The BURNING Ghats of Varanasi

 Death has an important meaning in Varanasi.The ghats of Varanasi are important for bathing and burning!!

Ghats are embankments made in steps of stone slabs along the river bank where pilgrims perform ritual ablutions. Ghats in Varanasi are an integral compliment to the concept of divinity represented in physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. Varanasi has at least 84 ghats. Steps in the ghats lead to the banks of the River Ganges, including the Dashashwamedh Ghat, the Manikarnika Ghat, the Panchganga Ghat and the Harishchandra Ghat (where Hindus cremate their dead). Many ghats are associated with legends, and several are now privately owned. Many of the ghats were built when the city was under Maratha control. Marathas, Shindes (Scindias), Holkars, Bhonsles, and Peshwas stand out as patrons of present-day Varanasi. Most of the ghats are bathing ghats, while others are used as cremation sites. Morning boat ride on the Ganges across the ghats is a popular visitor attraction. The extensive stretches of ghats enhance the riverfront with a multitude of shrines, temples and palaces built “tier on tier above the water’s edge”.

These Ghats are also Launchpads of some unique initiative :

A unique initiative to address the problem of illiteracy in India is taken. An  NGO, GURIA, under the leadership of Ajeet Singh and some enterprising people have launched  ‘school on boat’ for providing education to the children of the economically backward community who could not otherwise enroll in schools. Boys and girls are being provided informal education on  the boat at the Rajghat. It is considered a stepping stone in the world of learning, the children spend two hours after their regular school day and study, play or revise without any pressures or tensions. It is magical to see these students doing their lessons on waves. It is a floating dream indeed! Hope floats on waves of Ganga here.

read more here    , here and here

About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
This entry was posted in Glimpses of Our Cities, India and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The BURNING Ghats of Varanasi

  1. cindy knoke says:

    Fascinating & informative~


  2. namitasunder says:

    Varanasi….one of my most favourite city.The Ghats are it’s soul. every time I spent some time at Ghats,the city grows deeper into me.It pulls and release at the same time.


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