The ancient name of the Bhonshle ghat was Nageshvara, which was referred into the Girvanana-padamanjari, a 17th century text. The temple of Nageshvara is in the closed vicinity (house No. CK 1/ 21); Nageshvara is one among the twelve Jyotira lingas distributed all over India. In ca 1780 Maratha king ‘Bhonshala’ of Nagpur made this ghat, and later in 1795 he made the steps of stone slabs. After his name the ghat is named as Bhonsle Ghat. The ghat is mapped on the Prinsep’s map of Banaras. In 1965 the government of Uttar Pradesh has repaired and re-built the ghat area. In the late 18th century, a temple was built inside the compound of the Bhonsale palace (CK 1/ 13), called Lakshminarayana. Later in early 19th century a temple called Raghurajeshvara (Shiva), was added in the compound. These were built by Indirabai and Gangadhar Rao of Pune. Both of these temples contain predominantly images Lakshmi and Narayana, followed by images of Shiva. The architectural style of both the temples is the very similar. On the upper part of the spire on both the temples are miniatures of ascetics and mendicants. The Uma-Maheshvara and Shiva with his drum and snake are among the pertinent images on the wall of Lakshmonarayana temple. At many places the image of snake has been engraved in a distinct way. This reflect to the tradition of snake worshipping in Varanasi in the past and also the existence of Nageshvara, one of the forms of Shiva as the lord of the snakes. While on the wall of Raghurajeshvara different forms of Vishnu are notable.
All the pilgrimage routes pass through the south certainly touch this site. Even in the ancient mythologies (e.g. Matya Purana as in TS 101; VM 177; KKh 97.253), the Assi drain was mentioned as seasonal stream and a dried bed. The temple of Asi Sangameshvara (“Lord of the Confluence of Assi”) marked with a marble plaque establishes the puranic heritage of the site. The plaque reads that “in the Pancakroshi pilgrimage, this site is one of the Pancatirthis”. This ghat was mentioned in the inscriptions of the Gahadavalas (11th-12th century). In Varadaraja’s Giravana-padamanjari (1600-60) this ghat is also described with glory. By the turn of 19th century the long strip of the Ghat got divided into separate ghats. In 1902 the Queen Dulhin Radha Dulari Kunwar of the Sursand Estate (Bihar) had purchased the southern part of ghat and built her small palace (presently Hotel Ganga View) and also the Lakshminarayana Temple. Till 19th century the Assi Ghat was in a natural shape, an open land with green lush of trees. However, its glory was already described in the ancient texts under the name of “Assi Sangmeh Tirtha”. In 1988 the Ghat was made pucca (stone-staired) by the Irrigation Department with the support of the Ganga Directorate project. There is no plan for conservation. In fact, in the name of beautification and change the development and transformation of the ghat area turned to be a big problem. The closing down of Assi confluence (in fact shifted ½ km in the south in 1981-82) and the pucca construction of Assi and nearby ghats resulted to create a crucial problem of silt deposition. According to an estimate about 8200m of silt in a length of 60m get deposited every year along the Assi and Rivan ghats, and to get it cleaned a good sum of money is spent every year. Moreover, the course and the flow are changing which cause loss of the aesthetic sense and sacramental values of the ghat. The consequences of modern approach of short-term planning are clearly visible here.