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Assi Ghat is a sacred and highly revered riverfront in varanais, a dip in which is mandatory prior to worshipping a huge lingam placed under a Peepal tree just opposite to it. Situated at the confluence of Ganga and Asi rivers, it is the southernmost ghat in Varanasi or constitutes the southern end of conventional city. Another lingam- Asisangameshwar representing the lord of confluence of the Asi and ganges is enshrined in a small marble temple near the Assi Ghat.
Like most famous places in the heritage city of Varanasi, Assi ghat too possesses mythological incidences relating to its birth. According to legends, when Goddess Durga threw her sword after slaying the demon Shumbha- Nishumbha, it fell at a place which saw a big stream breaking out from the earth and which today is known as Assi River. Numerous literatures also mentions Assi as the place where taking a holy dip is equivalent to the pilgrimage to all major ‘Tirthas (religious places)’ put together. Agni purana, matsya purana, padma purana, kurma purana and kashi khanda are few of such literatures and texts.
During the months of Chaitya (March/ April) and Magh (Jan/Feb) as well as during important occasions like Ganga Dussehra, solar/ lunar eclipse and Makar Shankranti etc. witnesses thousands of Hindu pilgrims taking a holy dip in its sacred waters. It is said that in order to complete the entire circle of pilgrimage, a devotee is required to dip once into the sacred Assi River.
Situated nearby is the Lolarka Kund also known as the Tank of the Trembling Sun. At a depth of 15 meters, it is approachable only by a flight of staircases. During the annual Lolarka fair, the shrine comes alive with hundreds of devotees as well as childless couples as the occasion is considered to be auspicious.