ghats of benares

1. assi ghat

Ghats Of VaranasiAssi Ghat an important ghat of Varanasi traditionally constitutes the southern end of conventional city. Numerous References about this ghat are found in early literature Particulalry in matsypurana, again purana, kurma purana, padma purana and kashi khanda. According to a belief goddess Durga after slaining demon Shumbha- Nishumbha had thrown her sword. The place, where sword (Khadga) had fallen resulted in flowing of big stream known as asi river. The on confuewce place of river Ganga and Asi known as Asi or Assi ghat. In Kashi Khand it is referred as Asi "Saimbeda Tirtha" one gets punaya of all the Tirthas ( religious places) by taking a dip here. Infact this ghats was extended from Assi to Bhaidaini ghata ealier . In Gaharwal Danpatra(11th 12th cent.) reference of Lolark ghat is given As famous Aditya Pitha (place of sun worksing).During 16th , 17th Cent. .A.D.Sant Tulasi Das has written Ramcharitmanas here, After 19th Cent.A.D.Asi Ghat was divided in five Ghats i.e.Asi, Gangamahal (First) Rewan, Tulasi and Bhadaini. Followers of Hindu relegions , take sacred dip here, particularly in Chaitya (March/ April) and Magh (Jan/Feb.). Other important occasion are soler/ lumar eclipse, Ganga Dashahra. Probodhoni Ekadashi, Makar Shankranti, etc.

2. ganga mahal ghat(I):

Ganga Mahal Ghat is named after a palation building of ex. Maharaja of Banaras to wards the northern end of Asi ghat. Infact Ghat has a little cultural significance except the Beautiful carvings depiction the Rajput and local architectural grandeur of 16th cent. A.D. However the palace was built in the first half of 20th cent. A.D.

3. rewan ghat:

Rewan Ghat is an extended part of Assi Ghat and its building was constructed by Lala Mishir, royal purohit of King Ranjit Singh of Punjab. It was know as Lala Mishir Ghat. But in 1879 it was purchased by Maharaja Rewan. To save from Currents of Ganga, Ghat has pucca stairs and both the corners of stairs have ‘Ast pahal’ (a type of construction). In the later half of 20th cent. Maharaja Rewan had donated . This building to Banaras Hindu University. There is very little signifcance of cultural and social activity here.

4. tulsi ghat:

It is named affter the great poet Tulsi (1547-1622 A.D.) who wrote Ramcharitmanas. Earlier it was know as Lolark ghat as evident in Gaharwa Danpatra and Girvanapadamanjari (17cent.A.D.). Letter in 1941 Baldeo Das Birala Made this Ghat pucca. This Ghat is associated With a number of important activities such as bath of Lolarkkunda (to get sons and their long life), bath to get rid of leprosy, During Hindu lunar month of Kartika(Oct./Nov.) Krishna lila is also performed here with great conventional Rites, Music concerts, Wrestling, and spiritual discourses are regular features here.

5. bhadaini ghat:

The earliest reference of this Ghat is given by Greves(1909). It has a huge pumping set of waterworks which supply water to whole city. This ghat has standing wall constructed by brick and stone. Bathing or religious activities are not performed here.

6. janaki ghat:

In 1870 A.D. Maharani Kunwar of Sursand(Bihar) made this Ghat. Earlier it was know as "Nagamber ghat". After picca Constructions it is know as Janaki ghat. It has a little Religious important but people bath since it is safe and Clean.

7. Mata Anandami Ghat

Earlier it was know as ‘lmalia Ghat’ in 1944 Mata Anandamai purchased this area from British. She made this ghat pucca in addition to run a Ashrama. This Ashrama is involved in performing a number of religious activities here.

8. vaccharaja ghat :

It is made pucca by a ‘merchant named Vaccharaja during later half of 18th cent. It is believed that seventh Jain Firthankar of Suparshvanatha was born nearby. At present most of Jain families live here. Upgoing stairs from Ganga river bank to street have three niches consist of Siva, Ganesh and beautiful ganga image riding on her vehicle crocodile. Occasional cultural programmes, bhajan and kirtans are organised here. It is a comfortable ghat for local people to take bath and do exercise.

9. JAIN GHAT:

Before 1931 Jain ghat was the part of Vaccharaja ghat. Later Jain community made a pucca ghat and named it as Jain ghat. On the southern end Jain communities take bath and perform their regular activities, but on the northern end Mallaha (boatman) families are living giving it a different look.

10. NISHAD GHAT:

Earlier it was a part of Prabhu Ghat till first half 20th cent. Now a large number of boatmen with their small boat & nets can be seen hear. Ghat has one Nishad raj Temple which in fact was constructed by boatmen families only a few year back.

11. PRABHU GHAT:

This Ghat was made in the early part of 20th cent by Nirmal Kumar of Bangal. Most of boatmen families are living here. Normally washermen washes clothes here. Ghat has very little social cultural significance.

12. PANCHKOTA GHAT:

On the northern end of Prabhu ghat a palatial building and a ghat was constructed by King of Panchakola (Bengal) in the later half of 19th cent. A.D. A series of thin stairs from ghat lead to palatial building where two temples are situated. Ghat is pucca but the place is of lesser importance.

13.CHETA SINGH GHAT:

It is a historical fortified ghat. The place has witnessed a fierce battle between the troops of Warren Hastings and Chet Singh in 1781. A.d/ The fort and ghat has been taken from British by Maharaja Prabhu Narayan Singh in the later half of 19th cent. Originally this Ghat was know at ‘Khirki Ghat; Now it has four parts known as Cheta Singh, Niranjani, Nirrvani and Shivala.Ghat has three Shiva Temple belonging to 18th cent. Till first half 20th cent. It was culturally quit important. The famous Budhwa Mangal festival which was celebrated for seven days had been organised here. Due to sharp current of Ganga people avoid bathing here. This Ghat has been rejuvenated by state govt. in 1958.

14. NIRANJANI GHAT:

This Ghat belongs Naga Saints who established ‘Niranjani Akhara’ in 1897. Originally it was a part of Cheta Singh Ghat. Now there are four temples consisting of paduka (footprints) of Niranjani Maharaj Durga Gauri Shankar and ganga images. The people do not take bath here owing to lesser religions importance. The ghatabhere rejoined in 1948 by state Govt.

15.MAHANIRVANI GHAT:

It is situated on north end of Nirvani Ghat. It is named after Mahanirvani sect of Naga Saints . the famous Akhara is situated here. It has four small Shiva Temple made by Nepal’s Maharaja. It is legendary that Acharya Kapil Muni of Sankhya philosophy fame lived here during 7th cent.A.D. Near Mahanirvani Akhara Mother Teresa’s Home is situated.

16.SHIVALA GHAT:

It has been important ghat in early times. In mid nineteenth cent. It was separated into some small Ghat. At present one witnesses a colossal building constructed by Nepal King Sanjay Vikram Shah (19th cent ,A Shiva Temple and one Brahmendra Math established by Kashiraj. There is no significant cultural activities here. Only some of pilgrims and local inhabitants take bath.

17. GULARIA GHAT

This Ghat was named after a huge Gular tree which is not here at present. It was constructed Pucca by Laloo Ji Agrawal. This Ghat has a very little significance Debries of old houses are scattered On top of stairs.

18. DANDI GHAT

It is referred by Sherring (1968). It was made pucca by Lalooji Agrawal. This ghat is predominated by the Dandi ascetics carrying stick in their hand. This ghat is quit clean and worth taking bath.

19. HANUMAN GHAT

It is believed that grat saint Tulsidas has established a Hanuman Temple here during 18th cent. A.D. which made is famous as Hanuman ghat. The ancient name of this ghata was Ramesvaram ghat which was established by lord Ram himself. At present it is inside boundary of Juna Akhara. Many vairagi ascetics live in the temples. The neighborhood is dominated by south indian residents.

20. PRACHINA (OLD) HANUMANANA GHAT:

Both of the above (nos.19,20) ghat are made pucca y mahant Hariharanath in c.1825. This Ghat had affinity with a great bhakti saint Valabha (C.E.1479-1531), who laid the philosophical Foundations for a great resurgence of Krishna bhakti (Eck 1882: 223). His birth day is celebrated Here on 11th dark-half of aisakha (April-May). The temple of Rama consists of five Siva Lingams named after Rama ( Ramesvara), his two brothers (Laksmansevara and Bharatsvarar), His wife (Sitesvara) and his monkey- servant (Hanumadisvara).