Ghats are an inevitable part of Varanasi people, let it be the natives, the tourists, the BHU students, everybody and anybody. The natives need the ghats during their festivals, their marriage, Shukla ji k sathe mulakaat, for every mood and every deed. This is same with the students of Benares Hindu University. An event and no space? They have the ghats of course. Evening and they are bored? “Let’s go ghats.” New love? Chalo baby…ghat se hoke aate hai.” Breakups? Ghats and the cafes nearby are the only things that can provide solace to a broken heart. When I used to live in Varanasi, same was with me too.

I remember walking in the ghats throughout the day. On some days I went without brushing my teeth and returned as late as eight in the evening. And almost all the time, I started from Assi Ghat. Because Assi Ghat functions as the prime stop for BHU students, as this is the nearest ghat to the University. And the important thing is that you can satisfy the rickshaw wala with just twenty rupees and reach Assi Ghat. This is a very crowded ghat with people flocking to this day and night. In the morning one might hear beautiful classical songs as well as scary roars. Comrades! Don’t be scared because of the weird roars. People are performing Shinghasana. Music, and yoga, these are a part of the Subah-e-Benares programme in Assi Ghat. By evenings this particular ghat gets colorful with many cultural programmes, classical dances, classical music, students playing guitar and singing Bollywood songs, gossips and many things.

Assi Ghat is crowded, but as you keep walking, you may come across some ghats, where sitting in the evening provides your mind and soul with an unspeakable serenity and a magical peace. Walking through the ghats, you can easily find out the name of the name of the ghat, as mostly it is written in big letters on the ghat itself in Hindi. After Assi, it is Tulsi Ghat. This ghat is related to the Hindi language poet Tulsidas. Readers, I won’t tell you about the history or the stories relating to it. I would just like to share my perception of the ghats. Why not find out the stories behind them by yourselves.

One may wonder, what is there to see in Tulsi Ghat? It’s just a ghat. If you just walk out casually, it is just a ghat. Why not take a little time and pause? There is a big tank in Tulsi Ghat. It is huge. I guessed it to be some kind of water tank. The amazing part is that there is a bridge linking the ghat and the top of the tank. There is a gate to enter the bridge, and they open it rarely. I found it open during two festivals. Once during Sankranti, another time in the day of Chatt Puja. It looks amazing from the above. There is something more interesting about the tank, that there are dates scribbled on its body: 1934, 1945, etc. These could be some numbers but I guessed it to be the dates because all of them ranged from a particular span of time. The dates started ranging from 1913 or something nearest to it. And they didn’t cross 1950. The dates are scribbled very high and not in sequence. Sometimes on the same level, there were several dates. So, me and my friend, we guessed it to be the level the water in that particular year. Besides the bridge and the dates, the tank has also got beautiful graffiti on its body. We can also reach Lolark Kund from this ghat itself.

The journey continues in the next story…