Manikarnika Ghat is one of the oldest and most sacred ghats in Varanasi. It is the main cremation ghat in the area, with the bodies of devout Hindus being burned here before their ashes are carried away by the holy waters of the Ganges.
Hindu mythology links this ghat with Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. It’s said that those cremated here will attain moksha (salvation). Bodies are brought to Manikarnika Ghat via a stretcher made from bamboo and covered in red cloth, before being consigned to flames amid prayers that their souls rest in peace for eternity.
There is a sacred well at the ghat called the Manikarnika Kund, which is said to have been dug by Lord Vishnu at the time of creation. Lord Vishnu was said to have meditated for many years at the ghat, and it’s believed that his charana paduka (footprints) can be seen here in a circular marble slab. Manikarnika Ghat is also famous for the temple of the Lord Shiva and Mata Durga, which was built here in the mid-1800s.
Along with the other ghats of Varanasi, the best way to reach Manikarnika Ghat is by rickshaw or by taking a boat-ride along the river.