Varanasi has 88 ghats which are famous for bathing in Ganga to wash away their sins and for puja ceremony of Lord Vishwanath.
Varanasi, popularly known as ‘Benaras’, is the holy city of India and the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The city is famous for its mentions in ancient folktales and mythology. Its infrastructure and people still carry the old world charm of medieval and ancient India. The city has a unique amalgamation of the very old and traditional heritage. One such heritage is the temple of Kashi Vishwanath which is considered to one among the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Known for prominent temples of Hindu mythology, for narrow streets and the yummy food available, for the traditional lifestyle that people are still fond of, the city is a total wonder for those who visit and a new experience every-time for the ones revisiting. The city’s spiritual beliefs also have lot of hidden mysteries.
One of the most famous part of Varanasi, are the 88 Ghats on river Ganga within the city. From prayer for birth to prayers for the afterlife, one can find the very essence of Hindu mythology in all the 88 ghats. According to religious beliefs, Varanasi has around 80 ghats between the rivers “Varuna” and “Assi” but with recent development and the increasing number of visitors, the number of ghats increased as well.
Many ghats are associated with legends or mythologies while many ghats are privately owned. Among these popular ghats, one is known as Narad Ghat. The ghat got its name from the mythological Hindu sage Narad and as it is close to Nardeshvara temple installed by sage Narada himself.
It is widely believed that married couples or lovers should avoid bathing here as it might land them and their relationship in trouble. It is said that the couples who bathe on this Ghat end up dis-balancing their relationship and the difference between them grows constantly. Their relationship ends in a divorce or break-up, hence people like to stay away from this ghat. It is believed so, because, sage Narad was a celibate or Brahamchari and considered as the spiritual owner of this ghat.
According to the official website of the city, it has 88 ghats which are famous for bathing in Ganga to wash away their sins and for puja ceremony of Lord Vishwanath and two ghats are used exclusively as cremation sites. Morning boat ride on the Ganges across the ghats is a popular visitor attraction. The website also informed about how the ghats were redeveloped after 1700 AD when the city was part of the Maratha Empire.
Next time you are at Varanasi, do research about the folklore related to such spiritual beliefs. And explore the story behind the rest of the ghats.