Kashi Vishvanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishvanatha or Vishveshvara meaning Ruler of The Universe. Varanasi city is also called Kashi, and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishvanath Temple.
The temple has been referred to in Hindu scriptures for a very long time as a central part of worship in the Shaiva philosophy. It has been destroyed and re-constructed a number of times in history. The last structure was demolished by Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal emperor who constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque on its site. The current structure was built on an adjacent site by the Maratha ruler, Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780.
Architectural Style: Hindu Temple
Address: Lahori Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001
Date built: 1780
Built by: Ahilyabai Holkar
Contact No. 0542 239 2629
Importance of the temple:
Varanasi is regarded among the holiest of the Hindu cities. The Kashi Vishwanath temple is widely recognized as one of the most important places of worship in Hindu religion. Inside the Kashi Vishvanath Temple is the Jyotirlinga of Shiva, Vishveshvara or Vishvanath. The Vishveshvara Jyotirlinga has a very special and unique significance in the spiritual history of India.
Many leading saints, including Adi Sankaracharya, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Bamakhyapa, Goswami Tulsidas, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Sathya Sai Baba and Gurunanak have visited the site. A visit to the temple and a bath in the river Ganges is one of many methods believed to lead one on a path to Moksha. Because of the immense popularity and holiness of Kashi Vishwanath temple, hundreds of temples across India have been built in the same architectural style. Many legends record that the true devotee achieves freedom from death and saṃsara by the worship of Shiva. Shiva's devotees on death being directly taken to his abode on Mount Kailash by his messengers and not to Yama.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple opens daily at 2:30 AM and closes at 11 PM.
There are 5 aartis of Shree Kashi Vishwanath:
. Mangala Aarti :- 3.00 - 4.00 (Morning).
. Bhoga Aarti :- 11.15 to 12.20 (Day).
. Sandhya Aarti :- 7.00 to 8.15 (Evening).
. Shringara Aarti :- 9.00 to 10.15 (Night).
. Shayana Aarti :- 10.30-11.00 (Night).
Security arrangements do not allow any cell phones, camera, belts with metal buckle, cigarettes, lighters, etc. inside the temple.
How to Reach:
- By Air – The nearest airport to the city is Babatpur which is 22 km from Varanasi. Direct flights are operated by Air India as well as other private airlines from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Agra, Bhubaneswar and Lucknow.
- By Train – The nearest Railway Station is Varanasi Junction or the Mughal Sarai Junction. Several trains connect the city to almost all major parts of the country like Delhi, Chennai, Howrah, Jammu, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Guwahati.
- By Road – The city is located on NH2 highway linking Kolkata to New Delhi. Several buses are available from places like Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Patna, Nagpur, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh and Gaya.
Places of Interest:
- Tulsi Manas Temple: This temple is yet another important shrine in Varanasi. Dedicated to Lord Rama, Tulsi Manas Temple is situated next to another famed shrine called Durga Temple. It is a white-marble temple that has its walls covered with the text from Tulsi Das written Ramcharitramanas. It is believed that the temple is located at a place where Tulsi Das wrote this famous Indian epic.
- Kathwala Temple: This temple is famous for its exquisite architecture and wood work. It is believed that the temple was built by King of Nepal and thus, this shrine is also called Nepali Temple. It is situated in the Lalita Ghat and catches the attention of many visitors in Varanasi. The intricate wood carving is what attracts visitors the most; the temple reflects the refined taste for good architecture taste of the rulers of Nepal.