One of the oldest ghats in Varanasi, Manikarnika ghat has several mythological legends associated with it. According to one legend, Lord Shiva spent a great amount of his time visiting his devotees leaving his consort Parvati alone. The goddess pretended to have lost her earring on the bank of river Ganga and requested Shiva to find it. The idea was to keep him home locating the ornament for ever. Whenever a person from the mortal dies and is cremated here, it is said that Lord Shiva asks him if he has seen the said manikarnika.
There is also a tank known as Manikarnika which is believed to have been dug by Lord Shiva while he was searching for the lost earring.
Manikarnika ghat is the scene of what can be termed as 'death tourism' in Varanasi. Several visitors come here to see the funeral pyres being lit in the open.
Close to it is the temple of Lord Ganesh and a stone slab called Charnpaduka bearing the foot prints of Lord Vishnu. The wealthy and the VIPs are cremated on this slab.