Assi Ghat is one of the most famous and happening places in Varanasi. Situated at the southern edge of the city this location was earlier the confluence of the Assi and Ganga river. The ghat sits at the bank of Ganga but Assi, now a drain has moved a kilometer southwards from the location.
History of Assi Ghat
Assi Ghat finds its mention in Purans and ancient text of the Gahadavalas dynasty(11th century). It is one of the most prominent sites of the annual Panchkroshi Yatra and Surya Shashi. Before the 19th century, the ghat was a green land covered by trees and shrubs. The area got divided into 2 parts when the queen of Bihar bought the southern side in 1902 and constructed her palace(Present-day hotel Ganges view).
A few other structures came into existence nearby by but It was only in 1988 that the Ghat became pucca by efforts of the irrigation department. Later, it witnessed heavy construction around the area as more ashrams and businesses started flourishing.
In 2014 district administration developed the southern end of Assi and converted it into a stage like pavalion with Yagshala to host the “Subah-e-Banaras” festival, a year-round event that takes place before the dawn.
Ganga Aarti At Assi Ghat
Subah Banaras morning Aarti is performed every day at the Assi Ghat from 5 AM to 6 AM. On Sunday morning the event is followed by a free session of Yoga that anyone can attend. If you’re visiting Varanasi for the first time then Subah-ae-Banaras should be on top of your list! Check out the list of other things you can do in the morning in Varanasi.
The evening Ganga Aarti is performed at 6:30 PM at both ends of the Ghat. The event is later followed by Deep Daan (the act of offering earthen lamps and flowers to the Ganga river). In contrast to the morning Aarti, Evening Aarti is attended by a large number of locals and travellers.
Life at Assi Ghat
Assi Ghat if seen as a fabric of time you will find it divided into slots by age. As the sun starts rising the ghat is flocked by middle and old age people to take a morning dip and perform rituals. In the afternoon it becomes deserted and you will find old people taking a nap under the shades. As the sun goes down youngsters take over the place. At night, all these slots merge into one and you will find everyone at Assi cherishing life, eating snacks, having tea, and witnessing evening aarti together just like one big family.
Very recently Assi Ghat has turned into a hot spot for youngsters. The neighborhood boasts hundred of hostels, hotels, and PGs where students and foreigners stay while they study or learn yoga from nearby institutes. Its close proximity to BHU also makes it a go-to place for hang out.
You will often find groups of students gossiping, playing music, practicing arts, and couples spending quality time. It won’t be wrong to say that Assi is the place where Kashi chills these days.
Assi as a hub of Cafes
Those who have been to Assi would know the fact the major chunk of the area is today dominated by cafes. from fast food to different cuisines you will be able to find any place to suit your taste buds within a radius of 500 meters. Cafes like, Pizzeria, Tripling, TeaQuilla are only to name a few. This growing culture has not just brought business opportunities for the locals but has also transformed their way of living. The area today looks more like a western city in contrast to the vibes of central Varanasi.
Assi Ghat is nothing like any other ghat of Varanasi. More than just serving as a symbolic place to the confluence of two rivers it is also a confluence of generations, cultures, and beliefs.
If you’re visiting Varanasi then you should visit Assi Ghat at least once. It’s a beautiful place to observe life, culture, rituals and all the major aspects of changing Kashi.
How to Reach Assi Ghat
Assi Ghat is located 3KM away from Vishwanath Temple and 2KM away from BHU. It is well connected to all the Railway stations, Airport and the bus stand via road. You can reach Assi crossing by shared auto-rickshaw, and take a 5-minute walk to the Assi Ghat. You can also take a boat ride from any ghat to the Assi Ghat or just walk.
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- Tulsi Akhada
- Jagannath Temple
- Mumukshu Bhawan
- Sant Ravidas Park
- Tulsi Ghat
- Ravidas Ghat
- Ganga Mahal Ghat