One of the main purpose of these boats is to take tourists around the river to get a view of the town. It also serves as transport to certain areas… like a fort or the opposite bank if anyone wants to go. There are also not-so-fun reasons for boats – in case a small child dies then its body is not burnt. Instead a heavy rock/slab may be tied to it and the body is dropped into the river. So families of the baby may take the body this way to the usual spot and drop it in…. There may be other purposes of the boats as well… in Varanasi there is just too much to find out, as there is so much going on!
I couldn’t find a presiding deity at the Manikarnika Ghat. I was very curious as to the diety in this place… From my research I believe the Kaal Bhairava main idol was at Manikarnika Ghat – the ghat where the chitta (fire to burn dead bodies) has been going on non-stop for years. Later on due to a natural calamity the Kaal Bhairava idol was moved to the current new temple….
Opposite this sunken temple, was this other section which was sunken. Quite intriguing.