Exploring the Ghats of Varanasi
Varanasi, an ancient city, also known as Benares or Kasi is a city that had developed more than 3000 years ago on the left bank of the river Ganga. It has since its inception been a place of Hindu way of life and learning. Many important places of historical interest are found in this place. It is considered to be a holy city by the Hindus and anyone whose cremated ashes are deposited in the waters of the Ganga flowing through Kasi is believed to be finally realised of the limitations of this material world.
The ghats in Varanasi
The river has a holy purpose in Varanasi. It was due to this river that the civilization could develop in this area at the time when the Aryan settlers first started coming in. It was and still continues to be one of their most important resources for day to day living. However in order to approach the Ganga for bathing or taking a holy dip in the waters, which is believed to wash away all of one’s sins, areas were cordoned off and steps were built that led right to the river. These are known as the ghats, which have since time immemorial been a place of daily utility as well as spiritual contemplation.
There are more than 100 ghats in Varanasi, but the most significant and popular ones lying in the stretch between Raj Ghat to Assi Ghat. If you want a proper view of the river from your room, you will have to opt for a hotel India Varanasi, which is located right on any one of these ghats that fall within the specified stretch.
The most important ghats to explore
It is next to impossible to visit all the ghats of Varanasi. Let’s take a look at some of the ghats that you should explore when in this city:
- Dasaswamedh Ghat: The most prominent and popular ghat of Varanasi is the centre of attraction for various tourist. It is this ghat on which every evening the Ganga aarti or the evening offering to Ganga are made. Priests perform this ceremony and the entire ghat lights up. There will always be a crowd during this time and if you wish to avoid that, you can also opt to watch the aarti while enjoying a boat ride on the relatively tranquil river.
- Manikarnika Ghat: Manikarnika or the Burning Ghat is where all the dead bodies are brought in to be cremated. The fire of cremation burning in this place is considered to be holy since you will never see that the fire in the ghat has burned out. This is considered be a really holy place to be cremated in.
- Assi Ghat: If you want to explore a ghat that is relatively less crowded then do visit the Assi Ghat. It is located at the farthest end in the south. It is so named because the River Ganga meets River Assi at this location. Hindus consider this to be one of the most auspicious ghat and take this point in the river to be the place where to take the holy dip. You can book a resort India Varanasi on this ghat to get an excellent view of the river.
The best way to explore all the ghats of Varanasi is to go for a boat ride across the river, which covers a view of all these ghats.