The ancient city of Varanasi is one of the oldest and holiest cities in India, situated on the banks of the sacred River Ganga. It is a place of pilgrimage, culture, spirituality and history, attracting millions of visitors every year.
Varanasi offers a variety of attractions for tourists, such as the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most important Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Ganga Aarti, a spectacular ritual of fire and music performed every evening at the Dasaswamedh Ghat, the Sarnath, a Buddhist site where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, and the Assi Ghat, a popular spot for boating, yoga and cultural events. Besides the rich historical and cultural sites, the city is also famous for its narrow lanes, colourful markets, delicious cuisine and rich artistic heritage.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most revered and significant Hindu temples located in the beautiful city of Varanasi. The significant temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the most important deities in the Hindu pantheon.
One of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are believed to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva, Kashi Vishwanath Temple attracts thousands of devotees every day. The temple has 800 kg of gold plating on its beautiful towers, which is also famously called the Golden Temple.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple Timings: The Temple Opens At 2:30 AM everyday. There are many aartis held here at the following times:
Mangala Aarti: 3:00 AM to 4:00 AM (Morning)
Bhoga Aarti: 11:15 AM to 12:20 AM (Day)
Sandhya Aarti: 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM (Evening)
Shringara Aarti: 9:00 PM to 10:15 PM (Night)
Shayana Aarti: 10:30 PM ti 11:00 PM (Night)
Kashi Vishwanath Temple Ticket Price: Free
Kashi Vishwanath Temple: History
The history of Kashi Vishwanath Temple dates back to ancient times, with its first-ever mention in the Puranas, including Kashi Khanda (section) of Skanda Purana. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself built the original temple on the spot where the Jyotirlinga is now located.
Over the centuries, the temple has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. The current structure was built in the 18th century by the Maratha queen, Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore.
The temple has been the site of many historical events. During the reign of Emperor Akbar, the temple was destroyed, and a mosque was built in its place.
In 1669, Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor, ordered the destruction of the temple and the construction of a mosque on the site. The current structure was built after the British destroyed the original temple in 1780. The temple has also been the site of many battles between Hindu and Muslim rulers over the centuries.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple: Spiritual Significance
Kashi Vishwanath Mandir is considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The temple is believed to be Lord Shiva’s abode, also known as Vishwanath or the Lord of the Universe. The Jyotirlinga is the physical manifestation of Lord Shiva’s presence and is worshipped with great devotion by millions of devotees.
Associated with many ancient Hindu scriptures and legends, the temple is shrouded in spirituality. It is believed that Lord Shiva founded the city of Varanasi and that the Ganges River flows through the city to purify the souls of the departed. The temple is also mentioned in the Skanda Purana, one of the most important Hindu scriptures.
Kashi Vishwanath Mandir is also significant for its association with the Hindu practice of cremation. The Manikarnika Ghat, one of the holiest cremation grounds in India, is located near the temple. Hindus believe cremating near the temple will ensure a speedy journey to the afterlife and liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
This significance also stems from the belief that Lord Shiva is a constructive destroyer associated with death and timelessness. It is, therefore, a traditional belief amongst Hindus that in Kashi, Lord Shiva’s messenger escorts his devotees on their final journey.
The temple is also associated with many Hindu festivals and rituals. The most important festival celebrated at the temple is Mahashivratri, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. During the festival, millions of devotees visit the temple to offer prayers and seek the blessings of the Lord.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple: Architecture
The architecture of Kashi Vishwanath Mandir is a fusion of different styles and influences. The temple is built in the Nagara style of architecture, which is characterised by a curved and sloping roof. The temple is also adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, which are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans who built it.
The temple has a three-part structure. A spire rises above Lord Vishwanath’s shrine, a gold dome covers the middle part and a gold spire with a flag and a trident crowns the top of Vishwanath.
The temple complex consists of several smaller shrines and temples dedicated to different deities. The main sanctum sanctorum houses the Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva.
The holy well known as Gyaan Vapi is located near the Jyotirlinga. It is believed that the Jyotirlinga was hidden in this well during invasions by foreign rulers. The temple also has a large courtyard where devotees can offer prayers and perform rituals.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a testament to the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of India. The temple’s fascinating history, spiritual significance, and stunning architecture make it one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Shroud yourself in spiritualism as you visit this beautiful temple.