ghats of benares

Ghats Of Varanasi


This ghat was build by the state of Mysore (now know as Karnataka) in early twentieth century (c.1910). There lies a site are shrine. There also is a shrine of Ruru (" the Dog") Bhairava, one of the 8th Bhairavas protecting the city from 8th directions .


This ghat is name after a mythological King Harish Chandra, who once worked the cremation ground here for the preservance of truth and charity but at the end the Gods rewarded him and restored his lost thorn and his dead son to him. This is one of the two cremation ghat, and some times referred as Adi Manikarnika (" the original creation ground", cf.KKm 2.225-26), still there exists Adi Manikarnika Tirtha. In 1986-87 an electric crematorium is opened here, how ever side – by – side funeral of wood – fire is continuing . This also the seat of old Harampapa water – tirtha. At the top in the temples there are images of Harischandrsvara, Rohitesvara, Adi Manikarnikesvara & Vrddha Kedara. In c. 1740 Narayana Diksit, a religious guru of pesavas renovated this ghat and made this partly pucca.


In c. 1778 this ghat was built pucca by Raja of Banaras. At the upper side there are temple of Lambodara Cintamani and Jyestha Vinaykas, Kiratesvara, Jayanta Siva Lingam and Maha Laksmi. The vicinity is dominated by washermen.


This was made pucca in c. 1890 by the Vijayanagaram State of South India. At the top of it is Svami Karapatri Asrama. Close by to this building are the shrines of Nilakantha (1) and Nispapesvara.


This ghat is meticulously eulogized in the KKh ( 77.8-10,47-54:also KKm). This is the site of Haramapapa Tirtha. At the top exists the temple of Kedaresvara, the patron deity of the southern sacred segment. Kedar Ghat The attached shrines and sacred sites are: Tarakesvara, Gauri Kunda and Vitanka Nrsimha. In late Sixteenth century Kumarasvami, a devotee of Dattatreya made a monastery attached to the Kedaresvara, temple. According to a Gahadavala inscription ( c.C.E.1100). Svapnesvara Ghat wad existing close by this ghat, but now it has no representation.


This ghat is famous for the huge pipala (Ficus religiosa) tree at the top of the Steps which shelters a great array of stone figures of snakes, nagas. Havell (1905 : 118-119) described this Ghat: "under a fine old pipala-tree, there is a small shrine and a great number of old carved stones, some of Snakes, twined together like Mercuty’s caduceus, with some fine figure sculptures let into the upright face of the platform which surrounds the tree are probably reclis of the early Buddhist period". Closeby to this tree is the shrine of Rukmangesvara, and at some distance lies Naga Kupa ("Snake Well"). On the occasion of festival honouring snake, Naga Pancami, falling on the 5th light helf of Sravana (July –August), these shrines are especially worshipped. This ghat was built in c. 1790.


Its old name was Nala Ghat, and was built in early eighteenth century. The followers of Kumarasvami made a monastery in 1962 at the upper – side of the steps. The shrines of Kesemesvara and Ksemaka Gana are at the top portion of the steps. The neighborhood is dominated by Bengali residents.


At the top of this ghat there is a secred pond, in replicated from representing the famous sacred lake of the same name lying in Tibet. This ghat was built by Raja Mana Singh of Jaipur in c. 1585, and was rebuilt in c. 1805. The shrines of Rama, Laksamana, and Dattatreya are in the vicinity.


The old name of this ghat is Kuvai Ghat. This was constructed by Dattatreya Svami, a monastery chief, in c. 1788. The four important images in the upper- side are Naradesvara, Atrisvara, Vasukisvara and Dattatreyesvara.


Formerly known as Amrita Rao Ghat, this was firstly made by the first Maratha chief Gajirao Balaji in c.1720. This was rebuilt with stone slabs by Amrita Rao Pesac\va during 1780 – 1807. At the top of lofty stone steps he established four temples of Amritesvara, Vinayakesvara, Nayanesvara and Gangesvara and four auxiliary shrines, and also renovated the Prabhasa Tritha in 1780.


Also known as Ganga Mahala Ghat, this was made pucca in late nineteenth century by Kavindra Narayana Singh. At the top a compound of five temples presents a magnificent view.


In c. 1805 this ghat was built in honour of a famous wrestler who established a wresting site (Akhara) there: his name was Babua Pande. The shrine of Somesvara exists closeby to it. In its vicinity lies the old site of Prabhasa Tirtha, but presently it is spatially transposed at Raja Ghat.


Of course, this site had reference in a very early seventeenth century digest, however the overall ghat was erected under the patronage of Mathura Pandey in late eighteenth century. The Ganga Kesava Tirtha and Servesvara image are near the Ghat.


This was erected in c.1830 Raja of Digpatia (Bengal). The beautiful building along the ghat now known as "Kashi Ashram".


This ghat is described in the KKh (61.176-177) with respect to yogini Tirtha and Agatsya Tirtha. The number 64 (Causatha) is attributed to directional symbolism and also association between mother-goddesses and their assistant- goddesses, of course there are other interpretations too. This ghat had privilege to provide shelter to a great Sanskrit scholar, Madhusudana Sarsvati (c.e.1540-1623). Above the ghat there is temple of causatthi Devi, but only 60 images of yogonis are there, the rest four are at different places. In c. 1670 King of Udaipur (Rajasthan) renovated this ghat, and jater it became pucca On 12th dark-half of caitra (March-April) many pilgrims pay visit to the yogini temple and take ritual bath at this ghat. Another important occasion of attraction is the evening on the day of Holi-a colourful festival showing start of Caitra-1, when homage ritual is performed at the ghat.


In fact, this is a extended part of the preceding ghat, and also made by king of Udaipur in c.1670. At the top there is shrine of Vakratunda Vinayaka, one among the fifty-six.


Together with magnifivent building along the ghat and a grand Siva temple in Nilakantha area, the king of Darabhanga (Bihar) made them in 1915. The building along the ghat shows a massive Greek pillars style. The shrine of Kukutesvara lies at the top.


The ghat was built by Sridhara Narayana Munsi a finance minister in the State of Darabhanga, in 1912 as an extended pare of Darabhanga Ghat. After his death in 1924 this portion ghat named in his honour.


At the place of an old site of Kevelyagiri Ghat, in c. 1778 queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore made this a pucca ghat. For the first time name of a person was added after the ghat. She was also responsible for re-building the Visvesvara temle, as exists at present, in 1777.


In c. 1740 pt. Narayana Diksit the preceptor of Bajirao Pesava-1, made this ghat pucca. In fact, this is the southern extension of Dasasvamedha Ghat, where exists Dasasvamedha Tirtha and images of Dasasvamedhesvara and Dasaharesvara. After the famous sitala temple there, this ghat is called after. On the 8th light- half of lunar months of Caitra, Vaisakha Jyestha and Asadha (march – July ) and Asvina (Sept –Oct. ) people celebrate the festival of Sitala Asthami ("8th day" ). The same fastivities also occur at (adi) Sitla Ghat in the north. Another important occasion at this Ghat is the special worship after the newly marriage, the couples and close family members come here for the Ganga worship ritual followed by rituals in the Sitala temple.