Kashi Vishwanath Temple: Kashi Vishwanath temple is a very pious and ancient shrine of India situated in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. Lord Shiva (Kashi Vishwanath temple) is receiving prayers and is being worshipped, as one of the Dwadasa Jyotirlingas. Two rivers named Varuna and Asi merge in the river Ganga at this town. Hence this place is being called Varanasi. Puranas say that there is no hymn or mantra equal to Gayatri mantra, there is no town equal to Kashi and there is no god equal to Kashi Vishwanath Linga. The temple is known as Kashi Vishwanath Mandir also.
Shrines of Kashi Vishwanath and Annapurneswari
There are very big temples in Varanasi near Kashi Vishwanath temple built in different times of history. The Puranas emphatically say that Lord Siva (Kashi Vishwanath temple) and Parvathi had actually lived at this place and the town of Kashi is situated on the Trisula of Lord Siva (Kashi Vishwanath temple). This place is very much liked by Lord Siva and is also called “Anandakanam”.
Every street in Kashi has a small Kashi Vishwanath temple receiving prayers. Hindus strongly believe that the devotees who have a pious bath in the river Ganga, Get relieved of all sins, and get liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. During British rule, Varanasi was called Kashi. Further, it is also stated that 3000 years ago, the tribes called Kashi lived here and hence it was called Kashi mandir.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple History
Presently, the shrine of “Kashi Vishwanath temple” is constructed not at the site stated in the Vedas, but a few Yards away from the site. At present, there is “Masid” with red color, at the place where previously was the shrine of Lord ‘Kashi Viswanath temple’. The shrine Lord Kashi Vishwanath temple was subjected to some damage or other during the foreign invasions for four or five centuries and at the time of the invasion of Secunder Lodi in 1494 AD, the ‘Kashi Vishwanath temple’ was completely damaged. Further, he had ordered that it should not be reconstructed and there was no temple of lord Kashi Vishwanath for 70 years. During these 70 years, people suffered a lot due to famine and several people died and others migrated to other places.
At that time, a pious person called Narayana Bhatt lived at this place. Not only Hindus but also Muslims approach and asked him for a solution to the famine faced by the people. He told them that all this happened due to lack of temple of Lord Kashi Vishwanath. Some Mohammedan chiefs approached the Navab and apprised of the necessity of construction of the temple of Lord Kashi Vishwanath temple. The Navab while granting permission, put the condition that immediately after the construction of the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Rains should fall and the famine conditions should disappear. Immediately, the Kashi Vishwanath temple was constructed. There was rain-pour and a good harvest and people very happy. This happened during 1569 AD.
During the invasion of Aurangzeb in 1669 AD, the Kashi Vishwanath temple was completely destroyed and in its placed, a Masid called Jnana Vapi was constructed. After the death of Aurangzeb, the power, and grandeur of Mughal emperors declined. In 1783 Queen Ahalya Bai constructed the temple beside the Masid. The king of Punjab, Ranjit Sing gave a tonne of gold per construction of the dome. This Shrine is kept open from 4.00 A.M. to 11.00 P.M. and is full of devotees in ‘Kashi Vishwanath temple’.
In the Kashi Vishwanath temple sanctum sanatorium, Lord ‘Kashi Vishwanath’ appears in Linga form in a corner. This Siva Linga is very small. This “Kashi Vishwanath temple” was constructed as per northern tradition, the outside walls of the temple were painted red and inside, the Kashi Vishwanath temple is painted white. Around the Kashi Vishwanath temple resembling the Linga in the ‘Kashi Vishwanath temple’ are more than 100 Lingas. There are several sub temples outside. There is a lot of security in and around the Kashi Vishwanath temple. There is the temple of Annapurna Devi on the western side of the shrine of Lord Visweswara in Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Temple of Annapurna Devi in Kashi Vishwanath temple
The shrine of Annapurna Devi is in front of the temple of Lord Kashi Vishwanath temple. Devotees should have the darshan of the deity by standing in the Mandapam. As there is no facility to enter sanctum sanatorium. There is a small temple having the statue of Dunty Vinayaka, nearby and opposite the pavilion of Lord ‘Kashi Vishwanath’. As per Puranas, this Vinayaka is the Chief Executive of the town and Kalabhairava is the Chief Justice. Hence the devotees who come for darshan of the Lord should first have the darshan of Vinayaka and only after that, they may have the darshan of Lord Kashi Vishwanath and Annapurna Devi.
There are two streets for the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir of Lord Kashi Vishwanath and Annapurna Devi. On the Sadaran side, there is a small temple of Visalakshi. The deity has full gold coverage and is about 2.1/2 hight which is very beautiful and attractive. The devotees who desire liberation from the cycle of births and deaths, wish to die in Varanasi and get Mukthi. There is a strong belief that those who die in Kasi will directly reach the Lord.
At this town there is ever-burning of dead bodies and this place is called big cremation ground. There are several temples in Kasi like that of Kashi Vishwanath, Annapurna, Visalakshi, Vahahimata, Tulasi Manasa, Sankata Vimochana, Kalabhairava, Durga Mata, and Bharata Mata near Kashi Vishwanath temple.
There are several bathing ghats like Dasaswa Meda Ghat, Harichandra Ghat etc., near Kashi Vishwanath temple. There is Banaras Hindu University here. According to a legend, Lord Siva (Kashi Vishwanath temple) established the town of Kasi 5000 years ago. Varanasi is one of the 7 pious towns of Hindus and is famous as the cultural capital of India. There is much importance to Varanasi as well as river Ganga. One of the important features of visiting Kashi is a bath in river Ganga. There are nearly 100 bathing ghats in Varanasi. Many of them were developed during the reign of Maratha rulers. Kasi is one of the Astadasa Peetas. The ear-ring of Sathi Devi Who Sacrificed her self Daksha Yagna fell at the place where Visalakshi mandir was built near Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Mother Ganga here is the incarnation of Sakthi. Adishankara wrote here a commentary on Bhrama Sutras and also Bhajagovinda Strotram. Two Buddhist also Varanasi is a Pious place. Near to Varanasi, there is the shrine of Saranath Buddhist’s where Buddha gave his first lesson. The dome of Kashi Vishwanath temple has a gold covering and is also called golden mandir. It is also stated that the Kashi Vishwanath Linga of Dwadasa Lingas is very pious and its darshan will yield very fruitful results. On 28 January 1983, Government of Uttar Pradesh took control of the Kashi Vishwanath temple and entrusted it to a Trust headed by Dr. Vibhuti Narayana Sing, the then king of Kashi.
Durga Mandir near Kashi Vishwanath temple
This temple was constructed by the Queen of Bengal during the 18th century near to Kashi Vishwanath temple. Since several monkeys are here, this is also called temple of monkeys. Here the deity is believed to be Swayambhu (self-incarnated) statue. Here the festival of 9 nights is performed with much pomp. Near the temple, there is a pond called Durga Kundi. Previously, the pond is connected with the pond is river Ganga through underground route which was Know closed. Here Lord Vishnu is shown as Shesha Sai.
Sankata Mochana Hanuman Mandir near Kashi Vishwanath temple. Here devotees worship Hanuman as the eliminator of troubles and tribulations of the people. Tulasi Manasa Mandir near Kashi Vishwanath temple. It is built with Marble stones. On the walls, Rama Charita Manasa is inscribed. There is a pictorial depiction of Ramayana on the walls.
Birla Mandir near Kashi Vishwanath temple
This is a new building in the premises of Banaras Hindu University. The family of Birla as constructed the Kashi Vishwanath temple on the modal of Old temple. Near this place is Stupa of Saranath built by Emperor Asoka. Entry of the temple is restricted to Hindus only.
Bathing and Cremation Ghats in Kashi Vishwanath temple
There are nearly 100 bathing and cremation ghats in the city. some of them are near to Kashi Vishwanath temple.
- Ahalya Bhai Ghat
- Assi Ghat
- Darbhanga Ghat
- Dasaswa Medh Ghat
- Dig Patia Ghat
- Ganga Mahal Ghat
- Harishchandra Ghat
- Chet Sing Ghat
- Jain Ghat
- Manikarnika Ghat
- Man Mandir Ghat
- Manasarover Ghat
- Narath Ghat
- Pandey Ghat
- Raj Ghat
- Rajendra Prasad Ghat
- Scindia Ghat
- Shivala Ghat
- Tripura Bhairavi Ghat
- Vijayanagaram Ghat
Among all the Bathing ghats Manikarnika Ghat is famous where dead bodies are being burnt. After having a bath at this ghat, devotees will have the darshan of Lord Kashi Vishwanath. When Lord Siva was carrying the dead body of Sathi to the Himalayas, ear-ring of Sati had fallen at this Ghat. Hence the ghat was named Manikarnika Ghat. Harischandra ghat is also famous. It is said that Tulasi das wrote Rama Charita Manas at Tulasi Ghat. It is also the oldest Ghat, King Harishchandra worked at the cremation ground it is believed that if a person is cremated here, he gets Moksha.
Some of the temples like the temple of Siva, Hanuman Stula Danta Vinayaka, Rameswara Someswara, Annapurna, Lakshmi Narayana, Durga, Rama Panchayatana, Hayagreeva Kesava, Swapaneshwra, Tripura Bhairava, Varahi, Nisheaveshwara are located near the ghats. Some legends or stories are associated with these ghats. A legend says that any couple bathing in Narada Ghat will develop distributed and quarrels in the feature.
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Kashi Vishwanath Temple Timings
|Temple opening hours||2.30 A.M.|
|Mangala Aarathi||3.00A.M.-4.00 A.M.|
|Saptha Rishi Aaratho||7.00P.M.-8.15P.M.|
Kashi Vishwanath Temple Address
Kashi Vishwanath Temple,
Uttar Pradesh 221001
Phone Number: 0542-2392629
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