Ghats in Varanasi are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the Ganges river. The city has 84 ghats. Most of the ghats are bathing and puja ceremonial ghats, while two ghats, Manikarnika and Harishchandra, are used exclusively as cremation sites.
Most of the ghats in Varanasi were rebuilt in the 18th century under the maratha patronage. The patrons of current ghats are Marathas, Shindes (Scindias), Holkars, Bhonsles, Peshwes (Peshwas), and Maharajas of Benares. Many ghats are associated with legends or mythologies while other ghats have private histories and users. A morning boat ride on the Ganges along the ghats is a popular visitor attraction.