Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Historical Significance

Lord Shiva’s sacred temples, known as Jyotirlingas, are revered by Shiva devotees because it is claimed that Lord Shiva has visited them. There are a total of 12 of them in India. The Sanskrit term jyotirlinga means “light column or pillar.” The void of a beginning and an end is symbolised by the ‘Stambha’ sign.

Shiva’s various incarnations, the Jyotirlingas, have enthralled devotees from the beginning of time with their magnificence. Thousands of pilgrims go from all corners of the globe to visit Lord Shiva’s hallowed locations in pursuit of spiritual calm.

The 12 Jyotirlingas are: 

  • Somnath Temple, Gujarat
  • Mallikarjuna Temple, Andhra Pradesh
  • Mahakaleshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
  • Omkareshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
  • Baidyanath Dham, Jharkhand
  • Bhimashankar Temple, Maharashtra
  • Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram
  • Nageshwar Temple, Gujarat
  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Uttar Pradesh
  • Trimbakeshwar Temple, Maharashtra
  • Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
  • Grishneshwar Temple, Maharashtra

Kashi Vishwanath temple varanasi

kashi vishwanath mandir
Kashi Vishwanath mandir

Kashi was the previous name for Benaras, which is today known as Varanasi. The location is believed to be on the shores of the sacred Ganges River, also known as Ganga in Hindi. Varanasi is notable for its temples, with the Kashi Vishwanath temple being the most prominent. It is devoted to Lord Shiva, the city’s patron deity, and is also recognized as the Golden Temple. It is situated in the city’s Vishwanath Gali and attracts millions of pilgrims each year.

The temple’s exterior is embellished with beautiful sculptures that give the structure a celestial aspect. Aside from it, the temple has several smaller temples, including those dedicated to Kaalbhairav, Vishnu, Virupaksh Gauri, Vinayaka, and Avimukteshwara. Only Hindus are permitted to enter the Jnana Vapi or knowledge well, which is located within the temple complex.

The city has seen its fair share of carnage and devastation. The Mughals looted the temples several times. The ancient temples were reconstructed, then demolished and rebuilt again. The present-day Kashi Vishwanath Temple was constructed by Ahilya Bai Holkar.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of Varanasi’s most respected temples, holds immense religious significance in Hinduism. A journey to the temple accompanied by a bath in the holy Ganges is widely thought to be the ultimate method to achieve freedom or ‘Moksha,’ and as a result, it is filled by worshippers throughout the year.

Another legend is that Lord Shiva personally whispers salvation chants into the ears of those who pass away naturally at the Vishwanath Temple. Several prominent Hindu saints have visited this temple, including Goswami Tulsidas, Swami Vivekanand, Adi Sankaracharya, Gurunanak Dev, and Swami Dayanand Saraswati, and Ramakrishna Paramhansa.

The infamous Vishwanath Gali:

To get to the temple, go through Kashi Vishwanath Gali, which is known for its stores offering puja goods and sweets. In the street, there is also a prominent ladies’ area that offers a variety of things like Banarasi sarees, dresses, religious objects, and jewelry.

Bangles, Kurtis, wooden toys, brass products, sculptures, religious literature, deity posters, accessories, clothing materials, sweets, eatables, and even music CDs are among the other items for sale. Snacks are also available at a few roadside shops for those sudden hunger needs. Devotees can stop here for some reasonably priced shopping after their worship of Lord Shiva.

How to reach the temple?

kashi vishwanath temple images
Shri Kashi Vishwanath temple
  • Varanasi and New Delhi have a direct aircraft link every day. Varanasi is also connected to Delhi, Agra, Khajuraho, Calcutta, Mumbai, Lucknow, Gaya, Chennai, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Bhuvaneshwar, and other cities in India.
  • Varanasi is a significant rail junction that can be reached by train. Trains go to and from the city from all of the country’s metros and significant cities. The city offers direct train links to New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Gwalior, Meerut, Indore, Guwahati, Allahbad, Lucknow, and Dehradun.
  • By Road: Agra 565 kilometers, Allahabad 128 kilometers, Bhopal 791 kilometers, Bodhgaya 240 kilometers, Kanpur 330 kilometers, Khajuraho 405 kilometers, Lucknow 286 kilometers, Patna 246 kilometers, Sarnath 10 kilometers, Lumbini (Nepal) 386 kilometers, Kushi Nagar 250 kilometers (via Gorakhpur).
  • If you’re traveling from any place in the city, a cab or an auto-rickshaw is the easiest method to get to your destination. However, the real temple is located within the Vishwanath Gali, which is not a motorable road, and you will have to walk up to the temple threshold.

Best time to visit:

Winter (November – February) is the finest season to visit Varanasi since the weather is mild and there is a gentle wind all day. Varanasi experiences extremely hot and dry summers. Summer is best avoided since it is hot, dry, and sunny, making outdoor touring difficult. The monsoons offer a welcome change, with moderate to heavy rains, but the winters are the greatest season to visit Varanasi, thanks to the wonderful weather conditions that greatly enhance its splendor.

Places to visit: 

  • Dashashwamedh Ghat
  • Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
  • Assi Ghat
  • New Vishwanath Temple, BHU
  • Tulsi Manasa Temple

How to commute to local areas?

In Varanasi, cycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws are available for local transportation. Within the city, minibusses are also available. River Ganga trips are conducted by boat.

What about the food?

Varanasi’s food has a particular flavor to it, with a touch of Bihar’s cuisines and customs thrown in for good measure. Dum Aloo, Bati Chokha, Aloo-Tikki, Pani Puri, Kachori, Tamatar chaat, and sweets like Jalebis, Rabri, and Banarasi Kalakand are famous local specialties.

Paan, a betel leaf delicacy, is another must-try for visitors to the area. Aside from these, the Butter Toast with hot milk, which is often almond-flavored, is a must-try. Also, sample some of the indigenous beverages, such as Lassi and Badam Sharbat. Varanasi is also known for its Thandai, a milk-based drink laced with Bhang, a kind of cannabis that is legal in India.

Apart from traditional and regional delicacies, there are several alternatives to Continental and traditional Indian cuisine. When visiting Varanasi, you may sample a wide range of cuisines, from delectable street food to several cafés in Assi. The city truly has everything!

Things to know before visiting:

  • Entry is free of cost.
  • Visitors to the famed Kashi Vishwanath Temple should dress in a Dhoti-Kurti (for males) and a Saree (for women) (for women). Outside the temple, however, worshippers dressed in western attire will be permitted to worship the deity.
  • Leave your shoes in the shops and lock your valuables.
  • Expect to be inspected at the entry and potentially queue, especially during popular seasons like Shivaratri.

Image Source: Google

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