Manikarnika Ghats one of the holiest among the sacred riverfronts (ghats), alongside the river Ganga. It is believed that a dead human's soul finds salvation (moksha), when cremated here. Thus, scores of the elderly across the whole country seek to walk upto its edges, and spend their last days absorbing the charisma of the ghat - which makes even death painless and insignificant to be pondered upon.It is one of the oldest ghats in Varanasi. The Manikarnika Ghat is mentioned in a Gupta inscription of 5th century.
It is revered in Hindu religion. When Mata Sati (Aadi shakti mata) sacrificed her life & set her body ablaze after Raja Daksh Prajapati (one of the sons of Lord Brahma) tried to humiliate Lord shiva in a Yagya practiced by Daksh. Lord Shiva took her burning body to the Himalaya. On seeing the unending sorrow of Lord shiva, Vishnu sends the Divine chakra to cut the body into 51 parts which fall on earth. They are called "Ekannya Shaktipeeth". Lord Shiva established Shakti Peeth wherever Sati's body had fallen. At Manikarnika ghat, Mata Sati's Ear's ornament had fallen.