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WEAVER'S WORLD / BENARAS / PLACES TO VISIT - 5
BENARAS
Chaumsathi Ghat

Chaumsathi is one of the quieter ghats along the Ganges. From the river you can spot it by its bright red and white striped stairway. Today the Sitarama Omkara Das Kashi Ashram is located here. It’s a major bathing place for pilgrims. The King of Udaipur renovated the ghat in the late 1500's. It once provided shelter for a Sanskrit scholar. There isn't much to see today.

ISKCON Varanasi

Very nice and peaceful atmosphere where all Lord Krishna devotees definitely visit but the statues are smaller as compared to other ISKCON temples in India. The rest is similar to that in any other ISKCON temple. Located on Durgakund road, it is near the Durgakund police station. After entering from the main gate ine gets to see a small temple in front with residential complex (Ashram) behind it. It’s a small, simple temple but serves its purpose well enough even though it is visited by a smaller number of devotees. The Sanctum is devoted to idols of Lord Krishna in the center and Radhaji and Lord Balram on either side. Events concerning the Lord Krishna are celebrated with pomp and splendor.

Jantar Mantar

The Jantar Mantar here lies on the roof of the Man Mandir Palace, which lies on the Man Mandir Ghat - a 5 minute walk from the Dasashwamedh ghat towards Manikarnika Ghat. It’s at a much smaller scale than the ones in Jaipur and Delhi, but still should be of interest to people who like astronomy. Even if one ips not, one can get splendid views of the river and the ghats from the top.

Rana Mahala Ghat

Probably best suited to see via a boat journey, either early AM (sunrise experience) or in the early evening (when some of the rituals take place on the Ganga River). This ghat is located next to Assi Ghat (where our boat launched from). Only a small ghat (among many) with locals mainly sitting on the steps, or walking between ghats. Looks mainly like an overflow for the boats which cannot fit outside Assi Ghat. Not very scenic, but if you take the boat journey you can take a quick photo before you're looking at the next one....some of them easily merge into the next.Easily accessible by foot from the preceding ghat, but better seen from the river.

Raja Ghat

Raja Ghat is one of the 100 ghats situated at Varanasi along the river Ganges. Earlier the ghat was called Amritarao Ghat. Though this ghat was transformed and levelled by Rajirao Balaji in the year 1720, this was rebuilt with stone slabs by Amrit Rao Peshva during 1780-1807. It is said that Amrit Rao was living at Banaras when exiled by the British.Hence it was called as Amrit Rao Ghat in those days. However, this was described as “Raja Ghat” by Motichand (1931. In 1965 the Government of Uttar Pradesh renovated this ghat and built the steps made of red stones. At the main entrance area, a refectory was built exclusively reserved for Brahmins. The refectory, a two-storeyed building with a terrace roof had a kitchen, a storeroom and a large hypo style hall lit in the center by a square courtyard on each floor. There are three temples in the building compound, on the terraces: of Goddess Annapurna, Lord Lakshminarayana and Lord Shiva. The ghat with red stones looks attractive from the river side and it is a pleasure to sit on the steps and watch the river and the boats on the river.

Gyan Kup (Gyan Vapi Well)

This is a very holy religious place for Hindus. According to the history, Alamgir (Aurangzeb) ordered the demolition of the original Shiv temple, to make the mosque, which is present at this site-called Gyanvapi mosque. When the masons were demolishing the temple, its original Shiv-lingam jumped from the temple site into the nearby well-which is now known as Gyan-Kup or Gyanvapi well. This is supposed to be a more pious place than the present Shiva Temple.