The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Rajendra Prasad (old Ghoda) Ghat
1.Name : Rajendra Prasad (old Ghoda) Ghat
25º 18.437’ North and 83º 00.668’ East (Rajendra Pd Ghat, centre).
Exact location on a map
Rajendra Prasad Ghat
Earlier this was part of the Dashashvamedha Ghat, as described by Motichand (1985). In 1979 in memory and honour of Rajendra Prasad, the first president of India (1950-1962), this was named after him and made pucca by the Municipal Corporation of Varanasi. According to Kashiprasad Jaiswal (1931) in the 3rd century CE the Bharshiva Naga kings had performed ashvamedha (“horse sacrifice ritual”) and the servants and the main horse took bath at this site, thus the name “Ghoda” (horse) ghat. Till 1958 at the bank there was a huge image of the “horse”, a symbolic memory of ashvamedha. It is believed that this horse-image is shifted to Sankatamocan temple from where it is vanished, and yet no trace has been found.. It is also notable that during 7th-19th century this was a known site for the marketing of horses; for transporting horses boats were used. Till early 1980s this ghat was also used as the ferry station dealing with the business of wood, sand and stone plates. The renovation and restructuring were done in 1984 by the government of Uttar Pradesh. Of course, here too pilgrims take bath but their number is negligible. On the upper portion in the vicinity, there are three shrines of Durga, Rama Pancayatana and Shiva. This ghat has direct access by the main road lin
Present state of conservation
There are no specific action plans, programmes and strategies for conservation and preservation of the ghat. Of course the VDA and the Municipal Corporation look after and maintain the overall preservation and maintenance according to their own perspectives but without specific plans. The newly built stage for cultural performance there no way fits to the heritage tradition, but to shift or demolish such structure is rather impossible in the present political set up. On the name of promoting tourism it turned to the loss of heritage. If in case it is going to be maintained, then its re-modelling is required according to the suitability of tradition and sustainable development.
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 whole ghat area is owned by the Varanasi development Authority.