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Ghats of Kashi


This is the busiest and the ancient most referred ghat. Lord Brahma (”the creator” in the Hindu trinity gods) performed the ten-horses sacrifice (dasa-asvamedha) at this site. The temple of Shooltankeswar, Brahmeswar, Varaheshwar, Abhaya Vinayaka, the Ganga (”goddess”), and Bandi Devi are closeby at the top of the ghat. These shrines are linked to several important pilgrimage journeys.

· The southern part of the ghat was made pucca in 1740 by Bajirao Pesava-1, and late in c.1774 by Ahilyabai Holkar of lndore.


This ghat (old Prayag Tirtha) together with shrine of Prayagagesvar replicates the existence of “Tirtharaaj” (King of Tirthas) Prayaag in Varanasi. Prayag (of Allahabad city) lies at the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati rivers. It is commonly believed that doing rituals and taking sacred bath here provide exactly the same religious merit as those at Prayaga (80 km away in the west).


This ghat was northern extension of Dashaswamedh Ghat. And until late nineteenth century a stone statue of horse was at the ghat witnessing the “ten-horses sacrifices” performed by Bhara Siva Nagas in second century, that is how the old name “Ghoda Ghat” (”Horse Ghat”).


The old name of this ghat was Someswar, but in c.e. 1585 when Raja Savai Mana Singh (of Amber) made his palace and ghat, this is named after him. On the top of the ghat there is a Hindu Observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh during 1710-1737: the other places where he established such observatories are Jaipur, Delhi, Mathura and Ujjain. The closeby shrines at the top of the ghat are Someswar and Sthooladanta Vinayak.


This ghat is named after the Tripura Bhairavi Shrine, a female partner of Tripureswar whose image also exists there. Another important shrine is of Varahi Devi, one of the eight mother-goddesses. In late eighteenth century king of Benares and pandit Mayananda Giri had patronize to make this ghat pucca.


  • At the top of the ghat is the temple of Vishalakshi Devi “The Wide-Eyed”, (one of the 52 Sakti-peethas of goddess Sati). Another important site is temple of Dharmeshwar Linga where Yama’s (Lord of Death) got the power over the fate of the dead everywhere on the earth, except in Kashi.
  • With the notion that due to entrance of low castes (”untouchables”) the temple of Vishveshwar/ Vishwanath became impure, Swami Karpaatri-Ji, a very conservative Brahmin and a cult-chief, has established a ” New Vishwanath Temple” in 1956 at top of the ghat.


  • This ghat is named after the famous goddess Lalita in Kashi and also in Prayag. The well known Ganga Keshav and shrines of Gangatitya, Kashi Devi, Lalita Devi and Bhagirath Tirtha are affiliated to this site. People believe that a glimpse of Lalita Devi brings the same reward as circumambulating the entire world.
  • At the top of the ghat, close to the Nepali Ghat, as described earlier, lies the Nepali Temple built in c. 1841 under the patronage of king of Nepal and assumed that the lingam there replicates the famous Pashupateeshwar at Kathmandu. The temple has some wooden carving of the erotic scenes, and all the four gateways and doors are fully decorated with geomagnetic architectural frame.


The name it self indicates “putting dead body into water” which is a ritual performed before putting the corpse on the funeral pyre at the cremation ground of Manikarnika ghat. In the mid- nineteenth century the nearby building and the ghat were built.


The name of the ghat literally means “the windows” (Khirki) from where attendants can watch the cremation. Close to in 1940 Baldeo Das Birla has built a pilgrims rest house. Under a deserted pipal tree there are five Sati shrines. <!–[if !vml]–>http://demo.shrikashidarshan.org/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif<!–[endif]–>


  • At Manikarnika Lord Shiva gives Tarak Mantra ( “Prayer of the crossing”) in the ear of the dead, therefore the form of Shiva as Tarkeshwar, (the temple is at the ghat), is propitiated whenever a Hindu dies. The name Manikarnika derives its origin from the story of the dropping of earring of Lord Shiva. The historical sources mention this site in the Gupta inscriptions of C.E.4th century. This is the first ghat made pucca by the two king brothers in C.E.1302; and was rebuilt and repaired in 1730 under the patronage of Bajirao Pesava, and in 1791 Ahilyabai Holkar rebuilt the entire ghat. Again in 1872 repairing and renovations were done.
  • In the vicinity are shrines of Manikarnikesvara (a little far in the upper side of the lane), Maheshwar (open air lingam at the ghat) and Siddha and Manikarna Vinayakas.
  • There also exists the Vishnu’s feet impression Charan Paduka. According to puranic myth long before the Ganga arrived at the heels of Bhagiratha, the Cakra-Puskarini Kunda was present. Vishnu and Lakshmi images are located in the small shrine inside the Kund on the western wall. For 7,000 years Visnu was said to have performed hard worship on this spot, and through the centuries millions of Hindus have sprinkled it with the holy Ganga water and adorned it with flowers.

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