes. Also in this temple is Varanasi Devi, the city-goddess of Varanasi.

 

The important Raj Ghat (also called Adi Keshava Ghat) is the northern most ghat. Located here is the Adi Keshava Vishnu Temple, which is located where the Varuna River flows into the Ganges. Lord Vishnu is said to have first put his feet here when he came to Varanasi.

 

 
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