Munshi Ghat is one of the Ghats of Varanasi, in India. It is located at 25° 18.335’ North and 83° 00.566’ East (Darbhanga Ghat, centre), and is 0.052ha (the two ghats and nearby area). The palatial building by Clarks Hotel Group; the ghat area by the Municipal Corporation.
Built in the year 1812 along with part of the palatial building, the Munshi Ghat is named after Sridhara Narayana Munshi, who was a finance minister in the estate of Nagpur. In 1915 the Brahmin king Kameshwar Singh Gautam Bahadur of Darbhanga (Bihar) purchased this ghat and extended it. The extension later became known as Darbhanga Ghat.
Darbhanga Ghat extension
The palatial building of Darbhanga Ghat is made of sandstone from Chunar, with beautiful porches and Greek pillars. The strong steps for the roof were built in 1930. This area has been importance in the Puranic context, but for its grandeur and architectural style this palace is very important.
In 1994 the Darbhanga palace was purchased by the Clarks Hotel Group, who named it as Brijrama Palace, and planned to transform it into five star hotel. They have already demolished almost half of the structure from the back; its back perimeter is being extended and its height raised in order to make suitable for the use of the planned hotel. It would be a lovely setting for the hotel with a view to attract a high class rich tourists from the west, however by the growth of essential infrastructural facilities the whole environment will face the problem of pollution, socio-psychological depression and harder common life.
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It has been alleged[by whom?] that the Clarks Hotel Group is no way interested to preserve and maintain the heritage, aesthetic sense and to support the wellbeing of the local community. Due to the acts[which?] of an activist organisation[which?] which with the support of local people and judiciary presently stopped the demolishing and conversion process into hotel.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Munshi Ghat.|
- Proposing Varanasi for the World Heritage List of UNESCO (PDF), Varanasi Development Authority
- Singh, Rana P.B., Vrinda Dar and S. Pravin, Rationales for including Varanasi as heritage city in the UNESCO World Heritage List, National Geographic Journal of India (varanasi) 2001, 47:177-200
- The Varanasi Heritage Dossier, Wikiversity