The ghats of Ganga have an eternal relationship with Varanasi. They have extremely contributed in lifting the spiritual importance of the city to an apex. They not only offer a way to take a dip in the holy Ganga water, but also mental, physical, and emotional well-being to votaries. Taking a bath before entering into the temple has been the Hindu tradition for ages, and this is where the ghats become all the more important. While the numbers of the ghats are astonishing, there a few that are older, and associated with the legends. Assi Ghat is one such ghat that offers ethereal feelings to the votaries.
Most of the ancient known scriptures like Padma Purana, Agni Purana, Matsya Purana, and Kashi Khanda talk about Assi Ghat. All these scriptures narrate the heroic tales of Goddess Durga. When the two demons, Shumbha and Nishumbha couldn’t be stopped from creating a havoc and disturbing the peace of heaven and earth, all gods beseech Goddess Durga to save the universe. Giving in to their request, Maa Durga challenges the two demons. The fight between the goddess and the two demons goes on for nine days. After killing both the demons on the ninth day, Goddess Durga threw her sword down. The weight of the sword creates a big stream, which turns into Assi river.
Assi Ghat is located where River Ganga and Assi River meet. Devotees come here to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. Before they enter into the temple, they bathe here. The whole atmosphere surrounding this ghat reverberates with the chants of ‘Har Har Mahadev.’ This ghat becomes all the more special during the Mag and Chaitya months lasting from January to April. Some festivals like Ganga Dusshera, Makar Shankanti, and Probhodhoni Ekadashi also attract thousands of devotees here. The footfalls also increase whenever major changes in the planetary world take place. Devotees come to this ghat and offer prayers during this time to mitigate the effect of change in the position of planets in their lives. One visit to Assi Ghat, and offering prayer to Lord Shiva are like completing a pilgrimage of several holy places.