Manikarnika Ghat


Manikarnika Ghat

Manikarnika Ghat is considered and said to be one of the holiest and oldest among all the other sacred riverfronts (Ghats), parallel to the river Ganga. It is believed that a dead human's soul finds salvation (moksha), on being cremated here. Hence the number of the elderly across the whole country seek to walk up to the Ghats shores and spend their last days intaking and memorising the glamour of the Ghat - which makes even death painless and vague to be appraised upon.
In India, death is considered as a portal to another life received as a result of our past actions, more likely to be known as Karma. The Hindu ancestry enrols of Varanasi are kept here.

The Manikarnika Ghat is mentioned in a Gupta engraving of the 5th century. It is admired among the Hindu devotees. When Mata Sati also was known as Aadi shakti Mata sacrificed her life & set her body on fire after Raja Daksh Prajapati who was one of the sons of Lord Brahma attempted to embarrass Lord Shiva in a Yagya practised by him. Lord Shiva took her burning body to the Himalaya and wept for years. On seeing the constant agony of Lord Shiva, Vishnu sends the celestial chakra to cut the body of Mata Sati into 51 parts which fall on the earth. They are called "Ekannya Shaktipeeth". Lord Shiva established Shakti Peeth wherever Mata Sati's body pieces had fallen. Mata Sati's ornament from her ears had fallen at Manikarnika Ghat.

Shakti Peethas are altars that are believed to be revered with the presence of Shakti due to the falling of the body parts of the cadaver of Sati Mata when Lord Shiva carried it and wandered. There exist 51 Shakti Peeths linking to the 51 letters or Akshar in the Sanskrit language. All the temples have altars for Shakti Mata. The altar of Shakti Mata in the Manikarnika Ghat is addressed as Vishalakshi & Manikarni.

Hindu folk tales teaches that the Ghat is especially sacred and that people cremated there receive moksha, which means eternal peace. As the tale goes on, Lord Vishnu, after many many thousand years of tapasya, trying to please Lord Shiva, to persuade him to not destroy the holy city of Kashi when Lord Shiva destroys the world, manages to do so.
Lord Shiva along with Mata Parvati, his wife came to Kashi to meet Lord Vishnu and grant him his wish. Vishnu dug a kund which means a well on the bank of Ganga for the couple to bathe in. When Lord Shiva was bathing a Mani as in a Jewel from his earring fell into the well, hence the name Manikarnika was kept, Mani meaning the jewel, karnika meaning ornament of the ear. Then there is this other myth about the Ghat that the ear jewel that belonged to Lord Shiva fell down while he was dancing angrily which is called the tandav, and where the ornament fell the Manikarnika Ghat was formed.

Card image cap