Manikarnika Ghat is one of the most popular bathing ghats in Varanasi. Not only is it popular as a bathing ghat, it is also one of the most preferred Burning ghats or place where cremation takes place.
It is one of the oldest ghats of Varanasi and is also a shakti peeth according to Hindu religion and mythology. The ritualistic bathing that takes place in the Manikarnika Ghat is known as Manikarnika Snan.
The Manikarnika Snan takes place on the chaturdashi of the shukla paksha of the month of Kartick as per traditional Hindu calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar, this ritual bathing takes place in the waxing phase of the moon in the month of November. In 2019 the ritual bathing will be held on 11th of November.
- Legend of Manikarnika Ghat
It is believed as per the Hindu mythology that Mata Sati had given up herself, that is set herself ablaze when she could not bear Raja Daksh Prajapati’s taunts about Lord Shiva her husband. It was a yajna by Daksh where she had to face this humiliation and in rage she set herself ablaze. Agonized, Lord Shiva took her body to the Himalayas, but while en route, parts of her body parts fell on various places. Wherever Mata’s body parts fell, Lord Shiva established Shakti Peeth in those places. Mata’s ear ornaments fell in the Manikarnika Ghat. Thus it is a famous Shakti Peeth.
It is also believed that a jewel or Mani fell from his ear to the well or kund that Vishnu had dug for the bathing of Parvati and Shiva. Thus the name Mani Karnika, or a jewel of the ear as Karna means ear. There is another myth that the ear jewel of Shiva fell down from his ears, while he was dancing angrily.
- Rituals of the Manikarnika Snan
- Thousands of devotees arrive for this auspicious bathing.
- The bathing has to be done during the last quarter of the night.
- On the day of the Manikarnika Snan, the devotees need to wake up early and needs to worship and meditate about the great Lord Shiva.
- The devotees worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
- The devotees also seek forgiveness from Shiva and Parvati for all the sins they had committed in this life and in their previous lives too.
- It is believed to be auspicious to chant Vedic mantras and to read religious scriptures.
- Performing charity is considered to be extremely auspicious on this day.
- Giving away clothes, money or food to the Brahmins after the Snan is over is considered to be highly propitious.
- Significance of the Manikarnika Snan
It is deemed to be very auspicious to have this ritualistic bath on the Kartick chaturdashi on the ghats of the Manikarnika. This ritual bathing is considered to highly meritorious. it is believed that such is the power of this ritualistic bathing that a devotee who performs or takes part in this ritualistic bathing is sure to attain Moksha. The devotee gets complete freedom from this eternal cycle of birth, death and re-birth. Thus this ritualistic bath on Manikarnika Ghat is believed to surely grant salvation to the devotees.