The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Prahalad Ghat
Location[edit | edit source]
25º 19.343’ North and 83º 01.701’ East (Prahladeshvara Temple). -- 25º 19.342’ North and 83º 01.709’ East (Prahlada Temple).
Exact location on a map[edit | edit source]
Prahlada Ghat, Prahladeshvara
Area[edit | edit source]
0.02ha (the temple compound and nearby area)
Historical/cultural/natural significance[edit | edit source]
This ghat is named after Prahlada, a great mythological devotee of Lord Vishnu. In 11th-12th century the Gahadavala inscriptions mention this ghat. This is spread over a longer distance. The historicity of this ghat can be traced through an 18th century sketch preserved in Savai Man Singh-II Museum at Jaipur, which glorifies this ghat. In 1937 with the construction of a new Nishada Ghat in the centre (where exists Satsanga Akhara), now the ghat is divided into two parts: the southern and northern. In the southern part exists the shrine of Prahladeshvara (A 10/ 82), Prahlada Keshava, Vidara Narsimha, and Varada and Picindala Vinayakas. Around the northern site exist Mahisasura Tirtha, Svaralingeshvara, Yajna Varaha and Shivaduti Devi. The northern part (Nishada Ghat) was made pucca in 1988 by the irrigation department of the government of Uttar Pradesh; the arena of ghat is dominated by washermen. Sherring (1868: 190) described it as “a picturesquely site commanding a fine view of the city and its suburbs”.
=== Description and History ===: The ghat was made pucca in early 20th century by the City Council. Among the other temples in the vicinity notables are Narsimha (A 10/ 82), Jagannatha (A 10/ 76) and Shitala (A 10/ 77). According to oral history the great medieval saint-poet Tulasi was also living here in late 16th century. In commemoration of this incidence Tulasidasa Temple (A 10/ 58) has been built here. During the last five days of light-half of Vaishakha (April-May), a grand festive theatrical celebration to honour the appearance of Narsimha (“Lion-Man” form of Vishnu) is performed on massive scale in the temple of Prahladeshvara. Its climax reaches on the full moon day (i.e. 14th of the light-half). This is a very active ghat, attracting a good mass of devout Hindus from the nearby countryside to celebrate a variety of festivals and rituals.
Present state of conservation[edit | edit source]
Except by the two temple trusts and the local public organisations, those work on their own ways, there are no specific action plans, programmes and strategies for conservation and preservation of the ghats.
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 temples are owned by their Temple Trusts; the ghat area by the Municipal Corporation.