A ghat is a set of bathing steps that Hindus use to enter the Ganges or other holy Hindu rivers.
A pandit is a religious teacher and a sadhu is a holy man.
Ashrams are lodging houses for pilgrims who come to study yoga and other disciplines.
The Ganges has 108 sacred descriptions which can all be found in a little book. Number 102 is the "Roaming About Rose-apple-tree Island."
Every Hindi hopes to make a pilgrimage to Varanasi in their lifetime. According to one old scripture, "when sinful people set out for [Varanasi] all their sins, even those that have affected the very elements of their bodies, stagger and fall off.”
Pilgrims ideally bathe or swim in the river to wash away their sin, make offerings at shrines and at dawn offer water from the river as a salutation to the rising son. (Facts and Details)
Because of the extensive flooding the ghats were covered and the nighttime ceremony had to be conducted in a building instead of at the waters edge.