The Manikarnika Ghat, which is on the bank of the river Ganga, close to the Kashi Vishwanath temple is considered to be a Shakti Peetha. It is believed that after the death of Sati Devi, Lord Shiva arrived at Kashi through Manikarnika.
According to the legend Nirvikar Chaitanya and Sanathan Brahma assumed the form of Saguna Vishwarupam from the initial Nirguna Roopam. The Shiva Shakti Roopam separated to become the Purusha and the Prakriti (man and nature respectively). They were both ordered by Lord Shiva to meditate, so that they may both get the highest order.
To help them to achieve this goal and that they should not disturbed, Lord Shiva created a beautiful city of Panchakoshi. Lord Vishnu visited this place many times to mediate. Amazed at this beautiful city full of springs and waterfalls. Lord Vishnu tilted his head, one gemstone was believed to have fallen from his ear, for this reason the place is also known as Manikarnika.
From the navel of Lord Vishnu emerged a lotus with Lord Brahma on it. Lord Brahma was ordained by Lord Shiva to create the world. A beautiful world was created, but Lord Shiva decided to keep Panchakoshi city away from this world. The reason is this city should not be destroyed when Brahma’s day ends but only during the final destruction of the world.
Lord Shiva, the saviour, protected the city by keeping it in his trident. Thus Kashi is known as Avimukta kshetra, that even bad souls get moksha at this place. Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvati is said to have made this place their permanent abode.