Adi Keshav Ghat

Adi Keshav Ghat
Vital Information for Visitors
Address:

Adi Keshav Ghat, near Raj Ghat, Khalispur, Varanasi, UP

Open & Close:

Open on all days – 24X7

Entry Fee:

No entry fee

Duration:

30 Minutes

Significance:

Pilgrimage, Architure, Adi Keshav Temple, Lord Vishnu’s Feet Marks

Kashi, pivotal in India’s cultural & political history, finds ample mention in Hindu mythology and scriptures. It has been an important city in Hindu mythology back in the days of gods. And since then, nothing has changed as Varanasi, formerly called as Banaras & Kashi, still holds the same importance & reverence for the Hindus. Popularly known as the land of temples, Banaras is one of the seven most sacred cities in Hindu Dharm (religion) and being on the banks of River Ganga makes it holier. The ghats of Varanasi, leading to the River Ganga, are considered the holiest ones because of being venue of several kinds of religious aarti and puja. Though the antiquity & history of ghats can be traced in religious scriptures but their present form took shape through 18th century. As per Puranas and religious scriptures, Adi Keshav Ghat is one of the oldest and most sacred ghats and a pilgrimage centre in Varanasi. Adi Keshav Ghat had been is favourite ghat of the Ghadavala kings. It can be verified by the Ghadavala inscription available there. Later in 1790 AD, the ghat was renovated by stones and concrete by the Divan of the Scindia state. Ghadavala inscription (1100 AD) mentions Adi Keshav Ghat as Vedeshwara Ghat.

According to the Hindu mythology, Adi Keshav Ghat is believed to be the oldest and only original site of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu has landed here in the form of a Brahmin to ensure Lord Shiva’s return to his favourite city Kashi having taken King Divodas (Raja Ripunjay) to the heavenly abode. The ghat is set on the confluence of the rivers Ganga & Varuna. The association of Adi Keshav ghat is with a lot of legends. One of the legends, popular among the folks, suggests that the five most sacred water spots or ghats represented different body parts of the Lord. Assi Ghat is considered as head, Dashashwamedh Ghat as chest, Manikarnika Ghat as naval, Panchganga Ghat as thighs, and Adi Keshav Ghat as feet. Therefore, from religious point of view, these five ghats are most significant ones. The above mentioned legend implies that Lord Vishnu first placed his holy feet on the soil of Varanasi. Also, the evidence of the same is in Adi Keshav Temple wherein the footprints of the Lord are placed. Other footprints (‘charan paduka’) of Lord Vishnu are also present at Manikarnika Ghat.

Historically, culturally & religiously, Adi Keshav Ghat is highly revered among the Hindus and they congregate here to take a dip or bath in a hope to wash away their sins. It is believed that an individual gets freedom from the cycle of birth and death after taking a dip here. In Sanskrit literature, it is called ‘mukti’ or ‘moksh’. Ten (10) Jal (Water) Teerthas are located between Prahlad Ghat in south & Adi Keshav Ghat towards north. Theses Jal Teerthas are thus: Shankha Madhava, Sasa, Laksminarsimha, Vindara Nrsimha, Gopigovinda, Yajna Varaha, Vamana, Pranava, Mara- Narayana and Dattatreyesvara. In addition to above Jal Teerthas, there are twelve more Jal (water) Teerthas amidst Adi Keshav Ghat and confluence of River Varuna. These twelve Jal Teerthas are Aditya Keshava, Narada, Ambarisha, Garuda, Padma, Mahalaksmi, Chakra, Shankha, Kshirabdhi, Gada, Shvetadvipa and Padodaka.

At the top of Adi Keshav Ghat are located Adi Keshav Temple and its huge complex. The temple is home to Sangameshwar Lingam, believed to be installed by Lord Prajapati Brahma. The devotees believe that bathing at the confluence of Varuna and Ganga holds great religious merit. After holy dip at Adi Keshav Ghat, offering prayer before Sangameshwar Lingam is considered a must. In the process of worship, devotees also visit Brahmeshwar Lingam, situated very nearby. Brahmeshwar Lingam, four-faced one, is also said to be installed by Lord Brahma. Adi Keshav Ghat is situated at a distance of about 3.5 km from Panchganga Ghat. The exact location is at Khalispur in Varanasi.

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