harishchandra ghat varanasi

Harish Chandra Ghat

The existence of Harish Chandra Ghat is associated with the mythological king with the same name. He was famous and still remembered for his truthfulness and wisdom. He was so generous by nature and true to his words that he gives away his entire kingdom to sage Vishwamitra just to keep his promise. He even sells himself, his wife Chandramati and son Rohita off to a Brahmin family in order to fulfill the demand of dakshina of sage Vishmatira. Taking away everything from the king was just an attempt to test whether he stays firm and sticks to his words even under difficult circumstances.

The Brahman offers him a job of collecting taxes from people cremating dead bodies of their relatives. One day, his son Rohita dies from a snake bite. When his wife takes Rohita to the cremation ground, Harish Chandra asks her to pay the tax. Having nothing left with her, she agrees to offer her sari as a tax. When she was about to remove her sari, sage Vishwamitra and Lord Shiva appear on the site and return the life of their son and his kingdom. Harishchandra and his family also received a permanent abode in the heaven. Such is the power of his virtue and principles that the king is even hailed today as the most generous and true person the universe ever created. The king has left such an example behind him that whenever any example of telling the truth and living by principles is given, his name automatically appears on the tip of the tongue.

This story has touched the hearts of millions. Many filmmakers have adapted this story and produced films based on the story of Harish Chandra Ghat. It is also said that Mahatma Gandhi was so moved by this story that it motivated him to tread on the path of non-violence and truth.

This is why Raja Harish Chandra Ghat has become famous for cremation. For people believe that after burning the body at this ghat, the gods take the soul with them and offer a permanent place in the heaven, thus making the soul free from getting incarnated again in a new body.