Manikarnika Ghat, located in the heart of Varanasi, is one of the most famous and revered Ghats in India. It is one of the busiest and most significant Ghats in the city, attracting a large number of devotees and tourists every year. This historic Ghat, located on the banks of the Ganges river, is a holy place for Hindus and has great spiritual significance.
History of Manikarnika Ghat
Manikarnika Ghat has a rich history that dates back several centuries. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu dug a kund (pond) at this place and filled it with his divine nectar, which has the power to grant immortality. Legend also has it that Lord Shiva’s earring (Manikarnika) fell into the kund during his dance, and the place got its name.
This Ghat is also associated with the great Hindu epic, Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Rama, along with Sita and Lakshman, bathed at this Ghat during their exile. In the 18th century, Maratha warrior queen Rani Ahilyabai Holkar renovated and rebuilt the Ghat.
Manikarnika Ghat Today
Today, Ghat is a hub of religious activities and a popular tourist destination. It is a place where people come to perform various rituals, including cremations. The Ghat is also famous for its scenic beauty and its spiritual atmosphere, making it a popular spot for photographers and artists.
Visiting Manikarnika Ghat
Ghat is open to visitors throughout the day. It is advisable to visit the Ghat early in the morning or in the evening, as the Ganges river is most serene during these times and the view is most captivating. During the day, the Ghat is bustling with activities and can be quite crowded. Visitors are advised to dress modestly and respect the local customs and traditions while visiting the Ghat.
Hotels near Manikarnika Ghat
There are several hotels and lodges near Manikarnika Ghat that offer comfortable accommodations for visitors. Some of the popular options include Hotel Ganges View, Hotel Surya, and Hotel Savera. These hotels offer a range of amenities, including air-conditioned rooms, Wi-Fi, and restaurant facilities, making them a convenient option for travelers.
Frequently Asked Questions about Manikarnika Ghat
Q. What is Manikarnika Ghat and why is it important?
A – Ghat is one of the most sacred and oldest Ghats in Varanasi, located on the banks of the river Ganges. It is considered one of the holiest places for Hindus and is believed to have been created by Lord Vishnu himself. The ghat is famous for performing Hindu cremation ceremonies, also known as ‘Shraddha’, and is said to provide liberation from the cycle of rebirth.
Q. What is the significance of Manikarnika Ghat?
A – Manikarnika Ghat is considered one of the most sacred places for Hindu pilgrims. It is believed that taking a dip in the Ganges river at this ghat washes away all sins and leads to salvation. It is also believed that the ghat has been used for performing last rites for thousands of years and is considered to be a sacred place for both the living and the dead.
Q. What is the history of Manikarnika Ghat?
A – Ghat is one of the oldest and most important Ghats in Varanasi. It is said to have been created by Lord Vishnu and has been a site of religious and cultural significance for thousands of years. According to Hindu mythology, it was the site of a sacred well filled with nectar that was dug by Lord Vishnu with his trident. The ghat has been an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus for centuries and is also considered to be a place of spiritual renewal and cleansing.
Q. How can I reach Manikarnika Ghat?
A – Ghat is located in the heart of Varanasi and can be easily reached by taxi, auto-rickshaw, or by foot. The nearest railway station is Varanasi Junction, which is just a few kilometers away, and the nearest airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport, which is about 25 kilometers from the ghat.
Q. What is the best time to visit Manikarnika Ghat?
A – The best time to visit Ghat is in the early morning when the ghat is less crowded and the atmosphere is calm and peaceful. It is also a good time to witness the Hindu rituals and ceremonies that take place at the ghat. The ghat is also beautiful in the evening when the river and the surrounding area are lit up and the atmosphere is peaceful and serene.
Q. Is there an entrance fee to visit Manikarnika Ghat?
A – No, there is no entrance fee to visit Manikarnika Ghat. However, visitors are encouraged to be respectful and to dress appropriately while visiting the ghat. Visitors should also be aware of the cultural significance of the ghat and should not engage in any behavior that is considered disrespectful or offensive.
Q. Are there any restrictions for foreigners visiting Manikarnika Ghat?
A – There are no specific restrictions for foreigners visiting Manikarnika Ghat. However, visitors should be aware of the cultural significance of the ghat and should respect the religious and cultural traditions of the Hindu community. Visitors should dress appropriately and should not engage in any behavior that is considered disrespectful or offensive.