For The Best Ghat Experience
It is the Ganga Ghats of Varanasi that complement the concept of divinity. Ghats of Ganga are perhaps the holiest spots of Varanasi. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of pilgrims, who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins.
The ghats are a vast area of space for the religious and cultural life of the city, serving also as the “lungs” of the thick population of the city which they fringed. These were gradually stone-paved and steps leading to the river were built; this trend mainly started in the second half of the 16th century. This great architecture movement was initiated by the Rajputs and subsequently by the Maratha donors. The Ghats in Benares are very picturesque, with small temples built into their sides, and larger buildings – temples, rest houses, forts and palaces – towering above.
Dawn is considered an especially auspicious time for a ritual dip -- thousands of pilgrims can be seen offering salutations to the Sun God in waist-deep water at first light. At dusk, pilgrims make offerings to the river in leaf boats, which they set afloat with flowers and oil lamps (diyas) flickering inside.
The best way to enjoy the beauty of the ghats is from the water. Many tourists hire boats from which they watch the activities on the ghats. Pilgrims taking ablution in the waters of the Ganga, dhobis washing clothes, corpses being cremated, water buffaloes roaming around, and such daily scenes can still be seen today on the banks of the river.