Kashi Vishwanath is a famous historical temple, counted among the 12 Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated on the banks of holy Ganges and during the morning and evening hours, it feels as if the spiritual charm of the temple increases by manifolds.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and out of reverence, he is also referred to as Vishwanatha or Vishweshwarar, which means the ruler of the universe.
The temple has gold plating on its main tower which weighs up to a massive 800 kg. After all, the harbinger of the ultimate truth and life, the God of the Gods deserves such reverence from his devotees.
The best time to visit the temple is in the winter months. During this time of the year, the overall temperature is very pleasant and ideal for roaming and exploring around. However, things like camera, mobile phones, electronic devices are not allowed inside the temple premises. Foreign tourists are allowed to enter from Gate number 2 of the temple.
History of Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Mention in the Puranas and Destruction by Muslim Rulers
The very first mention of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple can be found in the Puranas. For instance, the Skanda Purana mentions the temple in the Kashi Khand. And in all these centuries, the temple has been rebuilt many times. It is believed that the first time this temple was destroyed was in 1194 by Qutb-ud-Din Aibak's army. Then, according to the historical texts, it was in 1669 CE, that the temple was destroyed again by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb to build a mosque in its place.
Rebuilt Again by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar
In 1780, the temple was rebuilt in its original place by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore. The new temple had two domes which were covered in gold, donated by the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh. And, more or less in the same timeline, it was the Bhosales who donated the silver required for the further construction of the temple.
Major Attractions in and Around Kashi Vishwanath Temple
It is believed that this is the exact place where Lord Brahma had performed the Dasa Ashwamedha sacrifice. And it is this ghat where many ancient rituals are performed, even till today. One of the best times to visit the ghat is on Kartik Purnima. During the evenings, the vibe oozing out of the Ganga Aarti will take your breath away.
This is the place situated at the confluence of River Assi and Ganga. It is famous for its huge Shiva Lingam. The ghat carries a great spiritual significance as mentioned in the Puranas and many legends. Due to this, a huge crowd of devotees can be seen flocking here all year round. Apart from religious purposes, it is also a good place to watch the sunrise and sunset along with your loved ones.
This temple was built by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, who played a major role in Indian Independence. The temple is mainly dedicated to Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman. It is as if each and every individual visiting Varanasi, is bound to give a visit to the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple. Yes! Such is the charm of this temple. However, do be aware of the monkeys sitting in the temple premises as they may try and steal your prasadam and other edible items.
How to Reach Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Kashi or as we know it today, Varanasi, is a spiritual hub of our country. Here a great number of seekers, sadhus and enlightened beings make their visits on a yearly basis. Varanasi is located at an approximate distance of 860, 1,508, 676, 1,851 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru respectively. Here is how you can reach here by the following means of transportation.
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Babatpur is the nearest airport situated at a distance of 22 kilometres from Varanasi. It has fairly good connectivity with other Indian cities. After deboarding, you will need to cover the remaining distance by some means of public transportation.
Being one of the prominent cities of India, Varanasi is well-connected via railway service. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is just about 5 kilometres away from the Varanasi Railway Station. So, after you deboard at the station, you can easily cover the remaining distance by a cab, or local auto.
One can also plan to visit here by well-maintained road networks. The idea of a road trip is always exciting especially if the destination is such an amazing place. For travelling via road, you can consider taking your own car, hire a bus or a cab.