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Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
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Dating from 1735, Balaji Ghat is located on the banks of the Ganges River in Varanasi, one of the world’s oldest continuously occupied cities and an important Hindu pilgrimage destination. The term ghat refers to the steps leading down to the sacred river, providing access to boats and a place for sports, meditation, and social interaction. (...)

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Varanasi is the spiritual center for Hinduism and has immense sacred value for Hindus. The city draws not only pilgrims, but also tourists from across the world, and lack of maintenance, combined with the impact of heavy visitation and use, has led to the deterioration of Balaji Ghat. (...)

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Balaji Ghat is a sacred pilgrimage Hindu site that is culturally significant to the local and Hindu community. Balaji Ghat sponsored the study of traditional sacred music that was founded in the thirteenth century, and remains a testimony of living traditions today. (...)


World Monuments Watch Day

At Balaji Ghat, Watch Day was marked with traditional puja ceremonies, an on-site exhibition, a press conference, a heritage walk, demonstrations of traditional crafts, and a musical performance.

On Youtube: The Balaji Ghat Project – Restoration & Reuse
On Facebook: See photos
Dig Deeper: Watch Day Slideshow , Watch Day Video


Download a Poster

Download a 2012 Watch poster of this site (see download instructions).

Conservation of Balaji Ghat, Varanasi, India
February, 2013

An iconic landmark on the banks of the Ganges River in India, Balaji Ghat was built in 1735 by King Balaji Peshwa. It is located in Varanasi, one of the world’s oldest continuously occupied cities, and an important Hindu pilgrimage destination. The term ghat refers to the steps that lead down to the sacred river, as well as the buildings at the top of these steps. Following a major collapse, World Monuments Fund began restoration work in 2012 to stabilize the structure and prevent further deterioration. Future plans will focus on refurbishing the interiors and establishing reuse of the ghat as a community cultural center.

World Monuments FundThe Many Wonders of India
April, 2012

Since 1995, World Monuments Fund has worked in India on projects addressing conservation needs at diverse heritage sites, and 31 sites have been included on the World Monuments Watch. For many of these sites, WMF was able to secure funding and assist in the improved conservation and stewardship of these important cultural treasures. Amita Baig, World Monuments Fund Representative in India, discusses a selection of projects and Watch sites, including work on the Delhi Heritage Route, Balaji Ghat, and a new project focusing on documentation and conservation of the heritage of Madhya Pradesh, often called the heart of India.

Syndicate content
Restoring legacy: Funds Flow in for Balaji Ghat
The Times of India, Thursday, March 21, 2013
US to help in restoration of Balaji ghat in Varanasi
The Times of India, Sunday, July 29, 2012
Varanasi ghat in heritage watchlist
Deccan Chronicle, Thursday, October 6, 2011