Written by

The city of Varanasi is situated in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is home to the most popular ghats, Assi Ghat, located in the southern part of the city. This ghat holds religious, cultural, and historical significance. This is one of the main factors attracting locals and tourists worldwide to visit this fascinating place. Visitors get to witness the evening aartis, immerse themselves in spirituality, and enjoy the culture. It is where the confluence of the Ganga and Assi Rivers occurs. It is truly a wonder to see this phenomenon where people take a dip in the holy waters of River Ganga. Enjoy a visit to this holy place with something to offer everybody.

Religious Significance Of Assi Ghat

Assi ghat is one of the most significant religious places in Varanasi

Image Credit: Nandanupadhyay for Wikipedia

‘Assi’ is an interesting name for a place. Have you ever wondered how the name came about? Legend says that there are two stories behind the name of the ghat. The first story is about Goddess Durga who killed the demons Shumbha-Nishumbha in Varanasi and threw away her sword. The sword landed, and from that spot emerged a river called Assi.

The second story concerns Lord Rudra, a different form of Lord Shiva. In a fit of rage, he killed eighty demons in this very spot, which is how the name came about, as 80 in Hindi is Assi. However, after he realized the impact of his actions, he promised to give up violence as penance and declared Varanasi a place that stands for non-violence.

Must Read: Shivala Ghat

Festivals Celebrated In Assi Ghat

Assi Ghat offers people the opportunity to wake up every day to listen to priests and devotees chanting in the distance, feel the warm sun rays in the morning, and just feel grounded. One of the most sacred places gives people a sense of being present, which everybody often loses sight of.

1. Ganga Dussehra

Early morning prayer conducted by a priest near Assi Ghat

Image Credit: gbSk for Wikipedia

This festival is celebrated to signify the arrival of the Ganges on Earth, in a way people celebrate the river’s birthday. It is celebrated on the 10th day of the second week of the month of Jyeshtha, which falls in May or June. People take a dip in the river, offer sweets and flowers to the river, and fly kites.

2. Maha Shivratri

This festival is dedicated to the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati

Image Credit: Socialconnectblr for Wikimedia Commons

This festival is dedicated to the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, including Lord Shiva’s Tandava dance, which is said to be so powerful that it can cause destruction. It takes place on the 14th day of the second week of the Phalguna month, i.e., somewhere in February or March. During the festival, a procession with Lord Shiva’s idol is taken from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple to various ghats, and Assi Ghat is one of them. People chant, sing, dance and burst crackers during the procession. Devotees often celebrate by fasting and offering milk, water and leaves to the Lord to pay their respects.

Suggested Read: Kashi Vishwanath Temple

3. Diwali

Steps decorated in diyas during Diwali near Assi Ghat

Image Credit: Paddmasambhav for Wikipedia

This festival is celebrated to signify the triumph of good over evil when Lord Ram killed the Sri Lankan king Ravana, who kidnapped Devi Sita. People celebrate this festival by decorating their houses and the streets with lighting lamps, candles, and bursting firecrackers. Sweets are exchanged, a statue of Ravana is burnt, and Goddess Lakshmi, another form of Devi Sita, is worshipped. The festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Kartika.

4. Holi

People playing with colors on Holi

Image Credit: Skrrrrrtq for Wikimedia Commons

This is the most popular festival all over India. Irrespective of location, people all across the country happily play with colours and distribute sweets to signify the victory of good over evil. They celebrate by splashing colourful water on each other, drinking, eating, singing, and dancing. The festival is associated with Lord Krishna and Radha playing with colours in Vrindavan. Holi is usually celebrated in March.

Suggested Read: Hotels In Varanasi

Tourist Attractions In Varanasi

From the stunning Kriti Gallery to the enchantingly beautiful Durga Temple, here are some popular tourist attractions in Varanasi you need to visit.

1. Kriti Gallery

Varanasi signboard on the railway station near Assi Ghat

Image Source: Facebook

Established in 2006, an art gallery cum residence, this gallery is a place of wonder for art buffs. Navneet Raman founded this gallery to showcase contemporary Indian and Western artists and their art. This gallery is home to many sculptures, drawings, photographs, and paintings by many local as well as international artists. The best part is that the place is surrounded by greenery, which adds more beauty to this place.

They are open from Monday to Friday from 11 am to 5 pm. The gallery is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

2. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi

Image Source: Facebook

Built in the 18th century by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, this temple is sacred to Shiva and is one of the Jyotirlingas. The term Kashi is another name for Varanasi but it is also known as the Golden Temple. This name came along with the spire of the shrine, which is made of 800 kg of gold. Due to it being such an old, historical site, many renovations have been done over the years to preserve this majestic temple. As it is so popular amongst the locals and tourists alike, it is accessible from 4 am to 11 pm every day.

Suggested Read: Panchganga Ghat

3. Jantar Mantar

Interiors of Jantar Mantar in Varanasi near Assi Ghat

Image Credit: Ghumakkar Punit for Wikipedia

Jantar Mantar is a place that almost everyone has heard of. The one in Jaipur is the most heard, but did you know there are five Jantar Mantars? Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur established these five observatories in 1737. These observatories measured local time, sun declination, altitude, eclipses, planets, and stars. The other observatories are in Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura and Ujjain. The science geeks are welcome to visit the observatory from 6 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. They are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

4. Durga Temple

Majestic Durga Temple in Varanasi

Image Credit: Henk Kosters for Wikipedia

The Bengali Queen, Rani Bhabani of Natore, built the Hindu temple that was sacred to Goddess Durga in Varanasi. The idol that is worshipped in the temple seems to have a mysterious story of its origin. People say the idol was never built but emerged on its own. This legend fortifies the strength of the temple and the protection it provides to its devotees. Due to the ever-presence of monkeys around the temple, it is also known as the Monkey Temple. The temple is open all days of the week, so devotees can visit it whenever they wish.

Further Read: Things To Buy In Varanasi

Now you have all the information you need to have a wonderful holiday in the sacred land of Varanasi. Book your trip to Varanasi to experience the power and peace of the ‘Land of the Gods’. Experience this beautiful city like never before and reconnect with your soul once again.

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.

Cover Image Source: Vyacheslav Argenberg for wikipedia

Frequently Asked Questions About Assi Ghat

What can tourists do in Assi Ghat?

There are a variety of activities one can do in Assi Ghat such as going to various shops and stalls near the ghat to buy souvenirs and such. Attend religious rituals, and activities or just enjoy the scenic riverside.

What is the best time to visit Assi Ghat?

There is no preferred timing. If you go in the morning you can witness the beautiful sunrise, if you go in the evening you can attend or observe the evening aarti. If we are talking about months, then October to March is the best time to visit Varanasi.

How do you reach Assi Ghat?

The city of Varanasi is well-connected through air, rail and road. So if you are coming from any major city, you can easily reach this place.

Are there any rules for visiting Assi Ghat?

You must be dressed modestly, respect the local culture and tradition, do noot take photos in private areas without any permission, and always keep the area clean.

Why is Assi Ghat so important?

Assi Ghat holds a lot of historical and cultural significance. The great poet Tulisdas wrote the epic poem ‘Ramachanritmans’ here, many come here to take a dip in the holy Ganges to rid of all sins they have collected through their lives.

People Also Read:

Category: Places To Visit, Varanasi

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month