The Ghats of Varanasi

I had been planning to make a comprehensive list of the ghats of my city, with proof, i.e. their photographs. I would never have started it. At least not today. It’s my instinct that pushed me towards committing myself to the  task. There are around ten ghats of which I have no photographs at present. So, I have left them blank after the name. Let’s begin at Assi Ghat.

1. Assi Ghat

assi ghat

2. Ganga Mahal Ghat

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3. Reeva Ghat (and Reeva Kothi): @”an extended part of Assi Ghat and its building was constructed by Lala Mishir, royal purohit of King Ranjit Singh of Punjab”.

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4. Tulsi Ghat: #Amrit Rao had it constructed in 1807 (along with Amrit Rao or Raja Ghat and Vinayak Rao Ghat).@in 1941 Baldeo Das Birala Made this Ghat pucca.

tulsi ghat complete

5. Bhadaini Ghat

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5.a. Chhedi Lal Jain Ghat:

Chhedi Lal Jain Ghat

6. Anandnayee Ghat (*earlier Rai Baldev Sahai Ghat):  @Earlier it was know as ‘lmalia Ghat’ in 1944 Mata Anandamai purchased this area from British. She made this ghat pucca in addition to run a Ashrama.

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7. Janki Ghat: In 1870 A.D. Maharani Kunwar of Sursand(Bihar) made this Ghat. Earlier it was know as “Nagamber ghat”.

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8. Vacchraj Ghat: *Lala Vacchraj of Ara had it constructed in 18th century.

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9. Jain Ghat: @ Before 1931 Jain ghat was the part of Vaccharaja ghat. Later Jain community made a pucca ghat and named it as Jain ghat.

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10. Shree Nishadraj Ghat: @Earlier it was a part of Prabhu Ghat till first half 20th cent.

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11. Panchkot Ghat: @A palatial building and a ghat was constructed by King of Panchakot (Bengal) in the later half of 19th cent.

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12. Prabhu Ghat: @made in the early part of 20th cent by Nirmal Kumar of Bangal.

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12. Chet Singh Ghat (*earlier Khidki Ghat): *Raja Balwant Singh [had it built through his] engineer Baijnath Mishra.

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13. Niranjani Ghat: @This Ghat belongs to Naga Saints who established ‘Niranjani Akhara’ in 1897. Originally it was a part of Chet Singh Ghat.

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14. Mahanirvani Ghat: @It’s named after Mahanirvani sect of Naga Saints . the famous Akhara is situated here. It has four small Shiva Temple made by Nepal’s Maharaja.

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15. Shivala Ghat: It has a colossal building constructed by Nepal King Sanjay Vikram Shah (19th cent), a Shiva Temple and the Brahmendra Math established by Kashiraj.

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15.a. Gulariya Ghat: constructed Pucca by Laloo Ji Agrawal.

15.b. Dandi Ghat: #Babu Sangam Lal had it constructed. @ It was constructed Pucca by Laloo Ji Agrawal.

Dandi Ghat

16. Hanuman Ghat : * Nand das gambler had steps of the ghats constructed. @”It is believed that grat saint Tulsidas has established a Hanuman Temple here during 18th cent. A.D. which made is famous as Hanuman ghat. The ancient name of this ghata was Ramesvaram ghat which was established by lord Ram himself.”@made pucca by mahant Hariharanath in c.1825.

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17. Pracheen Hanuman Ghat: @made pucca by mahant Hariharanath in c.1825.

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18 Karnatak State Ghat: @Was build by the state of Mysore (now know as Karnataka) in early twentieth century (c.1910).

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19. Harishchandra Ghat: @c. 1740 Narayana Diksit, a religious guru of pesavas renovated this ghat and made this partly pucca.

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20. Lali Ghat: @In c. 1778 this ghat was built pucca by Raja of Banaras.

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21. Vijay nagram Ghat: @made pucca in c. 1890 by the Vijayanagaram State of South India.

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22. Kedar Ghat: @According to a Gahadavala inscription ( c.C.E.1100). Svapnesvara Ghat existed close by this ghat, but now it has no representation.

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23. Chowki Ghat: @This ghat was built in c. 1790.

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24. Kshemeshwar Ghat: @Its old name was Nala Ghat, and was built in early eighteenth century.

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25. Mansarovar Ghat: * Raja Man Singh of Jaipur had it constructed @ c. 1585, and it was rebuilt in c. 1805.

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26. Narad Ghat: @The old name of this ghat is Kuvai Ghat. This was constructed by Dattatreya Svami, a monastery chief, in c. 1788.

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27. Raja Ghat: @Formerly known as Amrita Rao Ghat, this was firstly made by the first Maratha chief Bajirao Balaji in c.1720. This was rebuilt with stone slabs by Amrita Rao Peshva during 1780 – 1807.

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27.a. Khori Ghat: @Also known as Ganga Mahala Ghat, this was made pucca in late nineteenth century by Kavindra Narayana Singh.

28. Babua Pandey Ghat: @In c. 1805 this ghat was built in honour of a famous wrestler who established a wresting site (Akhara) there: his name was Babua Pande.

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29. Pandey Ghat: @In c. 1805 this ghat was built in honour of a famous wrestler who established a wresting site (Akhara) there: his name was Babua Pande.

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29.a. Sarveswar Ghat: @erected under the patronage of Mathura Pandey in late eighteenth century.

30. Digpatiya Ghat: @This was erected in c.1830 Raja of Digpatia (Bengal).

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31. Chausatti Ghat: *Bengal King Digpati had it constructed. @In c. 1670 King of Udaipur (Rajasthan) renovated this ghat.

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32. Rana Mahal Ghat: * Udaipur’s Maharana had it constructed in 17th century.

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33. Darbhanga Ghat (and Brij Rama Palace): @Together with magnifivent building along the ghat and a grand Siva temple in Nilakantha area, the king of Darabhanga (Bihar) made them in 1915.

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34. Munshi Ghat: *Sridhar Narayan Das, the munshi of the Raja of Nagpur had it constructed c. 1812-14

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35. Ahilyabai Ghat: *Queen Ahilyabai Holker had it constructed. @”At the place of an old site of Kevelyagiri Ghat, in c. 1778 queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore made this a pucca ghat. For the first time name of a person was added after the ghat. She was also responsible for re-building the Visvesvara Temple, as exists at present, in 1777.”

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35.a. Sitala Ghat: @In c. 1740 pt. Narayana Diksit the preceptor of Bajirao Pesava-1, made this ghat pucca.

36. Prayag Ghat: @The temple and the ghat-area were reconstructed by queen of Digpatia state (West Bengal).

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37. Dashashwamedh Ghat: *Sadasiv Rao Naik had it constructed in 1730./*Peshwa Balaji Bajirao in 1748?/ # 1935, Baji Rao Peshwa. @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.

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38. Rajendra Prasad Ghat: @In 1979 in memory and honour of the first president of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad (1884-1963). This ghat was renamed, and made pucca by the Municipal Corporation of Varanasi. In fact, this ghat was northern extension of Dasasvamedha 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”). It is believed that same horse image is shifted to Sankatmochana temple.

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39. Manmandir Ghat: *Amer’s Raja Man Singh had it constructed. Later Jai Singh had an observatory constructed there in 1737. @The old name of this ghat was Somesvara, but in c.e. 1585 when Raja Savai Mana Singh (of Amber) made his palace and ghat this is named after him.

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40.Tripura Bhairavi Ghat: @ In late 18th century king of Banaras and Pt. Mayananda Giri had patronize to make this ghat pucca.

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41.Meer Ghat (*earlier Jarasandh Ghat): *Meer Rustam Ali had the ghat and a fort constructed here in 1735.

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39.a. Phuta/Naya Ghat 1: @This was and old site of Yajnesvara Ghat and was made pucca by Svami Mahesvarananda in mid 19th century.

39.b. Nepali Ghat: @ It was built pucca in c.1902 by Nanhi Babu.

40. Lalita Ghat

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40.a. Umraogiri/Amroha/ Bauli Ghat: @ The old name of this ghat was Raja Rajesvari Ghat and was made in early nineteenth century by a rich merchant, Babu Kesava Deva.

41. Jalasen/Jalasayi Ghat: @ In the mid- nineteenth century the nearby building and the ghat were built.

jalasen ghat

41.a. Khirki Ghat: @Close to in 1940 Baldeo Dasa Birla has built a pilgrims rest house.

42. Manikarnika Ghat: *Sadasiv Rao Naik had it constructed in 1730./ # Sadashiv Rao Naik, working for Baji Rao Peshwa, had it constructed in 1735. Later it was reconstructed by Devi Ahilyabai in 1791. @This is the first ghat made pucca by the two king brothers in C.E.1302. Again in 1872 repairing and renovations were done.

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42.a. Bajirao Ghat: @Bajiriao Pesava built this ghat in c. 1735, that is how it is named after him, and also a palace. Later in 1830 queen Baijabai of Gwalior get it repaired and rebuilt ; she had also erected the colonnade around the Jananavapi well.

43. Scindia Ghat: * Queen Baija Bai had it constructed in 1828. @Formerly it was known as Viresvara Ghat, after the temple of same name lying at the top. In 1780 Ahilabai Holker of Indore made the ghat pucca. In 1829 queen Baijabai had get it repaired and remodeled; and again in 1937 Daulatarao Scindhia made the entire ghat pucca.

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44. Sankata Ghat: *Nephews of Bishambhar Pandit’s wife had it constructed in 1828. @In late 18th cent. king of Baroda made this ghat, but 1825 Beniram Pandit’s widow, known as “Panditain”, and nephews built this ghat pucca together with a building structure of the temple of Sanktha Devi.

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45. Ganga Mahal Ghat 2: This, in fact, is an old part of Yamesvara Ghat. King of Gwalior had built it in early 19th cent., and lather on repaired and rebuilt by Govinda Bali Kiratankara.

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46. Bhonsle Ghat: *Nagpur’s Bhonslas has it constructed #in 1795. @In c. 1780 Maratha king ‘Bhonsala’ of Nagpur made this ghat, and lather in 1795 this was a made pucca together with the establishment of the temple of Laksmi narayana and a place.

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46.a. Gulariya/Naya Ghat 2: This was made pucca in c. 1960.

47. Ganesh Ghat: @During 1761-1772 Madhorao Pesava made this ghat fully pucca and also done extensive repairing.

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48. Mehta Ghat: @Formally this saw part of the preceding ghat, but after the construction of V.S.Mehta hospital (1962)this is known to the name of latter one. The Varanasi Municipal Corporation made this ghat pucca in 1960s.

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49. Ram Ghat: #Maharaj of Jaipur had it constructed.

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49.a. Laxman Bala Ghat: Peshwas had it constructed in 19th century.

50. Jatar Ghat

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51. Raja Gwalior Ghat: @[Jatar Ghat, Raja Gwalior Ghat] and also Rama ghat were erected by the patronage of Madhorao Pesava in c. 1766. In fact, they are the two ends of the same ghat.

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51.a.Mangla Gauri Ghat: This was built by Balaji Pasava-I in 1735, after whom this is also known as Bala Ghat. Later in c.1807 Lakmana Bala of Gwalior repaired and renovated this ghat.

51.b. Venimadhav Ghat

52. Panchganga Ghat: *Sripat Rao had it constructed./# In 1580 Raghunath Tandon and in 1755 Pant Pratinidhi of Andhra State had it constructed. @The ghat was made of stone steps in 1580 by Raghunatha Tandan (Todara Mala?), the finance secretary of the Mughal King Akbar. In c. 1735 Bajirao Pesava-I together with Sadasive Naik rebuilt and repaired it. Again in 1775 renovations and repairing were done by Sripatirao Pesava, and Pant Pririnidhi of Andha.

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53. Durga Ghat: *Pandit Narayan Dixit Kaigaonker had it constructed in 1740.# Nana Phadnawis had it constructed. @In 1772 Narayana Diksit, a guru of Pesavas, had purchased land from local resident fishermen and built two ghats: Durga and the succeeding one, Brahma Ghat. This was rebuilt and repaired in c. 1830 by Nana Phadanavisa, a Divana of Gwalior State, whose building at the top of the ghat is know as Phadanavisa Wada.

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54. Brahma Ghat: *Pandit Narayan Dixit Kaigaonker had it constructed in 1740.

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55. Bundi Parkota Ghat: @Formerly it was known as Raja Mandira Ghat. In c. 1580 king of Bundi, Raja Surajana Hada made this ghat; and it was made pucca in mid nineteenth century.

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56. (Adi) Sheetla Ghat: @This is an extended part of the preceding ghat, also made by Hada in c. 1580, but later in 1772 was repaired and rebuilt by narayana Diksit.

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57. Lal Ghat: @This ghat was erected by a rich merchant in c. 1800 after whose name it is now known. As part of this ghat in 1935 Baldeo Das Birla has built a small ghat called as Gopi Givinda Ghat at the top of which exists a pilgrims’rest house made by him.

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58. Hanumangarhi Ghat

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59.Gopi Govind Ghat

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60. Gai Ghat: #Bala Bai Shitole had it constructed. @In early 19th cent. the ghat was made pucca by Balabai Sitole of Gwalior.

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61. Badri Narayan Ghat: @This ghat was earlier known as Mahatha/Matha, or Balabai Ghat Balabai of Gwalior had patronize to make this ghat pucca in early 19th century. Later on the Municipal Corporation of Varanasi had get it repaired and renovated.

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62. Trilochan Ghat: @The renovations and repairings were done by Narayana Dixit in c. 1772. Later around 1795 Nathu Bala of Pune made the ghat pucca.

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63. Gola Ghat: @Since late 12th cent. this site was used as ferry point and was also known for a number of granaries(gold), from where the name Gola Ghat devired.

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64. Nandeshwar Ghat: @This ghat in early 20th cent. by the local neighbourhood residents.

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65. Sakka Ghat

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66. Teliyanala Ghat: @Legends say that the area was dominated by the oilpressing caste (Teli) settled along a small drain (nala) meeting here, that is how the name derived.

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67. Naya/Phuta Ghat: @During 18th century the ghat – area became deserted (Phuta), but later on it was renovated. This way the ghat was formerly known as phuta, and later as Naya. In 1940 Narsingh Jaipala Chainput-Bhabhua(Bihar) made this ghat pucca.

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68. Nishad Ghat

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69. Prahlad Ghat: @In 1937 with the construction of a new Nisada Ghat in the centre (where exists Satsanga Akhara), now the ghat is divided into two parts : the southern and northern..

prahlad ghat

70. Rani Ghat

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71. Shri Panch Agni Akhara Ghat

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72. Sant Ravidas Ghat

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73. Bhaisasur Rajghat: @Upto 1887 this was a famous ferry ghat. On 1st jan. 1887, Lord Duffrin bridge (road-cum-rail) was made and its importance as ferry points had lost.

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74. Adi Keshav Ghat: The Chitnis family had it reconstructed. @The ghat was made pucca in 1790 by a Divan of Scindhia State.

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* => an article on ghats of Varanasi.

# => Sukul, K.N. Varanasi Down the Ages. Varanasi: Bhargav Bhushan, 1974.

@=> varanasi.nic.in

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