Destinations - India Heritage

Varanasi 6 – Morning Life on Varanasi Ghats

Written by Poorna & Brinda

Varanasi Ghats. It is the place where life throbs. A perennial procession of devotees who come here for various fulfillment. Some for taking a dip in Holy Ganga. Others for conducting Shradh or rituals for ancestors. Few others just to absorb the ambience of ghats or to go for a boat ride on Ganga. For locals – Benarasis – this is the arena for every activity. Be it morning swim in the river or pujas or Yoga or drying clothe or even for a game of Cricket! The ghats like Dasahvamedha (the main ghat of Varanasi), Harishchandra (Ghat where cremation takes place) and Manikarnika (Ghat where cremation takes place) are always throbbing with activity 24/7.

The best time to observe life on ghats – there are 85 of them along the bank of the river – is in the morning. The morning boat ride on Ganga is a great opportunity to watch it. Or just walk along the ghats. We couldn’t do it because the floods had covered the ghats and it was not possible to walk from one to another. Thus we had to make do with the views from the boat.

The scenes on the ghat is better seen than read. Join us as we take you through a pictorial journey of life on the Varanasi ghats….

Click on the pictures to view them in larger size.

Ghats of Varanasi

There are 85 ghats in Varanasi. This is Prayag Ghat.

ghats of Varanasi

Raja Ghat – Built by Peshwa rulers of Maharashtra

ghats of varanasi

Nishadraj Ghat

ghats of varanasi

Panchkot Ghat

ghats of varanasi

Karnataka state Ghat – We were surprised to see this. Must have been built by erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore.

ghats of Varanasi

Varanasi ghats

Women folk getting ready for Ganga puja at Tulsi ghat

Varanasi ghats

Deep in thoughts……….

Varanasi ghats

Doing Pranayama or Yogic breathing exercise. What about the pose by dogs? Are they doing Shwanasana?

Varanasi ghats

A sadhu doing Pranayama

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Two sadhus offering prayers to Surya – Sun god @ Harishchandra ghat. Notice the pyres behind them.

Varanasi ghats

Pilgrims offering prayers

Tel Malish or Head message!

Varanasi ghats

A floating store!

Varanasi ghats

A group of school children

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You will also notice outstanding heritage buildings along the ghat. Like this one.

Varanasi ghats

Dhashwamedha ghat – This is the main ghat.

Varanasi ghats

Rituals on the bank

This is the Sixth post in Varanasi series. Please click on this link to read other posts exploring this holiest of cities in India.

Travel Tips

  1. Though any time is good to experience the life on ghats, mornings are the best.
  2. Capturing life on ghats is a photographer’s dream. You will get a lot of opportunities.
  3. Make sure you have a good zoom lens. Don’t go close to people to click them. They may not like it. Many photographers have landed in trouble clicking women from close. Use zoom from a vantage point.
  4. Morning light is also the best for taking photographs.
  5. If you are doing ghat hopping, tray and talk to locals who are friendly and helpful.

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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