Varanasi is home to the spiritual world and the Hindu devotees love it thoroughly. The religious vibes of the city revolve around the ghats, which are the long strings of bathing step to the bank of holy river Ganges. Most of them are used for bathing purposes while the remaining ghats are for the cremation of the dead bodies. The main burning ghat is Manikarnika where you will find a series of funerals going through the cremation proceedings. The best time to visit the ghats is the early morning when the prayers are conducted for the rising sun and the river water looks golden with the early sun rays falling on them. In the evenings, the prayers are conducted in Dasawamedh Ghat and have the similar effect. You can take an hour long boat trip from Dasawamedh Ghat to Harishchandra Ghat where you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the river. People also prefer to walk along the ghats and enjoy the water drifting on their feet.
In these ghats you will not only find the most spiritual people and saints who come to the river of Ganges for prayers, offer their blessings and do yoga. There is a large group of people belonging from different age groups, professions, cultures and customs and they all meet here for a common cause – seek moksha. The ghats will give you the reflection of colorful traditional India with a hint of spirituality and religious sentiments in it. At the point where the River Assi meets the River Ganges, there is Assi Ghat and a Shiva Lingam is situated beneath a peepal tree. Many pilgrims come here to worship the lingam. There are a variety of hotels, restaurants and cafes here. The tourists do not face any problem here and therefore come in huge numbers. Near Tulsi Ghat which is named after famous poet Tulsidas, there is a place where a festival is celebrated which s devoted to lord Krishna. There are many other ghats too, which were originally constructed by the kings for themselves only but later were made available to the public. There are quite a few popular ghats – Dandi Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat, Hanuman Ghat to name a few.
Kedar Ghat is another shrine which is quite popular too. Mansarowar Ghat was named after the Mansarowar lake which is situated at the foot of Kailash mountain. It was built by Raja Man Singh. The Munshi Ghat is very appealing to the eyes and many photographers are attracted towards it. AhalyaBai Ghat is name after Ahalya Bai who was the leader of Marathas and who ruled Indore for a long time. One of the most colorful ghats here is Dasawamedh Ghat which can be easily approached at the end of the main road from Godaulia Crossing. Its name indicates the lord Brahma sacrificed his ten horses here. It is one of the most happening places and people come here in large numbers to enjoy the liveliness of the place. Every evening, there is a prayer called as Ganga Aarti Puja which is conducted at 7pm. There is a Manmandir Ghat nearby which was built by Raja Man Singh in 1600 but was poorly restored in the 19th century. Meer Ghat is also quite an interesting place. It leads to a Nepali temple which contains certain erotic sculptures. Manikarnika is the major burning ghat and the most sacred place for a Hindu to be cremated. Dead bodies are only handles by the outcasts also called as doms and are carried all the way to the ghat from the old city on a bamboo-stretcher. Scindia Ghat was built in 1830 by the Scindias but it got collapsed in to river and had to be rebuilt. Maharaja of Jaipur had built Ram Ghat. There is a Panchganga Ghat where five rivers are supposed to meet. This ghat is dominated by Aurangzeb’s small mosque which is also known as Alamgir Mosque. Gai Ghat as the name suggests is dedicated to the cow and has a cow made of stone in it. Trilochan Ghat is also quite popular.