Kashi Vishwanath Temple - One of the 12 Jyotirlings

   It is not only the most important temple of Varanasi but is also one of the main temples for the Hindus in all of India. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (self-manifested lingams) situated in India. Also famous by the name of Shri Vishweshwar, the Temple is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva. It is believed that the Lord resides here and is the giver of liberation and happiness. A single visit to the Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirling is said to worth more than the visits of other Jyotirlings, strewn across India.

The legendary Vishwanath Temple has been rebuilt several times. Like most other temples in and around Varanasi, this one too could not escape the evil hands of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb, who built a mosque on the ruins. The brave Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore built the present temple in the 18th century and stands next to the mosque that Aurangzeb built. Next to the temple is the Gyan Vapi (Well of Knowledge) where, as one of the pandas (priests) told us, the original ShivaLing lies hidden. The gold used in the plating of the Temple dome was donated by Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, the ruler of Punjab in the 19th century, hence it is also known as the ‘Golden Temple’.

 There are several entrances to the temple, all of them heavily guarded by gun-totting commandos and policemen, turning the whole area into a fortress. Camera and mobile phones are not allowed in the temple premises. There are innumerable shops selling various items for offering to Lord Shiva like flowers, Bilva leaves, milk, Ganga Jal, etc. which you can buy and then deposit your mobiles/cams in the small lockers built in their shops. We kept ours in one of these lockers and proceeded further. After going through multiple checkpoints, we reached the main temple area.

[ One of the entrances to 
the Kashi Vishwanath Temple ]
There was a small queue for the darshan. The main ShivLing is present in a small rectangular space. Amidst chants of ‘Har Har Mahadev’, ‘Bum Bum Bhole’ and ringing of the Temple bells, we offered milk, bilva leaves, flowers and the sacred waters of the Ganga to the ShivLing and took the blessings of Lord Shiva. The atmosphere was truly divine and spiritual. The main temple room is small but the charged up atmosphere more than makes up for it.

It was really one of a kind as there are innumerable other small lingams inside the temple premises and I admired the beauty of the temple. Though, at the same time, I wondered what the original temple would have looked like. There was also an army of monkeys, some snatching sweets from the devotees, some just curiously observing the pilgrims.

The visit to most revered temple of India was certainly worth a visit. Truly the temple area is the focal point of the people visiting Varanasi and this makes the whole atmosphere of the place so divine.

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  1. I love visiting the temples... A lovely post!

  2. That's a beautiful entrance to the temple. Interesting information.

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment.
    I appreciate for your wonderful post. You have described very nicely with lovely picture.

  4. As for Poison Oak in India--your guess is as good as mine. Have a great weekend.

  5. Thank you for giving me this adventure away from home.

  6. i have never been to varanasi,but seems really beautiful and very peaceful place to be...came to know a lot through your post...thanks for sharing it arti....and thanks a lot for dropping by & leaving a lovely comment...u got a lovely space,will visit often...do keep in touch and have a great day

  7. Very beautiful image of the entrance to
    the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I have lot heard about this temple.
    Once Mahatma Gandhi visited it , but he didn't liked the Bhagwan being kept in such a condition and people being looted by Pandas.
    But Kashi Viswanath Temple is sacred for we Hindus.
    Pity we couldn't see the Temple in Pictures.

  9. Hey! I'm from Varanasi....saw this post on IndiBlogger and couldn't resist to read...Very good narration...thanks for refreshing my memories! :)

  10. rally usefull information for the visitors of varanasi like me
    and ur naration also beautiful (i dont know better word than this, otherwise i would have used that one only)

  11. which is the nice ghat in varanasi to take bath in ganga with two small children and two elder persons

  12. @Anonymous

    which is the nice ghat in varanasi to take bath in ganga with two small children and two elder persons

    The Dashashwamedh ghat is the most famous ghat for bathing in Varanasi... But if you find it too crowded with pilgrims, then you can also consider taking the holy bath at the other Ghats of Varanasi like Asi or Tulsi ghats which are also important and revered in the city.

    Wish you a pleasant journey..


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