Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the oldest, sacred, and most visited Ghat in Varanasi. It is famous for hosting the Ganga Aarti event where hundreds of devotees and travelers participate every evening throughout the year. Its close proximity to the famous Vishwanath Gali makes it a go-to ghat for devotees who wish to take a dip before worshiping Shivling at Vishwanath temple.
History of Dashashwamedh Ghat
Dashashwamedh Ghat which precisely means the Ghat of 10 sacrificed horses (Dash – ten, Ashwa – Horses, Medh – Sacrifice) was earlier known as Rudrasaras in Indian scriptures. Lord Brahma sacrificed 10 horses at Rudrasaras and installed two Shivlings. The place was later renamed Dashashwamedh Ghat to pay respect to him.
Another perspective through the historical records marks the Dashashwamedh Ghat as the first historically documented site connected to Bharasiva king of the Naga dynasty. The Bharashiva performed horse sacrifice at the Dashashwamedh Ghat after defeating the Kushan empire to please their deity, Shiva.
The first pucca ghat was built by Balaji Bajirao in 1738-40 and was later renovated by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar in 1765. The present stairs were later installed by the government in 1965.
Story of Dashashwamedh Ghat
Dashashwamedh Ghat holds immense religious importance for Hindus due to an incident that took place here as per the scriptures. When Shiva was living in Mandrachal or Mount Mandara, Kashi was ruled by king Devodasa. He asked Lord Brahma to keep all Gods and celestial beings away from Kashi till the time he’s ruling it. Lord Brahma agreed to his term on a promise that the king will help all the people living and visiting Kashi in their religious pursuits. Devodasa proved to be a very generous and religious king and turned Kashi into one of the happiest places on the earth.
On the other hand, Lord Shiva was saddened by the fact that he can’t visit Kashi and decided to provoke the king to commit some mistake. Shiva sent 64 Yoginis to create ruckus in town but upon reaching the Kashi the Yoginis got so mesmerized by the beauty of Kashi that they thought it to be part of heaven. After spending some time in the city the Yoginis decided to settle down in Kashi failing on the task given to them.
Shiva when got to know about the failure of 64 Yoginis got annoyed and sent Surya to Kashi. Lord Surya came to Kashi to create a disturbance so king Devodasa can be defeated in his resolve and Shiva can come back. Surya tried to test the king by disguising himself as a scholar, a brahmin, businessman, etc. but couldn’t find any flaw in the Devodasa. Feared by the fact that Shiva will not like it when he will tell him about the failure he decided to settle down in Kashi.
After some time when Shiva realized that Lord Surya has also failed he sent the lord Brahma to complete the task. Lord Brahma disguised as old Bhramin visited the king and shared his desire to perform Ashwa Medha Yagya and requested to provide the material. King agreed to this and with his help, Lord Brahma was able to perform 10 Ashwa Medha Yagra at Rudrasaras/Rudra Sarovar. With this task also being completed by the king, even Lord Brahma failed and the Rudra Sarovar became Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Evening Ganga Aarti at Ghat
The famous Ganga Aarti of Varanasi is performed at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. It is organized by an NGO Ganga Seva Nidhi and commences at 6:30 pm every evening. The Ganga Aarti is one of the main attractions of Varanasi and hundreds of tourists and devotees participate in it.
How to Reach Dashshwamedh Ghat
Dashashwamedh Ghat is located just 5 minutes away from Vishwanath Gali. It is well connected to all the Railway stations, Airport and the bus stand via road. You can reach Godowlia by Taxi, shared auto-rickshaw, and take a 5-minute walk to the Dashashwamedh Ghat. You can also take a boat ride from any ghat to the Dashashwamedh Ghat.
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- Ahilyabai Ghat
- Man mandir Ghat
- Manikarnika Ghat