The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Nishadaraja and Pancakota ghats
25º 17.618’ North and 83º 00.408’ East (Nishadaraja Ghat)
Exact location on a map
Till early 20th the Nishadaraja Ghat was part of Prabhu Ghat, but dominance of the inhabitants of the caste of boatmen and further opening of a temple (house no. B 3/ 78) in commemoration of the boatmen-king, Nishada,. in 1970s have resulted to give this name. Nishada was a mythical hero of fishermen of the Ramayana period who had helped lord Rama to go across the Ganga river. About twelve thousands boatmen live in the neighbourhood. With the support of Boatmen Organisation this ghat was made pucca in 1946. This ghat has no religious and cultural significance. This ghat was built up by the king of Pancakota Eastate of Bengal in 1915, that is how the name has been given to the ghat. In fact, earlier this was part of the Shivala ghat which after passage of time get divided into five ghats. Entering from the ghat side one finds a huge compound of the wall, which contains a garden and a palace; and in the garden there are two temples, dedicated to Shiva and Kali. The queen of the estate, Vidyadevi lives in the palace. This ghat has no religious and cultural significance.
Present state of conservation
Except by the temple trust and Pancakota Maharani Trust which are directly taking care of their, there are no specific action plans, programmes and strategies for conservation and preservation of the ghats. The trusts maintain their properties according to their own perspectives without specific plans.
Specific measures being taken for conserving the specific property
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.
The specific properties along the ghat are owned by the respective trusts and the persons living there; and the ghat area is owned by the Municipal Corporation.