The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Tripurabhairavi Ghat
25º 18.497’ North and 83º 00.567’ East (Varahi Devi temple). 25º 18.523’ North and 83º 00.582’ East (Jarasandheshvara, in the wall).
Exact location on a map
Varahi and Tripurabhairavi Ghats.
In the neighbourhood there is an ancient shrine of (Adi) Varahi (D 16/84) by which the name of ghat called Varahi Ghat. In fact, this ghat is a southern part of Tripurabhairavi. In 1958 the government of Uttar Pradesh has made the ghat pucca and separated it, that is how sometimes this ghat is counted independently. The ghat is distinctly marked by the house of (late) Kailash Nath Chaudhuri, a Domaraja (“king of the funeral priests”), which was donated to him by one of the kings of Banaras. In the neighbourhood scheduled castes (e.g. Harijan, Dom) are more in number. The ghat is relatively more dirty, therefore pilgrims take bath at Tripurabhaitavi before paying visit to Varahai Devi. -- Nearness to the shrine of Tripurabhairavi has given the honour to name the ghat Tribhurabhairavi Ghat. Giravana-padamanjari (17th century) has mentioned it as Vriddhaditya Ghat, after an old disc of Sun god. Later in late 18th century the temple of Tripurabhairavi was built and that replaced the old name. Till 1931 the ghat was only partly built with stone slabs as mentioned by Motichand (1962). Mahananda Giri made the ghat fully pucca in the early 20th century, and also built a monastery (no. D 5/ 100). The repairing and restructuring were done by the government of Uttar Pradesh in 1958. In the upper part under a huge holy fig (pipal) there are many fragments of old images belonging to 12th-13th centuries, e.g. Surya, Ganesha, Vishnu and Shiva lingas. Close to it is a shrine containing images of Hanuman and goddess. The ghat is preferred by the Tamil pilgrims; there is rest house for pilgrims, mostly used by Tamil and Telgu visitors.
Present state of conservation
Except by the temple trusts directly taking care of its properties, 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 temple related properties along the ghat are owned by the temple trusts and monasteries; the houses and other properties by the inhabitants; and the ghat area is owned by the Municipal Corporation.