From civilizations, the river ghats in India have been symbolic in several aspects. Be it trade, commerce, or spirituality, the river ghats in India are instrumental in influencing the lives of the people dwelling near the cities along the river banks. Many of these are divine, being religiously significant and culturally prominent. Various Hindu mythological tales have revolved around the river ghats, with stories of kings, queens, sages, royal families, gods, and goddesses. The historical heritage, the legacy of ancient civilizations, and the divine essence have allured several devotees and tourists to visit and relax at the river ghats.
Sharing the 6 most divine river ghats in India, famous among travelers.
Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi hosts one of the oldest and most divine river ghats in India. There are 80 ghats in the city of which the prominent ones are the Dashaashwamesh Ghat, Assi Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, and Harishchandra Ghat. The city is old, located on the banks of the holy river Ganges. Visiting Varanasi is a must in your lifetime to feel the vivacious atmosphere, and the resonating power of spirituality, zeal, and energy.
The key attraction at the ghats of Varanasi is the Ganga Arati performed during the mornings and evenings. The synchronization of the Aratis performed by the priests with the chiming of the bells, illuminated lamps, and the humming of the religious hymns create a tranquil environment. You can visit the temples located near the ghats and offer your prayers and seek your blessings from the Gods and Goddesses. Once at the ghats, you can see pilgrims, devotees, and local people performing various religious rituals, prayers, and a holy dip into the river.
You must definitely ride on a boat to witness the breathtaking landscape and the gorgeous sunrise or sunset. Truly a heavenly experience.
Princep Ghat in Kolkata is one of the historic and divine river ghats in India. The ambiance and the scenic extravaganza at the ghat transport one to a state of ultimate happiness. The name of the ghat has been derived from the Princep Ghat Memorial constructed near the premises. Built-in the early 1840s, the memorial has been dedicated to James Princep. He was instrumental in deciphering the Brahmi script and uncovering the life and works of the great Emperor Ashoka.
The key attraction of the ghat is the majestic view of the Vidyasagar Setu (bridge) at the front crossing the river Hooghly. The sunset is the best time to be at the ghat, watching the golden rays spreading a reddish glow across the sky and sparkling on the river waters. A garden alongside the ghat magnifies the beauty of the place. It is magical to watch the lights peeping through the memorial pillars in the evenings. You can find groups of photographers at the ghat, especially during the afternoon and the evenings trying to capture the adorable beauty of Princep Ghat.
Rishikesh in Uttarakhand
Nestled within the gigantic Himalayan mountain ranges is the holy town of Rishikesh. Within its spiritual and serene landscape, is the Triveni ghat. It is one of the most beautiful river ghats in India. Many sages, yogis, pilgrims, devotees, and travelers visit the ghat to purify their souls by dipping into the confluence of rivers. Yes, that’s the key attraction of the place, the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. The famous Beatles band had visited the ghat and hence amplified the significance of the place.
The Maha aarti performed every morning and evening is a revelation of sight. The rhythmic sounds of the bells chiming, the religious chants, and the brightly illuminated lamps transform the mind into an ethereal world. The peaceful and calm atmosphere at the ghats is bliss.
Har ki Pauri in Uttarakhand
Har ki Pauri is one of the holiest river ghats in India. Located at the banks of the river Ganges, as per Hindu mythology it is believed that Lord Vishu had visited the ghats once during the ancient Vedic era. The world-famous Kumbh Mela is organized near Har ki Pauri where thousands and thousands of pilgrims and devotees arrive at the fair.
Similar to that of Varanasi and Rishikesh, Ganga Arati is performed by the priests at the ghat. They perform the rituals with large fire bowls and simultaneously chant religious hymns. The chiming of the bells echoes through the air, creating a celestial experience. Devotees and tourists visit in large numbers to offer their prayers and watch the age-old tradition of Arati. People light Diyas (earthen lamps) and float them on the river water as a way to seek the blessings of the Lord.
Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh
At the banks of the river Narmada, Maheshwar is a place where you can find one of the most sacred river ghats in India. Its the Narmada ghat or Ahilya ghat. Named after Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, the Queen of Malwa, the ghat is an iconic landmark in the town. Several tales from Hindu mythology and historical moments are the features of the ghat, dominating its prominence among tourists and pilgrims.
The ghat serves also as the entrance to the Holkar Fort which was the residence of the Queen. Though the fort is now transformed into a luxurious hotel, the essence of the old and ancient architectural beauty still remains. And more importantly, the facade of the fort with the grand stairs overlooks the ghat, thus amplifying its ambiance. You can opt for a boat ride on the river and watch the vivid landscape as well as the elegant beauty of the architecture.
Wai in Maharashtra
Wai is an offbeat town, unknown to many and less explored by tourists. The town has been referred to in Hindu mythology and is specifically famous for its revered temples. The river Krishna flows past the town adding to its grandness and charm. The Menavali ghat is quite famous in Wai and is prominent in terms of its divine beauty. Near the ghat, the special attraction is the artistic temples of Lord Vishnu and Maneshwar.
After visiting the ghat and soaking into the spirituality, you must visit the forts Pandavgad, Kamalgad, Vairatgad, and Vandan. Several beautiful temples with their intrinsic craftsmanship like the Dholya Ganapati temple, lure tourists and devotees.
If you happen to visit India and love to see the ethereal and spiritual part of India, then you must the river ghats in India mentioned above.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.