Ghats in Varanasi are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges. It has total 87 ghats. Most of the ghats are bathing and puja ceremony ghats, while a few are used exclusively as cremation sites. The Holy City Varanasi know for it's Ghat, All the ghats were built after 1700 AD, when the city was part of Maratha Empire.The patrons of current ghats are Marathas,Scindias, Holkars, Bhonsles, and Peshwas. Many ghats are associated with legends or mythologies while many ghats are privately owned. the morning boat ride on the Ganga across the ghat is a main attraction.
Most Popular Ghats of Varanasi
The Main attraction of Dashashwamedh Ganges is Aarti of River Ganges. Dashashwamedh ghat is Just closed to Vishwanath Temple.
Manikarnika Ghat associated with two legends.One is believed to be the place where lord Vishnu dug a pit with his Chakra and filled it with his perspiration while perfarmaing various penances.While Lord Shiva was watching Lord Vishnu at that time, the latter's earring ("manikarnika") fell into the pit.The second legend is in order to keep Lord Shiva from moving around with his devotees, his consort Goddess Parvati hid her earrings, and asked him to find them, saying that they had been lost on the banks of the Ganges. Goddess Parvati's idea behind the fib was that Lord Shiva would then stay around, searching forever for the lost earrings. In this legend, whenever a body gets cremated at the Manikarnika Ghat, Lord Shiva asks the soul whether it has seen the earrings. According to ancient texts, the owner of Manikarnika Ghat bought King Harishchandra as a slave and made him work on the Manikarnika at Harishchandra Ghat. Hindu cremations customarily take place here, though a majority of dead bodies are taken for cremation to the Manikarnik Ghat. According to other sources that Manikarnik Ghat is named after Jhansi ki Rani Laxmibhai.
Scindia Ghat also known as Shinde Ghat borders Manikarnika to the north, with its Shiva temple lying partially submerged in the river as a result of excessive weight of the ghat’s construction about 150 years ago. Above the ghat, several of Kashi’s most influential shrines are located within the tight maze of alleys of Siddha Kshetra. According to tradition, Agni, the Hindu God of Fire was born here. Hindu devotees propitiate at this place Vireshwara, the Lord of all heroes, for a son.
Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur built this Ghat in 1770, as well as the Jantar Mantar equipped with ornate window casings along with those at Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, and Mathura. There is a fine stone balcony in the northern part of the ghat. Devotees pay homage here to the lingam of Someswar, the Lord of the Moon.
The late King of Nepal built this Ghat in the northern region of Varanasi.
Cremation on Ghats
In Hindu traditions, cremation is one of the rites of passage and the Ghats of Varanasi are considered one of the auspicious locations for this ritual.