Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Varanasi
Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Varanasi
It is one of the most famous and Holiest temple in Varanasi, also known as the Golden temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It was made within the year 1780 by the Mahratta monarch, Maharanee Ahilyabai Holkar of the Indore. The gold accustomed cowl, the 2 domes of the temple was given by the Punjab Kesari – the Sikh prince Ranjit Singh, who was ruling Punjab state at that time. After 1983, it came under the control of UP Government and under Kashi King by that time Mr. Vibhuti Narayan Singh.
Kashi Vishwanath temple is located into thousands years old lanes of Varanasi and near to holy river Ganges. It is considered the holiest among all 12 Jyotirlingas. Shaivya philosophy says that this temple is the midpoint for worship since long time. Being the very holiest Temple it attracts millions of Hindus across the world.
Some tourist tips before visiting this Temple:
- Dress in modest way. People visiting very modern dresses or whose dressing style is considered to not to be idea; will not be allowed inside the temple premises. It is for both males and females.
- Wearing footwear is not permitted.
- Don’t take camera, cigarette, lighter, liquor, metal object including belts and weapon of any form inside this temple premises.
- Cell phones are not allowed inside.
- You can expect huge crowed inside temple area hence be cautious every time with your valuables and children.
- The temple has many exits and entryways and therefore it is easy to get lost. Remember the name of the entrance gate from any shops nearby or where you are leaving your belongings. This will help you to return to the same entrance after Darshan.
- Outside the temple premises, you will see range of shops having lockers etc. You can choose any such shop and leave your shoes and keep your phones etc into locker. When you return they will give it all back to you after getting some numerous money such as Rs. 30-40. These shops are not run by any Temple authorities.
- Generally it takes 30-45 minutes to reach to sanctum where the main deity is located – After standing in a queue. Carry enough water if you are visiting during summer as you may feel thirsty. During special occasions such as Maha Shivratri etc and festivals, you might have to stand in the queue for many hours to get into main sanctum [Garbhgrih in Hindi].
- If you ever attempt to cut-short through the queue, you may be fined for INR 500 or more. Some fake people might demand even for standing in the general queue in that case tell them clearly that you have no plans in giving money to the temple. Else, they might trick you into paying a lot of money. If you really wish to donate some cash money to the temple, put the money in the hundi [Covered boxes made with a small and thin cut at top].
- No matter how VIP your are or which religion you follow, you are not allowed to touch the deity into sanctum.
- Women handbags are also not allowed however they can carry their small wallets.
- Be cautious with those fake priests who promises to take you inside the temple within minutes.
History of Shri Kashivishwanath Temple
The history of the temple starts with an epic story. Once Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu got into a verbal fight for their supremacy on each other. Their hearing came to Lord Shiva. To prove who is better, as a moderator, Lord Shiva took a form of light and pierced through all three worlds also known as Triloka. After this Lord Shiva asked them to find the tip of the light and said that the one who finds the tip of the light would be considered supreme. Lord Vishnu took the shape of a pig and dug right down to see the tip and Lord Brahma went up to seek out the tip. The place wherever Shiva’s light cut through the planet are the twelve Jyothirlingas and this linga located inside this Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one among that cuts.
The year of construction of this temple buildings are unknown. This temple finds its mentions in many ancient scripts and myths such as Purans etc. In 2nd AD, it was destroyed by some local invaders and was again rebuilt by a Gujarathi merchant later into some years. In 15th Century it was destroyed by some Muslim invaders and again remade in reign of Akbar, in 16th century. Since Raja Man Singh, father-in-law of King Akbar, built the temple, many Hindus boycotted the temple as the King let a Muslim marry into his family. In 17th century, the temple was destroyed by Mughal emperor Aurangazeb and a mosque was built in the spot. Even today the remains of the ancient destroyed temple can be seen right behind the mosque.
The current structure of this temple is constructed by Late Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780. A Naubatkhana (in front of the temple) is made by the Collector Mohd. Ibrahim Khan in 1785. The two domes of the temple are covered by pure gold (offered by the Punjab King at that time Mr. Ranjeet Singh) in 1839. And the third dome was gold plated by the Ministry of cultures and Religious affairs of Uttar Pradesh Government in later years.
Shri Kashivishwanath Mandir Darshan Timings
The Temple opens daily at 2:30 A.M and people makes queue even before this to get into it first. At very first Mangala Aarti is performed into main premises from 3:00 AM to 4 A.M and for attending this only ticket holders are permitted to join. Cost of entrances for Manga aarti is Rs. 300 Per person. Attending this is much likely a private Darshan of Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple and also participating in main rituals.
From 4 to 11 AM general Darshan is allowed. In this a long queue of people gets in for Darshan. Being very crowded, people get very less time for Dharshan. It is as less as 5 seconds or so. On special requests, we provide Pandas for smooth Darshan who takes you inside temple, chant Mantras to complete all rituals and takes you to all small to big Temples inside this Temples premises to make sure, you don’t miss Darshan of any God or Goddess.
After 11.30 AM to 12:00 Noon mid-day Bhog aarti is done. Again 12 Noon to 7 PM devotees are free for normal Darshan of Shri Kashivishwanath Temple.
7:00 PM to 8.30 PM Sapta Rishi Aarti is performed after which Darshan is again possible up till 9.00 PM, when Sringar and Bhog Aarti starts.
After 9.00 PM Darshan this Temples closed down and if visit is possible only from outside.
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