Varanasi

Varanasi a Legend City

According to the Hindu mythology, Varanasi city was founded by Lord Shiva. So Varanasi is called “ The City Of Shiva “ and one can see the devotion to Lord Shiva. In our ancient Hindu scriptures as Vedas, Upnishads  and Puranas, we have seen the Vedic Religion flourishing and references of Kashi ( now Varanasi )frequently found. So, Varanasi hold the divine importance status since the beginning of the Hinduism and holiest city of all.

In 528 BC, when Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon in Varanasi at the place, known as Sarnath. The life of Buddhism started from Varanasi held significance power and importance in India among the sixteen kingdoms of republics, as it mentioned in sixth to fourth century BC. Before the era of Buddha, Kashi was the most powerful Mahajanapada in India. A Chinese traveler Huen Thsang came to Varanasi 635 AD, described Banaras as a rich and prosperous place. So Varanasi was the important for Hinduism and Buddhism both religions, and the peaceful coexistence of religions was rare in the world at that time.

When the Mughal kings came, they loved for attacking, looting and demolishing the Hindu buildings. At that time Varanasi lost thousands of its temples. This suppression of culture continued under the Mughal dynasty.

Varanasi is the birth place of four Jain Tirthankars. Adi Sankaracharya came to Varanasi in the eight century and taught a lesion in spiritual humanity by Lord Shiva. Varanasi was Hindu- Muslim sant Kabir”s home town in fifteenth century and 16th century for Goswami Tulsidas. The Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak came in 1506, went the Kashi Vishwanath temple met with the pundits of Kashi to discuss his views and collected the verses of Kabir and other local saints- composers. The sixth Guru  Hargovind sent an important emissary to Kashi to spread his teachings.

Varanasi or Kashi is older than tradition, according to Hindu mythology, Varanasi liberates soul from human body to the ultimate. It is the Ganga Ghat of Varanasi the complement the concept of divinity. Ghats of Ganga are holiest spot of Varanasi, the pilgrims took a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins.

The city has 87 Ghats , most of the Ghats  are for the bathing and Puja ceremony Ghats, a few are used to cremation sites. Most of the Ghats were built after 1750 AD, when the city was part of Maratha empire. Some Ghats have importance of its own.

Assi Ghat is known for being a place where foreign students, researchers or tourists visit, at a time 300 people visit Assi Ghat. On festival around 2500 people arrive per hour. The Ghat  accommodates around 25000 people at once during festivals. According to belief Goddess Durga after slaining demon Shumbha – Nishumbha, had thrown her sword here.

Dashaswamedh Ghat is known as main Ghat of Varanasi. It is located close to Vishwanath Temple. Two Hindu theologies are associated with it. According to one, Lord Brahma created it to welcome Lord Shiva and another legend Lord Brahma sacrificed ten horses during Dashaswamedha  yagna performed here. Jantar Mantar lies close to the Ghat.. It is built by Maharaja Jay Singh. At this Ghat group of priests perform Agni Puja daily in the evening. Dedication made to Lord Shiva, River Ganga, Surya ( Sun ) , Agni ( Fire )  and the whole universe.

Harish Chandra Ghat is one of the oldest Ghats of Varanasi. Harish Chandra Ghat is name after mythological king Harish Chandra, who once worked at the cremation ground here for the perseverance of truth and charity. It is believed that God rewarded him for his resolve, charity and truthfulness and restored his lost throne and his dead son to him. Harish Chandra Ghat is one of the two cremation Ghats and is some times referred as ADI Manikarnika Ghat, which means the original cremation ground. In Hindu mythology if a person cremated here, that person gets salvation ( Moksha ).

Manikarnika Ghat is the main burning Ghat and one of the most auspicious place that a Hindu can be cremated to get Nirvana. It is belief, when Mata Sati sacrificed her life and set her body ablaze after Raja Daksh Prajapati tried to humiliate Lord Shiva in a Yagna

Practised by Daksh. Lord Shiva took her burning body to the Himalaya. Mata Satis part of body started falling on earth. Lord Shiva established Shakti- Peeth wherever Satis body had fallen. At Manikarnika Ghat Mata Satis Ears ornament had fallen.

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