Manikarnika Ghat [Benares].
Photographer: Bromochary, Brajo Gopal
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Manikarnika Ghat with temples beyond from 'Views of Benares, from the River Side' taken by Brajo Gopal Bromochary in 1869. "Manikarnika is the name given to a well which is just above the Ghat. Between it and the Ganges is the temple of Tarkeswara below which the dead bodies of the Hindus are burnt. The Ghat is one of the five celebrated places of Hindu pilgrimage in Benares and is considered to be the most sacred of all the Ghats; it is also the intermediate point of them all. The three temples in the middle were erected by the Raja of Amethi."
This is the main cremation ghat of Varanasi. In the middle of the Ghat is the Manikarnika kund (tank) which was said to have been dug by Vishnu with his discus and filled with his perspiration from the exertion of creating the world. There are footprints of Vishnu set in a circular marble slab on the ghats. According to legend, Shiva's mani (crest jewel) and his consort Parvati's Karnika (earring) fell into the kund while bathing thus came the name of the ghat.