Kashi Vishwanath temple is an important temple located in Varanasi. It is a famous shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, Hindu God. It is one of the 12 holiest Shiva temples termed as jyotirlingas. Varanasi is also called Kashi and Shiva is considered as the ruler of the universe. Vishwanath refers to the term ruler of the universe.
The history of the temple starts with a legendary story. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu got into an argument that broke into a fight about their supremacy. As a moderator, Lord Shiva took a form of light that pierced through three worlds. Shiva demanded them to find the tip of the light and the one who finds the tip of the light would be considered supreme. Vishnu took the form of a pig and dug down to find the tip and Lord Brahma rode up to find the tip. The place where Shiva’s light pierced through the earth are the 12 Jyothirlingas and this temple is one among those.
The year of construction of the building is unknown. This temple has been mentioned in many ancient scripts and myths. In 2nd AD, the temple was destroyed by invaders and was again rebuilt by a Gujarathi merchant. In 15thcentury, the temple was destroyed and rebuilt during the reign of Akbar, in the 16th century. Since Raja Man Singh, father-in-law of Akbar built the temple. Hindus boycotted the temple as the King let a Muslim marry into his family. In the 17th century, the temple was destroyed by Aurangzeb and a mosque was built in the spot. The remains of the ancient temple can be seen right behind the mosque.
Many rulers tried to destroy the mosque and build back the temple but failed. Later in the 18th century, the temple was built adjacent to the mosque. Many kings from different parts of the world donated fund and statues to the temple. The temple was managed by the kings of Varanasi and now is under the control of Indian Government.
Best time to visit Kashi Vishwanath temple:-
The temple will be at prime beauty throughout the year. Winter (October – March) has a pleasant climate which makes sightseeing easier. The rituals start early by 3 am in the morning. The second ritual starts at 11:15 am. In the evening, rituals starts at 7 pm, 9 pm and 10:30 pm. The temple closes by 11 in the night.
Things to Do in Varanasi
- Visit the Dashashwamedh Ghat which is known for its proximity to the temple and fabulous Ganga Aarti.
- Visit the Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath.
- Explore the 1750’s Ramnagar Fort on the eastern banks of River Ganga.
- Check out the Sarnath Museum for its archaeological artefacts dating from the 3rd -century BCE.
- Make sure you visit the Gyanvapi Mosque, which shares a wall with the Kashi temple.
How to Reach Kashi Vishwanath:-
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport is located at a distance of about 25 kilometres from the city centre. Air India, JetKonnect, Spice Jet and IndiGo Airlines are some major airlines that fly the Varanasi route from major cities across India.
Varanasi has three railway stations: Varanasi Junction; Mughal Sarai Junction, which is about 8 kilometres from Varanasi; and Manduadih Railway Station, about 4 kilometres from Varanasi. Rajdhani Express, Shivaganga Express, Lok Manya Tilak Varanasi Express, Vibhuti Express, Howrah Jodhpur Express, Ganga Kaveri Express, Sangamitra Express, Secunderabad Patna Express and Marudhra Express are some major trains that go to Varanasi from around India.
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