Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples and is specially dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The temple is situated on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, which is one of the 2 Jyotirlinga. The temple is also known as Vishwanatha or Vishweshwarar which means ‘the ruler of the universe’. Varanasi city is the cultural capital of India and is also known as the city of Lord Shiva. The temple has 800 kg of gold plating on its tower of the temple.
In old times, at the time of special festivals or occasions like Shivaratri, the King of Kashi (Kashi Naresh) visited the temple for offering prayers where nobody else is allowed to enter the temple except the King of Kashi. Devotees were allowed to offer their prayers after the king completed his prayers and rituals. You know, the importance of the Kashi Vishwanath temple was first mentioned in the sacred scriptures of the Hindus, on the front, the temple is decorated with intricate carvings that show a divine quality. Other than that, the temple also houses a few other small temples such as Kaalbhairav, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Virupaksha Gauri, and Avimukteshwara.
Even Cameras, mobile phones, and other electronic devices are not allowed inside the temple premises and must be deposited in lockers outside. If we talk about the architecture of the temple, the Kashi Vishwanath is a group of smaller shrines that are located in the temple and consist of a series of smaller temples located in the small lane called the Vishwanatha Gali just near the river. However, the temple is constructed in the form of a quadrangle, the Shivalinga is made up of black stone which is 60cm tall and 90cm in circumference, a holy well is also there called Gyan Vapi which is believed to be a place where the Shivalinga was hidden to protect it from foreign invaders long back. Moreover, the structure of the temple is composed of three parts, the first is a spire on the temple of Lord Vishwanath, the second is a gold dome and the third is the gold spire at the top of the Vishwanath carrying the flag and a trident.
Also visit: The Walking Tour of the Ancient Imperial Garden of Aurangabad
Historically, as I have mentioned that the temple was first found in the Puranas but interestingly, this temple has been seen as being in complete demolition condition and then it was rebuilt many times in history. The first-time temple was destroyed in the year 1194 by Qutbuddin Aibak’s army when he defeated the king of Kannauj. The temple was rebuilt during the time period of Delhi’s ruler Iltutmish and was again destroyed during Sikander Lodhi’s time. Then Raja Man Singh rebuilt the temple during the Mughal period during the time of Akbar’s rule. In 1669 CE, Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple and built a Gyanvapi Mosque instead of the temple.
After that, it was finally rebuilt by the Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 1780, the Maratha Monarch. The temple consists of two domes that are covered in gold donated by Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and the Punjab Kesari and the Bhosale’s of Nagpur donated the silver to the temple.
How to Reach-
By Air- a direct flight connection is available from New Delhi, Agra, Calcutta, Khajuraho, Mumbai, Lucknow, Chennai, Gaya, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, and Bhubaneshwar. The Terminal Manager Babtpur Airport, Varanasi.
By Train- the nearest railway station is Varanasi Cantt Railway Station.
By Road- the important road distances are Allahabad 128 km., Khajuraho 405 km., Patna 246 km., Kanpur 330 km., Lucknow 286 km., Sarnath 10 km., and Kushi Nagar 250 km. Lumbini (Napal) 386 km., Sher Shah Suri Marg, UPSRTC Bus Stand, Golgadda Bus Stand.