Panchganga Ghat or Bindumadhav Ghat is a famous ghat located in Varanasi, India. It is situated on the banks of the river Ganges and is named after the five holy rivers that are said to converge at this spot: Ganga, Saraswati, Dhupapapa, Yamuna and Kirana.
It is one of the 5 oldest and most important ghats in Varanasi and is believed to have been built by the sage Bhrigu during the time of the Mahabharata. Pilgrims from all over the world come to this ghat to take a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges and offer prayers to the gods. It is believed that bathing in the waters of the Panch Ganga Ghat can wash away one’s sins and help attain salvation.
The Panch Ganga Ghat is also known for its beautiful architecture and stunning views of the river Ganges. The ghat is lined with rows of steps that lead down to the river, and it is surrounded by several grand old buildings and temples such as Alamgir Mosque, Bindu Madhav Temple, etc.
History of Panchganga Ghat
The earliest mentions of the ghats are in an 11th-century text known as “Kashi Khand” from the Skanda Purana. The Kashi Khand describes Panchganga as the second most important ghat after Dashaswamedh Ghat.
Around the time of the Gahadavala dynasty(11th-12th century), the royal families preferred Panchganga over the Dashashwamedh ghat. It was known as Bindumadhav Ghat because of the glorious golden temple of Vishnu that was present at the Ghat. Vishnu Temple or the Bindu Madhav temple was destroyed by Aurangzeb and converted into Alamgir Mosque in 1673. The present temple was re-established on the right side of the mosque.
Prominent Figures Connected to Panchganga Ghat
The Panchganga Ghat has a strong association with several important figures in Hinduism, as well as other spiritual leaders. These individuals have made significant contributions to the religious and cultural heritage of India and are remembered for their teachings, wisdom, and influence.
- Adi Shankaracharya – He was a Hindu philosopher and theologian who established the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta. Shankaracharya is said to have visited the Panch Ganga Ghat and performed spiritual practices there.
- Tulsidas – He was a Hindu poet-saint and philosopher who wrote the Ramcharitmanas, an epic poem in the Awadhi language. Tulsidas is said to have visited the Panch Ganga Ghat and performed rituals in honor of Lord Rama.
- Kabir – He was a 15th-century Indian mystic poet and saint whose writings influenced Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism. Kabir is said to have visited the Panch Ganga Ghat and sang devotional songs in praise of the divine.
- Ravidas – He was a 15th-century Indian saint and poet whose devotional songs and verses are still popular among the people of India. Ravidas is said to have visited the Panch Ganga Ghat and performed spiritual practices there.
- Guru Nanak – He was the founder of the Sikh religion and is considered to be one of the greatest spiritual leaders in Indian history. Guru Nanak is said to have visited the Panch Ganga Ghat and meditated there, gaining spiritual enlightenment.
- Trailanga Swami – He was often seen sitting on the steps of Panchganga Ghat, meditating and offering blessings to devotees who came to see him. It is said that he would often disappear for long periods of time, only to reappear at the ghat when he felt called to do so.
These important figures have all left their mark on the Panch Ganga Ghat and are remembered for their teachings and wisdom. Their association with this site has helped deepen its spiritual significance and made it a revered place of pilgrimage for millions of people worldwide.
In addition to its religious and cultural importance, the Panch Ganga Ghat also offers a picturesque view of the river and the surrounding city. Visitors can take a boat ride on the Ganges to get a closer look at the ghats, or sit by the river and watch the river flow.
Despite the heavy influx of pilgrims and tourists, the Panch Ganga Ghat remains a peaceful and serene place, with the sound of temple bells and the gentle flow of the river providing a soothing backdrop to the activities taking place here. It is one of the cleanest and must-visit destinations for anyone looking to experience the spiritual and cultural richness of Varanasi.
How to Reach Panchganga Ghat
Panchganga Ghat is located just 6 minutes walking distance from the Burning Ghat. You can also take a walk from the Kachori Gali to Panchganga Ghat via the streets to explore the older part of the area. The ghat can also be reached via boat from any Ghat in the city.
Trailanga Swami Ashram
Vindu Madhav Temple
Kashi Dham Museum