According to the Hindu mythology, Adi Keshav Ghat is believed to be the oldest and only original site of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu has landed here in the form of a Brahmin to ensure Lord Shiva’s return to his favourite city Kashi having taken King Divodas (Raja Ripunjay) to the heavenly abode. The ghat is set on the confluence of the rivers Ganga & Varuna. The association of Adi Keshav ghat is with a lot of legends. One of the legends, popular among the folks, suggests that the five most sacred water spots or ghats represented different body parts of the Lord. Assi Ghat is considered as head, Dashashwamedh Ghat as chest, Manikarnika Ghat as naval, Panchganga Ghat as thighs, and Adi Keshav Ghat as feet. Therefore, from religious point of view, these five ghats are most significant ones. The above mentioned legend implies that Lord Vishnu first placed his holy feet on the soil of Varanasi. Also, the evidence of the same is in Adi Keshav Temple wherein the footprints of the Lord are placed. Other footprints (‘charan paduka’) of Lord Vishnu are also present at Manikarnika Ghat.
Historically, culturally & religiously, Adi Keshav Ghat is highly revered among the Hindus and they congregate here to take a dip or bath in a hope to wash away their sins. It is believed that an individual gets freedom from the cycle of birth and death after taking a dip here. In Sanskrit literature, it is called ‘mukti’ or ‘moksh’. Ten (10) Jal (Water) Teerthas are located between Prahlad Ghat in south & Adi Keshav Ghat towards north. Theses Jal Teerthas are thus: Shankha Madhava, Sasa, Laksminarsimha, Vindara Nrsimha, Gopigovinda, Yajna Varaha, Vamana, Pranava, Mara- Narayana and Dattatreyesvara. In addition to above Jal Teerthas, there are twelve more Jal (water) Teerthas amidst Adi Keshav Ghat and confluence of River Varuna. These twelve Jal Teerthas are Aditya Keshava, Narada, Ambarisha, Garuda, Padma, Mahalaksmi, Chakra, Shankha, Kshirabdhi, Gada, Shvetadvipa and Padodaka.
At the top of Adi Keshav Ghat are located Adi Keshav Temple and its huge complex. The temple is home to Sangameshwar Lingam, believed to be installed by Lord Prajapati Brahma. The devotees believe that bathing at the confluence of Varuna and Ganga holds great religious merit. After holy dip at Adi Keshav Ghat, offering prayer before Sangameshwar Lingam is considered a must. In the process of worship, devotees also visit Brahmeshwar Lingam, situated very nearby. Brahmeshwar Lingam, four-faced one, is also said to be installed by Lord Brahma. Adi Keshav Ghat is situated at a distance of about 3.5 km from Panchganga Ghat. The exact location is at Khalispur in Varanasi.