One of Varanasi’s most notable and famous features are its ghats, a series of waterfront temples and steps along the Ganges River. The Assi Ghat is the 80th and southernmost ghat in Varanasi, It is a famous attraction for tourists and the location of many festivals. Tourist amenities, such as boat rides on the Ganges, restaurants and cafes, and talent shows abound on this ghat. The studio explored this Ghat and its surrounding areas as one of the three focus zones and identified a series of strengths, weaknesses, and concerns.
The Assi nala is a small river that weaves through the residential neighborhoods behind the Assi Ghat and eventually feeds into the Ganges. At certain points, it is no wider than a small creek, but it broadens at the mouth to form a sizeable intersection with the Ganges. Once revered as a holy river, it has now become known as a ‘nala’, or drain. However, with some cleanup efforts, it could easily become a beautiful green space and serve as a natural retreat in an otherwise crowded residential area.