Photograph looking along the riverbank towards the ghat, with a temple tower at the right from 'Views of Benares, from the River Side' taken by Brajo Gopal Bromochary in 1869. "From time immemorial, numbers of Gows or Cows used to come and drink water at this spot; in honor of the Cows (which are held sacred by the Hindus), a huge stone cow erected on the spot perpetuates the name. The Ghat itself is jutting out a little beyond the banks." The name of the ghat is derived fom the huge stone image of a Cow on the flight of steps leading down to the ghat. In the 12th century the ghat marked the southern entrance to Varanasi and still retains the Patana Darvaja, a symbolic relic of that period. Varanasi, founded in the sixth century BC is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus and is known as a tirtha, or ‘crossing place’ which allows the devotee access to the divine and where gods and goddesses can come down to earth.