The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Sakka, Telianala and Phuta (Naya) Ghats

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Detailed description of each heritage Site - Prahalad Ghat to Raj Ghat


Sakka, Telianala and Phuta Ghats

Sakka Ghat, Varanasi
Telianala Ghat, Varanasi

Location[edit]

-- 25º 19.233’ North and 83º 01.392’ East (Sakka Ghat, centre). -- 25º 19.271’ North and 83º 01.400’ East (Phuta Ghat, centre).

Exact location on a map[edit]

Sakka–Telianala and Phuta (Naya) Ghats

Area[edit]

0.045 ha

Historical/cultural/natural significance[edit]

Taking in view the existence of the water-front sacred spot of Pranava Tirtha as described in the puranic literature, this area was developed into a frame of ghat in late 18th century. Later on this ghat called Sukka or Sakka Ghat. The ghat was made fully pucca by the irrigation department of the government of Uttar Pradesh in 1988. Close to this ghat is a Haridas Sevashram Trust (Mukimganj, A 7/ 22), which contains the image of Balacandreshvara Shiva. Except the one there is no significant temple or shrine. Most part of the ghat is occupied by the washermen for cleaning dirty cloths. -- According to legends the predominance of an oil-pressing community (Teli) settled along the nearby ancient drain (nala) has assumed the name of a ghat, Telianala. The historicity of this ghat is obvious from one of the paintings of 17th-18th century preserved in the Savai Mansingh Museum (Jaipur, Rajasthan), where the ghat and the drain are shown. Prinsep (1822) has also shown this ghat. The old drain was closed in 1988 when the irrigation department of the government of Uttar Pradesh has built the ghat pucca. This ghat has no religious significance, except that the existence of the puranic water-front sacred spot of Hiranyagarbha Tirtha was referred here. Presently the ghat is occupied by washermen for cleaning the cloths. -- Earlier name of the Naya (“new”) ghat has been Phuta or Phuteshvara Ghat with reference to the shrine of Phuteshvara Shiva, which is still an active sacred place in the neighbourhood. It is said that during 18th century the ghat deserted (Phuta), but later on it was renovated and got a new (Naya) shape, that is how it is called Phuta, or Naya Ghat. Prinsep (1822) has also mentioned this ghat. In the early 20th century Narsingh Japal, a rich resident of Chainpur (Bhabhua, Bihar) has made it pucca, and also constructed a mansion. Greaves (1909) mentioned this ghat as Naya Ghat. The government authorities made this ghat pucca in 1988.

Present state of conservation[edit]

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]

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]

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.