• Assi Ghat

Assi Ghat


Assi Ghat, the southernmost ghat at the confluence of the Assi and the Ganga is marked by a huge lingam under a peepal tree.

In the context of Asighat, it is mentioned that Durga threw her knife after killing the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha. At the place where the crater fell, the earth was torn apart and a stream flowed out. This stream was called Asi River and the place of confluence of Asi and Ganga is called Asighat.

At sunrise, Subah-e-Banaras is an organ of spiritual consciousness, where as the day rises, Vedic chants, Kriya Yoga and classical music reverberates.

Another lingam is that of Asisangameshvara, the Lord of the Confluence of the Assi in a small marble temple just off the ghat. Pilgrims also visit the Lolarka Kund, a rectangular tank fifteen metres below ground level, approached by steep steps. It is generally abandoned, except during the Lolarka fair (Aug/Sept), when thousands come to propitiate the gods and pray for the birth of a son. It is among Varanasi’s earliest sites, one of only two remaining Sun sites linked with the origins of Hinduism. Equated with the twelve adityas or divisions of the sun, which predate the great deities of Modern Hinduism, it was attracting bathers in the days of the Buddha.

Close by is the Tulsi Ghat – originally Lolarka Ghat, but renamed in the honour of the poet Tulsidas, who lived nearby in the sixteenth century. Hanuman Ghat is the site of a new temple built by the ghat’s large south Indian community. Considered by many to be the birth place of the fifteenth-century Vaishnavite saint Vallabha, who was instrumental in the resurgence of the worship of Krishna, the ghat also features a striking image of Ruru, the dog Bhairava, a ferocious and early form of Shiva.