GhatsApprox. Time: 3 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

Ghats are the steps which lead down to the river. Varanasi's principal attraction is the long string of ghats, which line the west bank of the Ganges. There are around 100 ghats in Varanasi, each with its own significance. Most Indians believe that anyone dying on the banks of the river, in Varanasi, attains instant "moksha" or enlightenment.

The Dasaswamedh Ghat is the most significant ghat here. The Manikarnika ghat is associated with Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva's wife. The five ghats where pilgrims are supposed to bathe are Asi ghat, followed by Dasaswamedh, Barna Sangam, Panchganga, and finally, Manikarnika, in that order and on the same day. Manikarnika and Harishchandra ghats, are the ghats used primarily for the cremation of the dead. Other main ghats include Kedar ghat, a shrine popular with Bengalis; Mansarovar ghat built by Man Singh of Amber; and Panch Ganga Ghat where the five rivers are supposed to meet.

Courtesy of the India Tourism Board