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As used in many parts of South Asia, the term ghat refers to a series of steps leading down to a body of water, particularly a holy river. The set of stairs can lead down to something as small as a pond or as large as a major river.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Along the rivers Ganges
Ganges
and Narmada 3 Shmashana
Shmashana
ghats 4 Other uses 5 Gallery 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Etymology[edit] The word ghat is explained by numerous Dravidian etymons such as Kannada
Kannada
gatta (mountain range) Tamil kattu (side of a mountain, dam, ridge, causeway) and Telugu katta and gattu (dam, embankment).[1] The word ghat has furthermore the implicit meaning of pass or crossing. Along the rivers Ganges
Ganges
and Narmada[edit] The numerous significant ghats along the Ganges
Ganges
are known generally as the Varanasi
Varanasi
ghats and the 'ghats of the Ganges'.Most of these were constructed under the patronage of various Maratha rulers such as Ahilyabai Holkar in the 18th century[2]. In Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
in central India
India
there are further significant ghats along the Narmada River. People who live on the steps are also called ghats. The word is also used in some places outside the Indian subcontinent where there are Indian communities. For example, in George Town, Penang
Penang
in Malaysia, the label "Ghaut" is used to identify the extensions of those streets which formerly ended in ghats before reclamation of the quayside (e.g., Church St Ghaut - in Malay Gat Lebuh Gereja - is the name of the extension of Church St beyond where the street used to descend to the water via a ghat). In both Penang and Singapore, there are areas named Dhoby Ghaut
Dhoby Ghaut
(dhobi meaning "launderer" or "laundry", depending on whether it refers to a person or a business). Shmashana
Shmashana
ghats[edit] Ghats such as these are useful for both mundane purposes (such as cleaning) and religious rites (i.e. ritual bathing or ablutions); there are also specific "shmashana" or "cremation" ghats where bodies are cremated waterside, allowing ashes to be washed away by rivers; notable ones are Nigambodh Ghat and Raj Ghat
Raj Ghat
in Delhi
Delhi
on the Yamuna, that latter of which was the cremation area for Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and numerous political leaders after him, and the Manikarnika Ghat
Ghat
at Varanasi
Varanasi
on the Ganges.[3] Other uses[edit] In Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and Kannada, ghat is a term used to identify a difficult passage over a mountain.[4] One such passage is the Bhor Ghat
Bhor Ghat
that connects the towns Khopoli
Khopoli
and Khandala, on NH 4 about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Mumbai. Charmadi
Charmadi
Ghat
Ghat
of Karnataka is also notable. In many cases, the term is used to refer to a mountain range itself, as in the Western Ghats
Western Ghats
and Eastern Ghats. 'Ghattam' in Malayalam also refers to mountain ranges when used with the name of the ranges being addressed (e.g., paschima ghattam for Western Ghats), while the passage road would be called a 'churam'. Gallery[edit]

Washerwoman at Varanasi
Varanasi
along the Ganges

Lighting on dev diwali at Saraswati Ghat, Allahabad

Burning ghats in Kathmandu, Nepal

At Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Ganga Dashahara in 2005 bathers to the riverfront in Haridwar.

Women and children at a bathing ghat on the Ganges
Ganges
in Banares (Varanasi), 1885.

At Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Dakshineswar, West Bengal.

A view of the Ghat
Ghat
of Varanasi
Varanasi
from the River Ganges.

See also[edit]

Ghats in Varanasi Temple tank

References[edit]

^ Jaini, Padmanabh S. (2003). Jainism and Early Buddhism. Jain Publishing Company. pp. 523–538.  ^ Eck, Diana L. (1999). Banaras : city of light (repr. ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 90,222. ISBN 9780231114479. Retrieved 5 September 2017.  ^ "Funeral pyre to be set up in Lahore". Daily Times Pakistan. Archived from the original on 2007-02-13.  ^ Navneet Marathi English Dictionary. Mumbai
Mumbai
400028: Navneet Publications (India) Limited. Archived from the original on 2009-01-24. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ghats.

Ghats of Varanasi, webpage at Varanasi
Varanasi
official website.

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Yajna Agnicayana Agnihotra Agnikaryam Aupasana Dhuni Kaamya karma Pravargya Purushamedha Putrakameshti Viraja Homa

Other

Achamana Archana Ashirvad Ashvamedha Darśana Karmkand Kumbhabhishekham Nitya karma Ngejot Panchayatana puja Prana pratishta Sandhyavandanam Shuddhi Shrauta Upakarma

Prayer Meditation

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Objects

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Iconography

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Places

Ashram Dwajasthambam Ghat Kalyani Matha Temple Pilgrimage sites

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Guru Pandit Pujari Rishi Sadhu Sannyasa Swami Yogi more...

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Sacred plants

Trees

Akshayavat Ashoka Banyan Kadamba Kalpavriksha Parijaat Peepal Sacred groves

Fruits and other plants

Bael Kusha grass Lotus Tulsi (Tulasi chaura Tulsi
Tulsi
Vivah)

See also

Firewalking Sanskara Temple d

.