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Dashashwamedh Ghat is one of the famous Ghats of of river Ganga in Varanasi (Kashi). It is mentioned on the official site of Varanasi that Lord Brahma has performed ten horse sacrifices their.

This is the most busiest and the ancient most referred ghat. According to the myth related to Divodasa, Lord Brahma (" the creator" in the Hind trinity gods) performed the ten-horses sacrifice (dasa-asvamedha) at this site. The historical sources infer that at this site the revivalist Hindu dynasty of the second century, the Bhara Siva Nagas had performed ten-horses sacrifice. The KKh (52.1-10:61.38) records many verses describing glory of this ghat. The temple of Sulatankesvara, Brahmesvara, Varahesvara, Abhaya Vinayaka, the Ganga ("goddess"), and Bandi Devi are closeby at the top of the ghat. These shrines are linked to several important pilgrimage journeys. The southern part of the ghat was made pucca in 1740 by Bajirao Pesava-1, and late in c.1774 by Ahilyabai Holkar of lndore.

I want to know in which scripture, the story of Lord Brahma performing ten horse sacrifices on this Ghat is mentioned and what is the significance of this Ghat?

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To know news of Kashi, Lord Shiva sent Yoginis, Surya Deva (Sun God) to Kashi. But they didn't return to Kailasha to deliver news. (It doesn't mean Lord Shiva didn't know news of Kashi, it is just his play. He always stays at Kashi as Vishwesa). Lord Shiva sent Brahma this time to know news of Kashi.

Lord Brahma went to Kashi on Swan and disguised as Brahmana went to King "Divodasa" of Kashi.

Chapter 52, Uttaraardha, Kashi Khanda of Skanda Purana mentions it in detail.

  1. The Self-born Lord with white Swan as his vehicle reached the city of Väränasi quickly and considered blessed, as one who has done his duty.
  2. 'In this contact with Käsi, I have gained the benefit of having the Swan as a vehicle, since they say that there are obstacles in regard to the attainment of Käsi at every step.
  3. The root drs' (to see) has become meaningful in regard to my Drsau (eyes) since this Ånandavätikä has come clearly within the range of my vision.

Lord Brahma disguised Himself as Brahmana and told the king His desire to perform ten Ashwamedha Yajanas.

  1. Brahma, who was delighted in his mind after viewing the city of Väränasi, assumed the form of an aged Brähmana and visited the king.
  2. With raw rice-grains wet with water in his hand, he proclaimed Svasti unto the king. He was saluted by the king and offered a seat which he occupied.
  3. The king duly honoured him by standing up and offering the seat and the like. On being asked the purpose of his visit, the Brähmana said to the king:

He asked his desire to perform Yajna.

  1. May this chitchat be set apart. I shall state the thing relevant at present. O king, I am desirous of performing a sacrifice. Hence I seek your help.
  2. O king, this kingdom has a benign king in you. It is the receptacle of all prosperities. I have some assets in the form of great wealth accumulated by legitimate means.
  3. In this land of Karmas, the capital city is the most excellent one. Even on the day of annihilation, there is not reduction in the power to yield benefits in the case of the holy rites.
  4. The wealth amassed by persons abiding by the righteous path, should be utilized in Käsi. Otherwise it will be conducive to pain and distress.

King agreed to perform Yajnas and said he would provide all required materials.

54-57. The king said: O excellent Brähmana, whatever has been spoken by you has been grasped by me in the heart. I am at your service in the matter of helping you who are desirous of performing sacrifice. Take away all the requisites for the sacrifice from my treasury. Whatever I have in the kingdom consisting of seven constituent elements, you are the lord unto that entirely. With singleinded attention go ahead with the sacrifice. Consider that everything you desire has already been accomplished. In my rule over the kingdom, O Brähmapa, I have no selfish interest.

Brahma performed Yajnas there with king Divodasa and installed Brahmeswara Linga.

  1. Getting the help of the saintly King Divodäsa, the Lotus-born One performed in Käsi ten great horse-sacrifices.
  2. As the interspaces of the firmament were pervaded by the columns of smoke from the Homas, the firmament has not given up the bluish colour ever since.
  3. Since that time onwards, that Tirtha has become wellknown all over the world. The Tirtha named Daéäévamedha in Väränasi is the bestower of auspiciousness.
  4. Formerly that Tirtha was known by the name Rudrasaras. It later became 'Dasasvamedhika' due to its taking over by Brahmä.
  5. Thereafter, the heavenly river came into contact with it in association with Bhagiratha. Hence that excellent Tirtha became extremely meritorious and sacred.
  6. After installing the Linga Dasäsvamedhesa there, Brahma stayed there itself. Even till today he has not left Käsi.
  7. He did not find any vulnerable point in that king who was extremely interested in pious acts. Hence what could Brahmä have said after going to Lord Siva.
  8. He realized the power of the holy place. Meditating on Siva, the Lord of the universe, Brahmä installed Brahmesvara and remained there itself.

Significance of Dashashwamedha Ghata:

Skanda said:

  1. O son of Mitra and Varuna, I shall narrate the greatness of Dasäsvamedha in Käsi, the crest-jewel of all holy spots.
  2. Whatever sacred rite, even if it is very small, is performed after reaching Dasäsvamedhika, the most excellent of all excellent Tirthas, it is said to be everlasting.

85-86. Holy bath, liberal gifts, Japa, Homa, Svädhyäya, worship of a deity, offer of twilight prayers, libation and Sräddha in veneration of the ancestors, everything in Dasasvamedha is holy. By taking a single bath in Dasäsvamedha Tirtha and by visiting the Lord of Dasäsvamedha, an excellent man is rid of all sins.

  1. On the first day of the bright half of the month of Jyestha, the devotee should take the holy dip in the Dasäsvamedha Tirtha. He is rid of congenital sins.
  2. By taking a holy dip in the Rudra Sarovara on the second day of the bright half of Juestha, the sins committed in two births perish instantaneously.
  3. An excellent man, taking bath on the days in the following order (i.e. third day, fourth day etc.) till the tenth day m the bright half of the month shall get rid of the sins of as many births (e.g. second day—two births, third day— three births, fourth day—four births etc.).
  4. On the Dasaharä day that removes the sins of ten births, the devotee should take his holy dip in the Dasäsvamedhika Tirtha. He shall never experience the torture of Yama.
  5. By visiting Dasasvamedhesa Linga on the Dasaharä Tithi, one is undoubtedly absolved of sins acquired in the course of ten births.

You can read complete chapter to know significance in great detail.

  • So it looks like it's mentioned in multiple Kandas of the Skanda Purana. – Keshav Srinivasan Feb 6 '18 at 7:35
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Yes. But it is kinda strange to know Prabhasa Khanda describing places of Kashi. – The Destroyer Feb 6 '18 at 8:13
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Dashashvamedha Tirtha is named after the ten Yagnas of the king Bhagavatam, although Brahma also performed Yagnas there, as described in this chapter of the Prabhasa Kanda of the Skanda Purana:

Thereafter, O great goddess, a pilgrim should go to the Tlrtha named Dasasvamedhika. It is destructive of major sins and is well-known all over the three worlds. Considering this Ksetra as very excellent, Bharata came here formerly and performed ten horse-sacrifices, O fair lady. O fair lady, the Thousand -eyed Lord was pleased by imbibing Soma there. Wretched ones were pleased due to the foodstuffs and beverages and the twice-born ones were pleased with the monetary gifts. All the Devas who were delighted spoke to king Bharata: "O mighty one, we have been gratified by means of your Yajnas. O great king, choose your boon whatever have in your mind." The king said: "Let a man who comes here and devoutly takes his holy bath obtain the splendid benefit of ten horse-sacrifices." The Devas said: "Due to one's faith one will attain the benefit of ten horse-sacrifices. This Tlrtha will become famous after the name Dasasvamedhika all over the earth. O great king, no doubt need be entertained in this respect. " ... Ever since then that Tirtha, the destroyer of all sins, came to be well-known as Dasasvamedhika. The Asvamedhika Ksetra extends east to west from Gomukha. Learned men know that the holy spot of Siva is in between. It is divine and destructive of all sins. It is like a flight of stairs unto heaven. It is glorified as the abode of one and a quarter crores of Tirthas. If life is given up there, one rejoices in the world of Siva. Sinful ones, worms, birds and animals and all brutish beings too go to the greatest abode where Lord Mahesvara dwells. By offering libation of gingelly seeds mixed with water, all the Pitrs on mother's side and father's side become pleased till all living beings get annihilated. There, innumerable excellent Yajnas were performed earlier by Brahma. By performing a Yajna there, Sakra obtained the kingship of Devas. One hundred Yajnas were formerly performed by Kartavlrya there. Thus, O my beloved, that excellent spot within the Ksetra is very excellent. It accords freedom from rebirth unto all creatures that die there. He who has purified his soul and performs the rite of Vrsotsarga (setting a bull free) is honoured in heaven for as many years as there are hairs on the body of the bull.

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