A full view of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple complex
A full view of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple complex

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is also called as Golden Temple located at the western bank of River Ganges in Varanasi city of Uttar Pradesh, India. Firstly Kashi Vishwanath temple was constructed by the Hari Chandra in the 11th century. This temple has been destroyed a number of times and has been reconstructed. The present construction was done by Ahilya Bai Holkar, Maratha monarch of Indore in the year 1970.

The mythology says that Lord Brahma (the god of creation) and Lord Vishnu (the god of Harmony) had a tough argument on who holds the superiority in creation. To test Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva penetrated the three worlds as an endless pillars of light, called Jyotrilinga. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu was assigned separate directions, one to the upward direction and the other towards the downward direction to find the end of the light in either directions.

A distant view of Kashi Vishwanath Temple
A distant view of Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Lord Vishnu admitted His Vanquishment whereas Lord Brahma lied that he found the end of the light. Hence, Lord Shiva appeared to be the second pillar of light and proclaimed that Lord Vishnu would be worshipped by all till the end of the eternity and cursed Lord Brahma that He will not be worshipped in any etiquette.

Specialties

The main deity of this Kashi Vishwanath Temple is Lord Vishwanatha (Shiva) which refers to “The ruler of the Universe” who is also called as Lord Vishweshwara. Kashi is believed to be the holiest place in the world by Hindus. Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotrilinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The 12 Jyotrilinga Temples are:

  1. Somnath Temple
  2. Mallikarjun Temple
  3. Mahakaleshwara Temple
  4. Omkareshwar Temple
  5. Vaidyanath Temple
  6. Bhimashankar Temple
  7. Rameshwaram Temple
  8. Nageshwar Temple
  9. Vishwanath Temple
  10. Trimbakeshwar Temple
  11. Kedarnath Temple
  12. Grishneshwar Temple
Lingam inside the Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Lingam inside the Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Each Jyotrilinga temples takes different manifestation of Lord Shiva and the idol of Lingam is considered as a presiding deity in every Jyotrilinga temples. Lingam represents the beginning less and endless, which symbolizes the infinite nature of Shiva. There are separate shrines found for the deities in this temple namely Lord Kaalbhairav, Lord Avimukteshwara, Lord Vishnu, Lord Vinayaka and Lord Virupaksh Gauri.

There is a well in the front of the temple called Jnana Vapi (wisdom well), which is considered to be holy. It is said that a saint of this temple jumped into the Jnana Vapi well with Jyotrilinga to save it from the prowler. It is believed that one who take bath in the holiest river Ganges in Varanasi even once in their life will attain Moksha (Salvation). A visit to this temple alone will take over the virtue earned by the visit to other Jyotrilinga temples dispersed in various parts of India.

A drawing of Kashi Vishwanath Temple
A drawing of Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Pooja Timings

  • Mangala Aarti – 3.00 am – 4.00 am
  • Bhog Aarti – 11.15 am to 12.20 am
  • Sandhya Aarti – 7.00 pm to 8.15 pm
  • Shringar Aarti – 9.00 pm to 10.15 pm
  • Shayan Aarti – 10.30 pm -11.00 pm

Festivals

  • Mahashivratri – February or March
  • Rangbhari (Aamlaki) Ekadashi – February to March
  • Annakoot – November or December
  • Makar Shakranti – January
  • Shrawan Maah – July to August
  • Akshya Tritiiya – April to may
By Road

There are daily buses to the Nepali border and other points around northern India. Local buses leave from the main bus station near the train station, almost every hour in the morning and one in the evening, to Gorakhpur (5-6 hours), from where buses leave to the Nepali border at Sonauli (3 hours).


By Train

Trains are the easiest and most likely way that you’ll reach Varanasi, with multiple daily services to cities including Delhi, Agra, Lucknow and Kolkata.


By Air

Varanasi Airport (IATA: VNS) is about 25km from the city center. Indian Airlines, Air Sahara, Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Spice Jet all have daily flights to Delhi and there are daily flights to Mumbai on Air Sahara, Indian Airlines and Spice Jet.

  • Sankat Mochan Temple
  • Tulsi Manas Temple
  • Kaal Bhairav Temple
  • Nepali Hindu Temple
  • Markandey Mahadev Temple
  • Durga Temple
  • Annapurna Temple
  • Sankatha Temple
  • Bharat Mata Temple
  • New Vishwanath Temple
  • Gauri Matha Temple

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