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Time Required : 1 to 2 hours

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Assi Ghat, Varanasi Overview

The Assi Ghat is placed at the confluence of the Rivers Assi and Ganga and is famous for the large Shiva Lingam installed under a peepal tree. It has immense religious importance and has been mentioned in the Puranas and various legends as well.

Assi Ghat is the heart of Varanasi and the locals, as well as, the tourists flock there to enjoy the amazing view of the sunset and sunrise at the Ganges. It is where tourists and foreigners who travel and stay in Varanasi for a prolonged period live.  The Ghat has been a famous spot among the local youths to while away their time in the evening. Recently, the Ghat started having Aarti in the morning which is a must watch if you want to experience the true feel of Varanasi. Also, the tourists generally travel from Assi to Dashaswamedh Ghat in the evening by boat, to see the famous aarti conducted there every evening which is an experience like none other. Assi ghat is near Banaras Hindu University, and hence it is frequented by students.

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Aarti Timings

7:00 PM in summers
Around 6:00 PM in winters

Subah-e-Benaras at Assi Ghat

Subah-e-Benaras is a unique programme which has been started by the Hon. Minister of the State, Uttar Pradesh on the 24th of November, 2014. The remarkable initiative proved to be really successful and became a salient feature of the flourishing tourism industry of the town. Several people gather at the Assi Ghat early in the morning to witness the bewitching sunrise emerging from the horizon of clear waters. A boat ride tour lets you take a peek into the sacred, divine and devotional culture of Varanasi. It is a wonderful sight to see the sleepy city wake up to life and vibrancy. The chanting of the mantras, clanking of bells and the splash of boats into the water, pierce through the tranquil quietude is a spectacle to witness and behold.

Time

Summers: 5:00 AM - 7:00 AM
Winters: 5:40 AM - 7:30 AM
Duration: 2 hrs (approx.)

Daily Schedule

  • Chanting of Vedas and welcoming the day at Sunrise. Appreciating nature and its best.
  • Performing Vedic Yagya to purify the inner self of sins and to attain world peace.
  • Recognizing and appreciating five basic elements of the world i.e. air, water, land, sky and fire.
  • Listening to ragas and classical music performed by trained artists for inner peace.
  • Practising yoga for a fit body, mind and soul.

Festival Celebrated on Assi Ghat

1. Mahashivratri

Mahashivratri is one of the most important and one of the most grandly celebrated festivals at the Assi Ghat. It is on this holy day when Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. Thousand of devotees gather at the ghat where the puja is performed after which the pilgrims take a holy dip in the River Ganges.

2. Ganga Mahotsav

Ganga Mahotsav is organised from Prabodhni Ekadashi till Dev Deepawali. It is a grandiose three day celebration with pujas and rituals performed everyday at the ghat. The event is marked by a classical music performance at the ghats by trained professionals.

3. Ganga Dussehra

Ganga Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of Jayeshtha month of Hindu calendar. On this, the devotees observe a fast, rituals and pujas are performed at the ghat. Then the worshippers proceed to take a dip in the River Ganges. The ghat is lit up with vibrant fairs, people sing devotional songs and throw lamps in the river. Heavy security is arranged by the government to manage the crowds.

4. Dev Deepawali

Dev Deepawali is one of the most auspicious festivals in Varanasi. All the ghat including Assi Ghat is decorated with little clay lamps which are made to float in the river. Ganga Aarti is held on the ghat in the evening and later at night, people end the celebrations by bursting fire crackers.

5. Makar Sankranti

On this occasion, the ghat is decorated with bright coloured flowers and diyas. The skies are dotted with colourful kites and people prepare sweet delicacies at home.

6. Bharat Milap

Bharat Milap is another one of the popular festivals in Varanasi that is celebrated with a lot of zeal and fervour. On this day, people gather at the ghats and the streets and put ‘tilak’ on each others’ forehead and exchange garlands made of flowers.

7. Holi

Holi is another one of the important festivals celebrated at the Assi Ghat. The onset of the celebrations is marked by the ritual of Holika Dahan, after which people proceed to apply abir on each others’ faces. All the lanes and streets are covered in beautiful Holi colours. People also enjoy gujiyas and thandai, which is the highlight of the festival.

Pop Culture of Assi Ghat

Time and again, Varanasi has been featured in several movies, short films and documentaries owing to its rich and varied culture and traditions. One of the most popular and recent movies featuring Assi Ghat is Mohalla Assi starring Sunny Deol which was released in 2018. The movie is based on Dr. Kashi Nath Singh's Hindi novel- Kashi ka Assi and has been set in the lanes of the ghat. Raanjhana is another popular movie which includes several scenes of Assi Ghat.

In addition to that, a lot of books- Hindi, English and other languages- have been written about the magnanimous Assi Ghat. You can find several hawkers selling these books on the ghats itself. Some of them are even available online. The books majorly focus on the inception of the town and about the numerous rituals, customs and traditions performed on the Assi Ghat.

Legend of Assi Ghat

As per an ancient legend, Assi Ghat was originated when Goddess Durga threw her sword in the holy river after killing a demon with it. The spot where she stood became the ghat and since then Assi Ghat became an important ritualistic place in Varanasi.

Street Food and Cafes at Assi Ghat

1. Kashi Tea Stall

Kashi Tea Stall is one of the most crowded and popular tea stalls located on the Assi Ghat in Varanasi. Boasting of aromatic heavenly ‘adrak wali chai’, the stall also has several other varieties of chai including lemon tea, masala tea, black tea etc. Besides, it sells delicious pakodas, samosas and other snacks.

2. Pappu Chai near Marwari Sewa Sangh

Another famous chai stall at Assi Ghat is Pappu Chai serving amazing black tea which is popularly known as liquor tea. You can also taste fried idli and other snacks here.

3. Pizzeria Vaatika Cafe

This is one quaint cafe serving delicious home-made pizzas, Chinese and Indian food with a view of the riverside. They have riverside seating where you can enjoy amazing food with an amazing view.

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