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Shubhyatra >> Uttar Pradesh Yatra >> Varanasi Ghats


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

Varanasi Ghats - Stairways To Salvation

Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi
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.

Wrap Yourself In A Spiritual Shawl

Evening Ganges Aarti at dasashwamedh ghat, varanasi
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 Varanasi’s two burning ghats (Harishchandra Ghat is the other one). It’s 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 haven’t had your fill of ghats, don’t 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 Varanasi’s oldest ghats, named after Sant Tulsidas, composer of the great Indian epic, Ramcharitmanas and near the great sage’s 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 don’t 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.

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Varanasi Ghats

Varanasi Ghats

The Holy Ghats of Varanasi
Wander on the pulsating ghats of Varanasi, and you can see a different world altogether. Pilgrims, sadhus, locals, all taking a holy dip in the sacred waters of Ganga and chanting vedic hymns that takes everyone to a new spiritual dimension.

Peeping Into The Heart of Ancient India
Take a boat cruise along the banks of Ganga and you can experience the magic of yoga, swelling cheek-by-jowl with sacred haunts, shimmering waters, prehistoric sites, ancient temples and scenic environs.

Cremating To Purify The Souls
Step down at Manikarnika Ghat, one of Varanasi’s famous burning ghats and you can see lines of funeral pyres and bodies in shrouds awaiting the final rites. Touch the sacred waters that carry the last flowers offered along with sacred ashes.

The Amazing Aarti at Dashashwamedha Ghat
Come the evening, absolutely don’t miss the ‘aarti’ at Dashashwamedha Ghat. The whole place pulsates with the shimmering light of earthen lamps and the unsurpassed aroma of camphor and incense sticks, a real experience to behold.

Varanasi As A Holy Town
Famed as one of the oldest living cities in the world, Varanasi, is believed to be the direct stairs to heaven. Caressing a rich tradition of art and craft, music and as a center of learning, Varanasi is also famous for its silk weaving industry.

Best Selling Yatras (Tours)

» Pilgrimage Spiritual Tour

Aarti Haridwar Sojourn in the famous pilgrim destinations of India, from Lucknow to Haridwar, Rishikesh to Ayodhya where one can enjoy cruises on Ganga and attend the evening Aarti at Hari ki Pauri.
Duration : 20 Days / 19 Nights
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» Splendrous Taj Mahal

Taj MahalEnjoy gasping views of the majectic Taj Mahal and its surroundings and from there to the forests of Ranthambore and the hills of Alwar.
Duration : 10 Days / 9 Nights
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» The Glorious Golden Triangles (I & II)

Hawamahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan Starting from Stunning Taj Mahal to most sacred ghats of Varanasi, the tour will be your introduction to real India
Duration : 12 Days / 11 Nights
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