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Varanasi, the spiritual city of India is situated on the bank of holy river of Ganga in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the oldest inhabited city in India. It is a famous city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi is also known with the name of ‘Banaras’ and ‘Kashi’.
Many beautiful ghats are built on the banks of the holy river Ganges in Varanasi. All these ghats belong to some mythological or religious legend. The ghats of Varanasi look attractive because of the shape of the bow of the river Ganges.
If you are a history lover and want to know about the history of Assi Ghat, keep scrolling this page because, in this article, we are going to provide in-depth information about the historical significances of Assi Ghat, Varanasi.
History of Assi Ghat
According to ancient history, The Goddess Durga (consort of Lord Shiva) had thrown her sword in the river (called Assi River) after killing the demon Shumbha-Nishumbha. That’s why the place has been named as Assi Ghat as it is located at the union of the River Ganga and Assi River.
This ghat is described in the Kashi Khand as Assi “Saimbeda Tirtha” means the one will get Punya of all the Tirthas (religious places of the Hindu) who get the dips here. Generally Hindu pilgrims are used of taking the holy dip here in the Chaitya (month of March/April) and Magh (month of Jan/Feb) as well as some other significant events like solar/lunar eclipse, Probodhoni Ekadashi and Makar Sankranti.
At this ghat, a huge Shiva lingam is situated under the peepal tree where pilgrims are used of offering Jal and worship after taking holy bath in the Ganga water. One more Shiva Lingam is here named Asisangameshwar lingam in a small temple of the marble near to the Assi Ghat. Assi ghat has been also described in the ancient Hindu literatures such as in the Matsya purana, kurma purana, Padma Purana, Agni purana and Kashi khanda as well.
Rituals of Assi Ghat
Assi Ghat is preferred by everyone. This ghat is located in the south of the Varanasi. Here one can spend hours very easily without any disturbance. It is an amazing and most natural place. It is one of the favourite spots for the students of Banaras Hindu University. The students from foreign country, researchers and travellers also live here.
Assi ghat is mainly crowded during any Hindu festivals where devotees come to take bath in Gange water to get rid of all the past sin. It is considered that before any Pooja, bathing in the Gange water makes the mind, soul and body clean and peaceful and fills with the spiritual thoughts. It makes the mind to concentrate very easily during Pooja without any harassment.
Assi ghat is the most famous and visited ghat of the Varanasi for tour and tourism. People visit this ghat from all the corners of the country. Some of the great festival such as Mahashivaratri, Ganga Dussehra, Ganga Mahotsav etc attracts a huge crowd in the Varanasi at this ghat. For the security reasons of the devotees, additional police force is assigned to the Assi Ghat.
Assi Ghat is one of the most maintained and cleanest Ghats of all. Students and tourists are gathered here in large numbers.
Significance of Assi Ghat
- It’s very close to BHU (Banaras Hindu University), only 2 km. A suitable place for students to hangout.
- It is on the banks of meandering Ganges with a great view.
- Its Subah-e-Banaras will provoke you to stand quietly and take it all in, but for that you need to be there at 4 am.
At Assi Ghat river, Assi meets the Ganges. Being named after the river, it is imperative that I give a small background about the river. The river Assi is a gupt Nadi (river), a riverlet is all you can see. According to ancient mythology, Goddess Durga had thrown her sword after slaying the demon Shumbha–Nishumbha. The place where the sword had fallen resulted in a big stream known as the Assi river. The ‘Assi’ in Varanasi comes from the name of the river and the first half has been derived from the name of river “Varuna”. It is said that Varanasi begins with the Sangam or confluence of the rivers ‘Varuna‘ and ‘Ganga‘ and ends where ‘Ganga‘ meets ‘Assi‘, and it has been said in religious texts that between the holy river ‘Varuna’ and ‘Assi’ lies the holiest land on earth.
There are references of Assi Ghat in Matsya Purana, Agni Purana, Kurma Purana and Padma Purana. Tulsi Das once sat down on this very ghat to pen Ramcharitramanas.
- Subah-e-Banaras: Assi ghat is the host to the only morning aarti performed on the banks of river Ganges, which it called Subah-e-Banaras. The delightful musical performance of the artists makes the soul happy. As the dawn breaks, the rays of the sun blowing on the waves of the Ganges and the surging waves rising from the Assi Ghat tie a unique sea every day.
- Assi ghat on evenings, is the calmest of the easily accessible Ghats and very close to Banaras Hindu University. It is one of the favourite spots of leisure for the students and people nearby. If you are visiting Assi Ghat, don’t forget to take a sip of lemon tea while experiencing the scenic view of river Gange from this iconic ghat of Varanasi.
- Being the happening place it is, Assi ghat has become the preferred location of the tourists coming to Varanasi to stay around. You can always spot a few tourists enjoying the scenic view on the Ghat.
Keep it clean “swachh kashi sunder kashi”
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