Location : 4 km sweep On The Bank of Ganges
Known For : Spiritual Activities
Famous Ghats : Manikarnika Ghat, Asi Ghat, Tulsi Ghat
What Not To Miss : Evening Aarti At Dasaashwamedh Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi
Varanasi, the aged Kashi, is a city of pundits in orange shawls and wooden sandals; a city where the smoky haze of funeral pyres blends with the sound of temple bells. For Varanasi is ground zero for Hindus who come here to die in the hope of breaking out of the cycle of karma and re-birth. Carved out along the banks of river Ganges at precisely the only place along its course where the river flows from the South to the North (in Hindu mythology towards the abode of the Gods and hence the sanctity of the place). If Varanasi is the mortal frame of salvation, then undoubtedly the stepped Ghats, nestling along the shimmering waters of Ganges, are its soul. People define all the Ghats on the holy river as points on the divine cosmic road guiding to a hallowed destination. The spectacular 4 km sweep of the Ghats is a unique sight, best viewed at dawn, in the soft first light, when the river drenching the feet of these solitary stairs have a timeless appeal. A panorama unfolds from dawn to dusk, as a steady stream of devotees swelling to thousands on festival days perform rituals by the Ganga. Indeed, if you plan to spend your next holidays in India, blend yourself with the spiritual aroma of the revered Ghats of Varanasi and add cream to your vacation cake.
Evening Ganges Aarti at dasashwamedh ghat, varanasi
Get up early and try to be at the Ghats at daybreak. The
sight of the sun rising over the Ganga is spiritually exhilarating. The
Ghats are best approached by Dashashwamedha Ghat , where boats are
available on hire. Enjoy a boat cruise on the holy waters of Ganga to
reach the nearby Manikarnika Ghat, one of Varanasis two burning
ghats (Harishchandra Ghat is the other one). Its permanently lined
with funeral pyres and bodies in shrouds awaiting the final rites. Here
the sacred waters is decorated with marigold flowers and ashes of sacred
hearts. If you havent had your fill of ghats, dont worry
there are about a hundred ghats to choose from.
Hire a boat and start to Asi Ghat, where you can see the confluence of Asi and Ganga rivers. Close by is one of Varanasis oldest ghats, named after Sant Tulsidas, composer of the great Indian epic, Ramcharitmanas and near the great sages home. Puranic tales describe that the Apsaras, Gandharvas and Kinnars lived here, and musical shows were held for the Gods. It is also believed that the Ramlila (story of Lord Rama's life) was staged here for the first time. Cruise ahead to reach the Man Mandir Ghat, built by Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur. You can check out one of his four Jantar Mantars and the massive sun dial, that might tell you your auspicious time.
In the evening, absolutely dont miss the grand aarti at Dasaashwamedh Ghat, conducted every sunset by five white-robed priests. These five young men sway in seemingly choreographed movements, worshiping the river goddess with incense, camphor, flowers and earthen lamps. Thousands of illuminated lamps are immersed in the waters of the holy Ganges and the floating lamps add a divine look to the river at dusk. Sit with some sadhu and enjoy knowing their lifestyle from close proximity. You might even run into some one who is more than 100 years old! The Ghats also provide a good option for photography with serene temples and their bustling courtyards creating a perfect backdrop.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Varanasi Ghats
The Holy Ghats of Varanasi
Peeping Into The Heart of Ancient India
Cremating To Purify The Souls
The Amazing Aarti at Dashashwamedha Ghat
Varanasi As A Holy Town
Pilgrimage Spiritual Tour
» Splendrous Taj Mahal
Glorious Golden Triangles (I & II)
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Jaipur : The
Power and Valor of Rajputs
Pradesh : Ecstasy in Hills
Chandigarh : Tradition