Ghats of Varanasi - Part 1 Dr A Pranesh


Varanasi or Kasi is an ancient town mentioned in Rig Veda. The etymology of the word Kasi is from the Sanskrit verbal root kas means to shine- Kasi as the city of light or a luminous city of knowledge and learning.

The town Varanasi is located in between the river Varuna at the Northern side and River Assi on the Southern side. These two rivers, Varuna and Assi meet in river Ganga at Raj Ghat and Assi ghat respectively. Hence the city is named Varanasi - meaning the town between Varuna and Assi.

Ghats of Varanasi is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and pilgrims. Ghats are located on the western bank of river Ganga and have steps to reach from the road. There are more than 80 Ghats in Varanasi and most of them are very old. Ghats were built after 17th century AD by Marathas, Sindhias, Holkars, Bhonsles and Peshawas.

Ghats are used for mostly bathing, to perform rituals and ceremonies, worshiping, boating and also for washing clothes.

Some of the ghats have ancient and popular temples which can be accessed easily through the ghats rather than roads as roads are narrow and confusing.

One probably needs more than a day to see all the ghats and temples located in the vicinity of ghats. The ghats start from the base of Mogul Sarai bridge known as Raja ghat and ends at Assi Ghat.