Visiting the Scindia Ghat is not for the faint hearted. It is for the seeker, the ardent explorer, and adventurer who crave for an eccentric yet unforgettable once in a lifetime experience.
Scindia Ghat is one of the most scenic places in India which is located in the city of Varanasi, a place considered to be the city of the Gods. It is one of the most ancient living cities as it has been in existence for 3000 years. Its structures, some of which were constructed 200 years ago, are made from beige colored rocks that were formed into temples, ghats, alleys and other buildings with soothing monochromatic architecture. The complex seemingly appears like intricate sand castles against the desert landscape. Its famous temple of Shiva lies partially submerged in the Ganges River due to the tremendous weight of its ghats. Beyond the ghat, several of Varanasi’s most prominent shrines are found within adjoining alleys known as Siddha Kshetra which means the “field of fulfillment.”
According to Buddhist scriptures and even in the Mahabharat, the Varanasi where the Scindia Ghat is located is also believed to be the original ground where Shiva, the Hindu God of destruction and rejuvenation, and his wife Parvati stood at the beginning of time. The Scindia Ghat is further believed to be where Agni, the Hindu God of Fire was born. Thus, some believers and devotees come to this place to pray and worship in order to conceive a son.
These practices have been taking place for hundreds of years. Pilgrims have travelled to the city of Varanasi visiting the different ghats from South to North, the Scindia Ghat being the final one, either by boat or by foot. This journey of prayers, rituals, and meditation is said to help devotees obtain the Gods’ affection and consequently become exempt from the cycles of reincarnation.
The river Ganges alongside the Scindia Ghat may well be considered by millions to be the elixir of life, which brings purity to the living and deliverance to the departed. People from different walks of life seek out a chance to renew themselves by the process of cleansing which literally involves bathing in the river. The river of Ganges is their most sacred river which they also depend on for their daily needs such as washing of clothes and bathing their animals. Due to the constant rising number of people who come here and the unlimited demands that need to be met, the river has unfortunately become quite contaminated.
The climate in the city of Varanasi can reach extreme temperatures during the long summer months of April to October and can drop to temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius in the winter months of December to January. Numerous visits to the Scindia Ghat during the summer months are truly anticipated by vendors in cafes and shops found along the alleys. They provide a variety of cold drinks and zesty dishes such as the Dosa, with local establishments teeming with the cultural diversity of their city.
Going through the alleys and ghats of Scindia offers a feeling of immersion making one forget about the worries of a material world. The simplicity and devotion of its people make people value the importance of family, peace of mind, one’s spirituality and relationship with the world. So whether it be for a religious purpose, an adventurer’s whim, or a need for a change, visiting the Scindia Ghat will truly be an experience that will have a great impact on one’s life.