Legend of Manikarnika Ghat
According to the legend once Lord Vishnu tried to appease Lord Shiva by meditating for several thousand years. He wanted to prevent him from destroying the holy city of Kashi. Pleased with his devotion Lord Shiva along with his wife Parvati appeared before Lord Vishnu and granted him his wish. Vishnu then dug a kund or well on the bank of Ganaga River for the couple to bathe there. However, while Shiva was bathing a Mani or Jewel from his earring fell into the kund. Thus it was named as Manikarnika.
Temples in Manikarnika Ghat
Upon the Manikarnika Ghat is a large round slab called Charana paduka placed on a high ground. It projects itself faintly from the pavement. In the middle of it stands a stone pedestal, the top of which is inlaid with marble. The two feet of Lord Vishnu has been installed in the centre of the marble. According to legend it is believed that Lord Vishnu had chosen this sacred spot for performing of ascetic rites and the worshipping of Lord Shiva.
Upon ascending the second flight of stairs another temple can be been here. This temple dates back to the ancient times. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The image of the lord is painted with red colour and has three eyes. It has a silver-plated scalp and is adorned with a garland of flowers. The idol is hidden behind a cloth which covers a large portion of the idol. A figure of a rat can also be seen carved at the feet of the lord. A miniature fountain has also been made here. Os either side of the inner shrine is a statue of a woman, one being called Siddhi, and the other, Buddhi. Another temple has been erected in the vicinity of this temple. It has been built by the Raja of Ahmety.
The Manikarnika Ghat regarded as the most sacred of all the ghats in Varanasi, is also the intermediate point of them all. The ghta is deeply venerated by devotees who come here from various places in bath in the holy waters. In the month of Kartik, many people flock here to offer worship at the feet of the Lord.