According to the ancient history, it is said that the Goddess Durga (consort of the Lord Shiva) had thrown her sword in the river (called Assi River) after killing the demon Shumbha-Nishumbha. That’s why the place has been named as Assi Ghat as it is located at the union of the River Ganga and Assi River.
Assi ghat is described in the Kashi Khand as Assi “Saimbeda Tirtha” means the one who gets a dip here once in his life will get punya of all the Tirthas (religious places of the Hindu). Generally Hindu pilgrims are used to of taking the holy dip here in the Chaitya (month of March/April) and Magh (month of Jan/Feb) as well as some other significant events like solar/lunar eclipse, Probodhoni Ekadashi and Makar Shankranti.
At this ghat, a huge Shiva lingam is situated under the peepal tree where pilgrims are used of offering Jal and worship after taking holy bath in the Ganga water. One more Shiva Lingam is here named Asisangameshwar lingam in a small temple of the marble near to the Assi Ghat. Assi ghat has been also described in the ancient Hindu literatures such as in the Matsya purana, kurma purana, Padma Purana, Agni purana and Kashi khanda as well.
Significance and Rituals of Assi Ghat
Assi ghat is the everyone’s preferred ghat located in the south of the Varanasi. It is the place where one can spend hours very easily without any disturbance. It is the amazing and most natural place where students from foreign country, researchers and travelers are used to live here.
Assi ghat is place of huge crowd during any Hindu festivals where devotees come to take holy bath in the Gange water to get rid of from their all the past sin. It is also considered that before any Pooja, bathing in the Gange water prepare the one for doing Pooja. It makes the mind, soul and body clean and peaceful and fills with the spiritual thoughts. It makes the mind to concentrate very easily during Pooja without any harassment.
Assi ghat is one of the most famous and visited ghats of the Varanasi for tour and tourism. People from all the corners of the country as well as abroad must come here if they come to India for tourism. Some of the great festival such as Mahashivaratri, Ganga Dashahara, Ganga Mahotsav etc attracts a huge crowd in the Varanasi at this ghat. Most of the tourists are connected to the Jewish community at the Assi Ghat. For the security reasons of the people, additional police force is assigned to the Assi Ghat.