The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Gola and Nandishvara Ghats
Location[edit | edit source]
-- 25º 19.184’ North and 83º 01.387’ East (Gola Ghat, centre). 25º 19.214’ North and 83º 01.390’ East (Nandishvara Ghat, centre).
Exact location on a map[edit | edit source]
Gola–Nandishvara–Sakka– Phuta Ghats
Area[edit | edit source]
Historical/cultural/natural significance[edit | edit source]
Since late 12th century Gola Ghat was used as a ferry point and was known for a number of granaries (gola), from where the name derived. However, after opening the bridge at Raj Ghat in 1887 the site lost its importance. In course of time the ghat became deserted. The Muncipal Corporation, with the support of irrigation department of the government of Uttar Pradesh, has renovated and built this ghat pucca in 1988. At this ghat there is existence of puranic water-front sacred spot, viz. Pishegila Tirtha. This ghat has no cultural and religious importance. Portion of this ghat is used by washermen for cleaning the cloths.
At this ghat, in the upper part there is a temple of Nandishvara. As a mark of respect the local residents with their collective efforts built this temple in the early 19th century. One portion of it was built pucca by Dvarikanath Chakravorty (of Bhavanipur, West Bengal) in 1940; who has also constructed a mansion (A 4/ 13). There are stone steps from the bank to the upper part, and in way to the right side on a platform there is a complex of several small shrines and temples, which also includes a shrine of Bhrigu Keshav (Vishnu). In 1988 the irrigation department of the government of Uttar Pradesh has made this ghat pucca. In the recent past a wrestling site (akhara), named Nanishvara Akhara has also been opened where one can get training of Indian style of wrestling and art of body-making. The ghat area is occupied by basket and pole makers, a professional caste considered low in hierarchy.
Present state of conservation[edit | edit source]
Except by the temple organisation that taking care of its properties, there are no specific action plans, programmes and strategies for conservation and preservation of the ghats. The temple trust maintains its properties according to their own perspectives.
Specific measures being taken for conserving the specific property[edit | edit source]
It is expected that by the support of active people participation, awareness to save the age-old rich heritage, and development under the Master Plan (and its judiciary control) the ghat heritage will be protected and conserved for the better befit to the society.
Ownership[edit | edit source]
The temple related properties along the ghat are owned by the respective trust; the houses and other properties by the inhabitants; and the ghat area is owned by the Municipal Corporation.