Scindia Ghat is distinguished from the other famous ghats in Varanasi with its partially submerged Lord Shiva temple. The story behind its submersion is an extremely fascinating one. To its north side lies the Manikarnika Ghat while the other popular ghat in Varanasi, Dashashwamedh Ghat lies at a distance of 1.2 km approx. from it. The temple which remains partially submerged in the River Ganga is known as the Ratneshwar Shiva Temple, or simply, leaning Shiva Temple. It is believed that the temple was submerged almost 150 years because it was unable to bear the weight of the ghat. People believe that it has been drowning ever since and there will come a time when it will be completely submerged. There is also a mythological tale behind the temple’s submergence.
According to the tale, a boy by the name of Man Singh had a mother who was in love with a man, and wanted to marry him. The boy disapproved of this relationship and wanted to clear whatever debt he felt he owed his mother. Once he had done this, he thought, he would cut all ties with her. The mother was unwilling to bring the relationship to an end from her side and asked him to do that instead. With that objective in mind, he arrived at Kashi and built a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. By doing so, he felt he had paid off any debt he owed his mother. Upon visiting the temple, however, his mother was enraged and said that nothing could pay off a mother’s love towards her child. Since then, the temple was cursed and remained submerged under water. During summers though, when the waters of River Ganga subside a little, the garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple is visible, thus becoming a special attraction for devotees.
The ghat is visited by tourists looking for some moments of peace and calm. Come here in the morning, and you will spot people, both young and elderly, practicing meditation and taking in the beauty of the surroundings.