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Friday, November 25, 2022

Kashi Vishwanath Temple At The Heart Of Kashi Yatra

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Kashi Vishwanath Temple is on the coronary heart of many pilgrimages. It is without doubt one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India and is taken into account a very powerful one. Situated within the lanes of Varanasi, it’s surrounded by so many temples which you can actually get misplaced in them. The temple has seen many ups and downs identical to its devotees and has modified locations within the final thousand years. Include me for a digital pilgrimage to Kashi Vishwanath.

Kashi Vishwanath Story

Baba Vishwanath, Vishveshwara, and Kashi Vishwanath are completely different names of the deity who’s the lord of the universe. He’s additionally the presiding deity of Kashi Puri in addition to Kashi Kshetra.

Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga. Picture credit score – Manish Khattry

Kashi is town of Shiva. It’s stated that town stands on the Trishul or the trident of Shiva. The three Shiva temples within the metropolis mark the three arrows of the Shiva. Vishwanath temple stands on the central arrow and the opposite two temples are Kedareshwar and Omkareshwar – each of which will be seen within the metropolis.

Skanda Purana

Kashi Khand of Skanda Purana mentions Divodasa because the righteous king of Kashi who dominated town flawlessly. He took a boon from Brahma that no devatas would set foot in his metropolis. Brahma agreed to this below the situation that everybody in his kingdom ought to be pleased. In the meantime, Shiva wished to return to his metropolis, however couldn’t due to this situation. He despatched completely different Devatas like 64 Yoginis, 12 Adityas, his ganas, and Ganesha to show the scenario in his favor. Lastly, Vishnu was capable of persuade Divodasa to let the Shiva come again and preside over town.

Gyanvapi Properly

Gyanvapi nicely situated within the temple predates Ganga in Kashi. It was excavated by Shiva utilizing his Trishul for the Abhishek of Avimukteshwara Linga.

Gyanvapi well, Varanasi
Gyanvapi nicely. Picture – Public Area

Nearly each saint and rishi has visited Kashi and Vishwanath. Many have carried out Tapasya right here and sung the glories for Vishwanath. Keep in mind the M S Subbulakshmi’s Kashi Vishwanath Suprabhatam. Travelogues of Asi Shankaracharya, Tulsidas, Guru Nanak, and Vivekanand point out each town and its lord.

Do learn: Ganga Arti at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi

Historical past of Kashi Vishwanath temple

Kashi Vishwanath temple is talked about within the Kashi Khand of Skanda Purana which talks about all of the Tirthas within the metropolis of Kashi or Varanasi.

In recognized historical past, virtually each traveler to town of Kashi mentions the temple together with the very fact that it’s the metropolis of Shiva. Being some of the revered temples within the holiest metropolis of India, it was susceptible to assaults by the invaders. It confronted the primary recorded assault in 1194 CE by Muhammad Ghori who did numerous destruction to town. Quickly Razia Sultan – the empress of Delhi constructed a mosque on the place of the temple. The temple was moved nearer to Avimukteshwar temple close by.

Elevation of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Elevation of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Picture – Public Area

Then there have been assaults by Sikandar Lodhi across the flip of 16th CE. Each time it was destroyed, it was rebuilt by the Hindu kings in addition to the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visiting it yearly. The final huge assault was accomplished by Aurangzeb who destroyed the temple and constructed the Gyanvapi mosque on the ruins of the temple. The temple priest jumped within the Gyanvapi nicely with the Shivalingam to guard it.

Constructed by Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar

The Vishwanath temple that we see now was constructed by the Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Malwa in 1780 CE. Many Rajputana and Maratha kings tried to re-built the temple however not a lot of them succeeded. Maharaja Ranjit Singh donated a ton of gold for the temple Shikhara in 1835 CE. Many different kings donated silver, murtis or contributed to constructing the temple premises.

Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Shikar
Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Shikar, 1915 Picture in public area

Pt Madan Mohan Malviya constructed a brand new Kashi Vishwanath Temple on the Banaras Hindu College Campus with the assist of the Birla household. It was began within the Nineteen Thirties and was accomplished within the Nineteen Sixties. The temple has the tallest Shikharas amongst all of the Hindu temples on this planet.

In 2021, the current authorities constructed the Kashi Vishwanath Hall connecting the temple on to the ghats of Ganga. Earlier you needed to take a circuitous route from the ghats to succeed in the temple, now you possibly can simply stroll via a large hall.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath Gali is a slender lane stuffed with distributors promoting all types of colourful puja objects in addition to common souvenirs from Varanasi. You stroll via this slender lane to succeed in the Annapurna temple first after which the Kashi Vishwanath temple. The temple is smaller than what you consider it from its tales. Properly, it’s a temple that’s nonetheless ready to be reconstructed in its full glory and at its authentic place.

Vishwanath Gali, Varanasi
Vishwanath Gali, Varanasi

You enter via the silver paneled doorways into the premises which have many temples. You may acknowledge the Vishwanath temple each from the crowds that it attracts in addition to from the golden Shikhara. The Shivalingam is mounted on a silver Yoni within the Garbhagriha. The temple follows the north Indian Nagara fashion of structure, totally on its Shikharas.

There’s a small open mandapa outdoors the Garbhagriha, which is the place you do the darshan from.

Banarasi shop on Vishwanath Gali
Banarasi store on Vishwanath Gali

There are a lot of small temples surrounding the principle temple. A lot of them have been moved in the course of the enlargement of temple premises for the Kashi Vishwanath Hall.

Do learn: Crafts Museum at Commerce Felicitation Centre, Varanasi

Arti’s at Kashi Vishwanath Temple

There are 5 fundamental Artis which can be carried out on the temple:

Mangala Arti

Carried out early morning round 3:00 AM, it’s the first Arti of the day, a ritual to get up Baba Vishwanath for the day. Solely after this Arti, the doorways of the temple are opened for the darshan. The Arti contains Shodashopachar or worship with 16 objects, Arti, Stuti, and a prayer for the well-being of the universe.

It’s fairly common with guests, pilgrims in addition to individuals of Kashi. Most tour guides would take you to the Mangala Arti early morning, in a type of a guided tour. You too can do a reside darshan supplied by the official web site of the temple.

Early morning is the very best time to go to temples and as you stroll round the principle temples, you’d see and listen to the chants from many huge and small temples which can be within the neighborhood of this temple.

Bhog Arti

Carried out round Midday time, that is when the Bhog or Prasad is obtainable to Baba Vishwanath. Right now Rudrabhishek is carried out together with Shringar, Stuti, and Arti. Bhog is obtainable as per the Vara or day of the week or Tithi or the lunar date. For instance, solely fruit or dairy merchandise are supplied on Ekadashi whereas on different days fruits, puri, halwa, or ordinary meals are supplied. Prasad is given to all current throughout this Arti. Meals is supplied to Dandi Swamis after the Bhog Arti.

Kashi Vishwanath renovated Mandir
Kashi Vishwanath renovated Mandir, Picture – Public Area by GOI

Saptarishi Arti

Carried out after sundown, this can be a very distinctive Arti carried out on the temple. It represents the worship by Saptarishis or the seven best rishis – Kashyap, Atri, Vasishtha, Vishwamitra, Gautama, Jamadagani, and Bharadwaja. This Arti has roots in Samaveda that’s meant to be sung. Within the good outdated days, kings would appoint Brahmins to carry out this Arti on their behalf.

Do learn: Prime Varanasi Souvenirs to purchase – Buying in Banaras

Ratri Shringar Arti

Carried out round 9 PM, the specialty of this Arti is that Shiva is embellished because the ruler of Kashi referred to as Kashipuradhishwara. This Arti is carried out with historical Vedic rituals that embody Shringar, Rudrabhishek, Stuti, Arti, and Bhog.

Shayan Arti

That is the final Arti of the day when the Baba is put to sleep and the doorways of the temple closed. It’s accomplished by the Kashi Vasis or the residents of town of Kashi. Normally, after 11 PM, about 40-50 Kashi residents collect within the mandapa and sing the Arti. The crescendo of their singing is value an expertise. Not many guests are current right now, so that you see a temple that isn’t too crowded and naturally the sheer devotion of the individuals of Kashi.

Patalakhanda of Padma Purana mentions that within the morning one ought to take a dip within the Ganga or within the afternoon in Manikarnika Kund after which go to the essential temples on this order – Vishwanath, Bhavani or Annapurna temple, Dhundiraja temple, Dandapani, and Kala Bhairava temples. These are the 5 most essential temples for the Kashi pilgrimage.

Kashi Khand mentions a barely longer pilgrimage together with Tarpana for ancestors and visiting temples of all deities together with Vishnu and Ganesha.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple at BHU, Varanasi
Kashi Vishwanath Temple at BHU, Varanasi

Do learn: Jangamwadi Mutt, Varanasi – Residence to million miniature Shivalingas

Festivals on the temple


Shivaratri occurs each month on the 14th day of the darkish fortnight of the month. Within the month of Phalgun, it’s celebrated as Mahashivaratri or the most important night time of Shiva. On at the present time, devotees go to the temple to supply Abhishek and take darshan. Kashi Vishwanath temple stays open via the night time on Shivaratri. No Shayan Arti is carried out because the temple doorways will not be closed. Totally different codecs of Arti are used on Mahashivaratri to permit most devotees to have darshan.

Celestially, Mahashivaratri occurs near the spring equinox.

Do learn: Panch Kroshi Yatra of Kashi – Historic Pilgrim route of Varanasi

Rangbhari Ekadashi

Celebrated on the Phalgun Shukla Ekadashi, the competition of colours fills the temples and devotees with colours. Shiva and Parvati Utsava murtis are supplied Abira and Gulal – the intense pink colours. Then the devotees play amongst themselves. Music and dance add to the enjoyment of celebration.

Vishwanath Gali entrance
Vishwanath Gali entrance

Shravan Somvaar

Shravan Masa or the month of Shravana is the month of Shiva worship. Mondays of this month are thought of auspicious to go to the Shiva temples throughout the nation. So, this most essential Shiva temple can also be stuffed with devotees who need to supply water, milk, curd, or Bilva leaves to Shiva.

Totally different elaborate Shringars are accomplished on 4 Mondays of Shravan month.

Akshay Tritiya

It is without doubt one of the most auspicious days within the Indian Calendar. On at the present time Vishwanath is sprinkled with Gangajal utilizing a fountain.


This competition takes place within the month of Kartika, simply the day after Deepawali. Chhappan Bhog or 56 several types of dishes are ready and supplied to Shiva and his household in the course of the Bhog Arti.

Dev Deepawali is widely known on the Kartik Purnima, totally on the ghats of Ganga when hundreds of thousands of Diyas or earthen lamps are lit up. On the temple too, particular lighting is completed.

My expertise of visiting this temple a number of occasions says that – Day-after-day is Utsava right here.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi. Picture credit score – Manish Khattry

Do learn: Number of mouth-watering must-try meals in Varanasi

Journey Ideas

  • Varanasi is nicely linked by air, railways, and highway.
  • Anybody in Varanasi will direct you to Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The time wanted is determined by the crowds.
  • You aren’t allowed to take any digital devices contained in the temple, not even your cell phone.
  • There are a lot of methods to strategy the temple. The most well-liked approach is from Vishwanath Gali, then there may be an entrance from the Chowk facet now and naturally the doorway from the Ganga facet via Kashi Vishwanath Hall.
  • It is strongly recommended to attend not less than one Arti throughout your go to.
  • You may e book your go to, keep, and Puja on-line via the Kashi Vishwanath Temple web site.

Do learn: Bharat Kala Bhavan – Museum at BHU, Varanasi

When you have time to discover Varanasi additional head to Ramnagar Fort throughout the Ganga and in addition go to Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial in his hometown.


Kashi Khand Skanda Purana

Bhaj Vishwanatham Nitin Ramesh Gokarn (Author) and Manish Khattry (Photographer) –

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