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Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi: Overall view of the ghat and various palaces and shrines, looking down the Ganges
Royal families from all over India built palaces on above the ghats, the Marathas in particular being responsible for much building after the decline of Muslim rule. Manikarnika Ghat is regarded as the oldest and most sacred, because of its relationship with the Manikarnika Well (mentioned in the Kasikhanda puraṇa), water from which is said to wash away all sins of the soul. Also known as the Cremation Ghat, it is slowly subsiding into the water, and one of its three temples has been completely claimed by the River Ganga.