Photographer's Note

The Manikarnika Ghat is a cremeation ghat. It is one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi, revered in Hindu religion. When Mata Sati (Aadi shakti mata)sacrificed her life & set her body ablaze after Raja Daksh Prajapati (one of the sons of Lord Brahma)tried to humiliate Lord shiva in a Yagya practiced by Daksh. Lord Shiva took her burning body to Himalay. While going to Himalaya Mata Sati's parts of body started falling on earth. Lord Shiva established Shakti Peeth wherever Sati's body had fallen.
Hindu mythology teaches that the ghat is especially sacred and that persons cremated there receive moksha. As the myth goes, Vishnu, after several thousand years of tapasya, trying to please Shiva, to convince him to not destroy the holy city of Kashi when he destroys the world, managed to do so. Lord Shiva along with Parvati came to Kashi before Vishnu to grant him his wish. Vishnu dug a kund (well) on the bank of Ganaga for the bath of the couple. When Lord Shiva was bathing a Mani(Jewel) from his earring fell into the kund, hence the name Manikarnika(Mani:Beads Karnam:Ear Angad: Ornament). There is another myth about the ghat : the ear jewel from lord Shiva fell down while he was dancing angrily, which fell on the earth and thus Manikarnika Ghat formed.

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Additional Photos by Arunava Ghose (Highmountains) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 307 W: 38 N: 676] (2674)
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