TEMPLES OF VARANASI (KASHI): Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Visalakshi Temple and Kaalbhairav Temple

November 13, 2012 By:

Dear Friends,

First of all  ” Happy Diwali ” to you and all your family members and May God Showers blessings and utmost happiness in your life.

After long time I am writing about my yatra to Kashi which I did it March 2011 .I had already written 2 posts on Varanasi. One was about Varanasi city and other was about Ganga River and Ghats of Ganga in Varanasi. But after that I was not able to write about this great city due to bad experience I  had about this holy city. But this was the best day where I can schedule  this post where the readers can  have the darshan of great Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga , Maa Annapoorna, Shaktipeeth Visalakshi and Kotwal of Kashi Kaalbhairav. Before I go further I would just say that please be watchful in each and every lane of Varanasi because someone is always watching you. If you are not careful and your attention is distracted then I am sure that you are going to get robbed in those tiny paths and lanes. So always be aware and be careful.

In the lanes of Kashi one can find lot of shops of eateries , pooja materials , religious book shops , idol shops , Benaras Silk Saree shop as seen in the picture.

In the lanes of Varanasi near Kashi Vishwanath Temple Gate no. 2

We stayed three days in Varanasi, in which one day was idle because my wife Sonali was not feeling well. And remaining two days we visited temples and monuments of Kashi , Ganga and Ghats of Ganga. today we will visist the most important temples of Varansi for which we did this yatra. The first one being called King of all Jyotirlings Kashi Vishwanath, Lord of Universe.

As I was staying nearby the Kashi Vishwanath Temple I used to visit all these temples all the three days morning and evening whenever I used to get the time. These great  temples have a great historical and religious importance , I am going to describe in detail.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple 

Legend

At the time of creation when no one was there , only Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were present. They both started to fight for supremacy. They both used their most powerful weapons against each other after thousands of years fighting. When the two weapons were about to hit each other causing total destruction , an endless  pillar of fire rose between the two absorbing their weapons.

Both Brahma and Vishnu wanted to known the end. Brahma assumed the form of Swan and flew up and Vishnu assumed the form of Boar and went down to find their ends and declared that whoever finds the end first would be the winner . Both couldn’t find the ends and came back after 100 years. Vishnu told that he couldn’t find the  end whereas Brahma along with false testimony flower Kewada and cow told that he found the end of the pillar.

This angered Lord Shiva and he emerged from the fire and declared that All the three are forms of same Omkaar and Brahma is Creator , Vishnu is Preserver and Shiva as Destroyer. Since Brahma had told lies , Lord Shiva cursed him that no one will worship him and He gave Lord Vishnu the title of Purushottam being the Supreme being .  The pillar of fire vanished from then and small portion of it remained at Varanasi as jyotirlinga  called Kashi Vishwanath. Lord Shiva being the last to complete the cycle is called Mahadeo or great God and giver of Moksha. Those who have bath in Ganges and worship Kashi Vishwanath , Lord Shiva utters Tarak mantra in his ears at the time of death which gives Salvation.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple Golden Dome ( Gyanvapi Mosque in the background)

Kashi Vishwanath is foremost of all jyotirlingas and called king of jyotirlingas. A one time visit to Kashi Vishwanath equals to the visit to the rest of the eleven jyotirlingas. Lord Brahma after his duel with Lord Vishnu mediatated here at Dasaswamedh Ghat worshipped the Jyotirlinga and did Ten Aswamedha yagna on the banks of Ganges to get rid of his sin. Hence this area is very pious.This temple is regarded as the most  important temple by most leading Hindu saints including Adi Shankaracharya, Shivananda, Ramkrishna Paramhans , Swami Vivekananda, Dayananda Saraswati, Tulsidas, Guru Nanak who all have visisted this temple.

But nowadays this place is no more than a place for robbers and dacoits delight. People come here for washing their sins and do pious activities and are looted by them.

Construction and Destruction of Kashi Vishwanath temple

As far as proofs are concerned, Kashi Vishwanath temple was built in 490 AD. Then again in 11th century it was built by Hari Chandra . Muhammad Ghori destroyed it in his raid on Indian temples in 1194. Reconstruction started but it was destroyed by Qutbud – din – Aibak. After Aibak’s death Hindu Emperors built that temple again. It was again destroyed by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. It was once again built  by the revenue minster of Akbar Todarmal in 1585. Again Aurangazeb ordered its demolition in 1669 and constucted a Gyanvapi Mosque on that site. The original shivalinga was thrown in the well inside the temple by hindus to prevent it from getting in the hands of Muslim rulers. Still now the original  lingam resides in the well. The current temple is made by Ahilya bai Holkar the Hindu Maratha queen of Maheshwar in 1770. Many noble families in India make notable contributions to this temple . In 1839, Two domes of the Temple were covered by gold donated by Punjab Kesari Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. Third dome but was remained uncovered, Ministry of cultures & Religious affairs of U.P. Govt. took keen interest for gold plating of third dome of Temple.

Now enjoy the temple and jyotirlinga picture

Three Golden Domes Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga is placed chanting matras in a silver metal box as shown and everyone is allowed to touch the linga. There is separate queue for abhishek and pooja.

Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga

Annapoorna Mata Temple

Annapoorna Mata is the Goddess of nourishment. Anna means food and grains. Purna means full, complete and perfect. She is actually Devi  Parvati, the consort of Shiva.

Legend

Once Goddess  Parvati was told by her Husband Lord  Shiva that the world is an illusion and that food is a part of this illusion called maya.The Divine Mother who is worshipped as the manifestation of all material things, including food, became seriously angry. To demonstrate the importance of her manifestation she disappeared from the world.

Her disappearance brought time to a standstill and the earth became barren and dry. There was no food  to be found anywhere and all the living beings suffered from the pangs of hunger.

Seeing all the suffering, Mother Parvati was filled with compassion and reappeared in Kashi and set up a Kitchen.

Hearing about her return, Lord Shiva ran to her and presented his bowl in alms saying, now he realised that the material world, like the spirit, cannot be dismissed as an illusion. Devi Parvati smiled and fed Lord Shiva with her own hands.

Since then Parvati is worshipped as Annapurna, the Goddess of Nourishment.

Three important idols of three important temples

Annapoorna Temple is located just besides Kashi Vishawanath temple. Just after having darshan of Kashi Vishwanath linga one can immediately see Annapoorna Mata temple in front.

Visalakshi Temple

The temple of Visalakshi or Divine mother Sati is just behind kashi Vishwanath temple and it is said to be one of the 51 shaktipeeths. It is said that when Lord Vishnu was cutting the body pieces of Sati by Sudarshana Chakra  the earing fell here ( Manikarni ) hence some pundit says that its a Upapeetha or a sub centre. Some say that third eye aksha  fell here hence she is called Vishalakshi ” Vast eyed “.

Lord Shiva here is called Kaalbhairva.

Kashi Visalakshi Temple Entrance

Visalakshi Mata : One of the 51 shaktipeeth

Kalbhairav Temple

To go towards Kaalbhairav temple, one has to come out of kashi Vishwanath lane at Chowk Godowlia road and then via cycle rickshaw or auto rickshaw can go towards Kaalbhairava Temple which is One KM away . It is said that unless you visit Kaalbhairav Temple , Kashi Yatra is incomplete.

Legend

In Kashi Vishwanath legend, when Lord Shiva gets angry on Lord Brahma , he creates a dangerous form called Kaalbhairava . Bhairava beheaded one of Brahma’s five heads and since then Brahma has only four heads. When depicted as Kala Bhairava, Bhairava is shown carrying the decapitated head of Brahma. Cutting off Brahma’s fifth head made him guilty of the crime of killing, and as a result, he was forced to carry around the head for years and roam as Bhikshatana, a mendicant, until he had been absolved of the sin.His head was released when he reached the city of Kashi . From there on he lived in the city of Kashi and started guarding it. Hence he is called The Kotwal of Kashi. No one can enter Kashi without the permission of Bhairava.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple to Kaalbhairav Temple

The full temple is painted in orange colour . One has to take black threads and offer them to Kaalbhairav and take them an tie them on the hand for his protection. The whole atmosphere in Kaal Bhairav Temple is mesmerising with immnese power and mantra chanting. When one looks at the idol he is allured by his emmision of powerful rays , such is the beauty of the temple. Its a must visit and not to be missed.

Kaalbhairav Temple Entrance

Near Kaalbhairav Sanctrum

Kaalbhairav Idol

Kaalbhairav Idol

Hotel Information, Varanasi

Before going to other temples and monuments of Kashi I will talk about Hotels to stay near Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the main ghat which is called Dasaswamedh Ghat where much of the things happen so that one may easily go through all the places without much travel.  In Internet one  can find lot of hotels in Varanasi , but always be sure that how far is the hotel away from Dasaswamedh ghat because this ghat is the centre point of Varanasi. from here you can go Kashi Vishwanath temple and kashi Visalakshi Devi Temple , and other temples like Shitala Mata , Nepali Temple , Kedareshwar Temple. Apart from this you may get a boat ride from here itself to have darshan at all the ghats and Ganga aarti evening. So staying near this ghat is the most feasible option.

Now I have taken a map from Google and marked some important points so that devotees can be  benefited. Please go through the map.

Varanasi Map near Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Dasaswamedh Ghat

1…  Ganga River
2…  Kashi Vishwanath Temple
3…  Kashi Visalakshi Temple
4…  Dasaswamedh ghat

5…  Gate No.1 Kashi Vishwanath Temple
7…  Gate No.2 Kashi Visalakshi Temple

9…  Godowlia Chowk

10.. Jaipuria Bhawan

Advice to my readers for Kashi Vishwanath Darshan to take from gate no. 2

I would advice my readers to come at Dasaswamedh ghat , point 4 (map) , have a dip in Ganga or pour some drops of Ganga river on the body and then go for Kashi Vishwanath darshan via gate No. 2 at  point 7 ( map) rather than going to gate no.1 at 5 which is more crowded. After coming to Dasaswamedh ghat point 4( map) ,go to gate no. 2 , point 7 ( map) nearby river while crossing the ghats and then take darshan via gate 2.

Hotels near Dasaswamedh Ghat

There are many hotels ranging from Rs. 300 to Rs. 5000 near Dasawamedh Ghat. There are lot of dharamshalas and small hotels also.They don’t have advance booking facilities on phone. If one wants to stay near Dasaswamedh ghat and if he has no prior booking then he need not worry. From railway station  he need to pick up auto or cab and reach Godowlia Chowk. Further from here, vehicles are not allowed. From here one can find lot of hotels on both the sides of Dasaswamedh road.

At Godwlia chowk there are two very good hotels where I stayed

Jaipuria Bhawan ,  point 10 ( map) NR Marwadi Hospital, Godowalia chowk, Godowlia, Varanasi – 221001.

+(91)-(542)-2412674, 2412766, 2412709.They do advance booking on phone itself. Rs. 800 – 1000 / day

Hotel Palace : which is just besides Jaipuria Bhawan near the Godowlia chowk . Rs. 400 – Rs 500/ day.

Hotel Ganpati Guest house with river view : Rs. 700 to Rs. 1000 +91-542-2390057 ,+91-542-2390059,+91-542-2391678.

There are also three star and four star hotels near Ganges River whose information can be easily obtained on internet.

Dear Friends

Thanks for reading ,

In the next post I will cover other important temples of Varanasi and Ramgarh Fort. Till Then

Jai Bhole.

Lord Shiva’s Twelve Jyotirlingas Photo

Also as you may be aware that among the Gods Lord Shiva gets impressed very quickly and is most compassionate. He fulfills his devotee’s desires as soon as  possible. So I have compiled the original pictures of Lord Shiva’s Twelve Jyotirlingas in one frame . Have darshan everyday to have blessings of THE GREAT GOD.
Have a Wonderful and happy life ahead . May Lord Shiva Shower blessings on you and your family.

 

Dear Readers if you want to read my other Yatras with more pictures PLEASE CLICK BELOW

AMARNATH YATRA

JAMMU AND KASHMIR: PAHALGAM , VAISHNO DEVI

PUNJAB : AMRITSAR

GUJARAT : SOMNATH AND DWARKA  ( 2010 & 2012 )

MAHARSHTTRA : BHIMASHANKAR , TRIMBAKESHWAR , GRISHNESHWAR , DAULATABAD FORT

MADHYA PRADESH : UJJAIN , OMKARESHWAR AND DEWAS

KASHI YATRA : VARANASI , PRAYAG AND CHITRAKOOT

KARNATAKA : GOKARNA , UDUPI , MURUDESHWAR , SIRSI

LORD SHIVA JYOTIRLINGS

About Vishal Rathod

Vishal Rathod has written 70 posts at Ghumakkar.

I am Vishal Rathod from Mumbai.I am a devotee, that is why I am a Ghumakkar. An Engineer, MBA by education, Sales Professional by profession and a small devotee by heart.I like to travel religious places. From past 3 years I have started travelling every three to four months.I am tired of excess materialism and have shifted my focus on spiritualism. My goal as a ghumakkar in life is to visit as many religious places as possible and do bhakti.The only reason to write in ghumakkar.com is to benefit fellow devotees to perform their pilgrimage smoother and easier.God bless all of you. aum namah shivaya . hare krishna hare ram.

24 Responses to “TEMPLES OF VARANASI (KASHI): Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Visalakshi Temple and Kaalbhairav Temple”


  1. Surinder Sharma says:

    Very informative posts. How much time it take to visit Vishwanath temple. Photos and description are very good.

    Thanks

  2. On this auspicious day of the festival of lights ‘Deepavali / Diwali’, my best wishes to all readers through your post.

    It’s nice to read the story of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see Kashi Vishwanath Temple during our brief stay en-route to Kolkata – but will surely visit there once. Once I visited Vaidyanath Dham and my home is very near to Tarakeshwar (W.B.) and is a renowned place of pilgrimage of the Shiva sect in West Bengal. 58 km away from Kolkata. I don’t know whether you have heard about the place or not.

  3. Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Vishal,
    A very well narrated post adorned with beautiful pictures. A million thanks for making us have darshan of Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirling on the auspicious day of Deepawali.

    All readers and Authors of ghumakkar.com,

    Wishing all a very very happy and prosperous Deepawali.

    Thanks.

  4. Praveen Wadhwa says:

    Meticulously detailed account of the journey.
    A real travel guide; very useful and informative for the prospective travelers.

  5. D.L.Narayan says:

    Happy Deepavali to my fellow ghumakkars.

    Dhanya ho, Vishal bhai. On this auspicious day, you have given us all darshan of the holy city of Kashi, the twelve jyotirlingams and of Goddesses Vishalakshi and Annapurna Devi. As always you are thorough and methodical in your presentation.

    Ardh shatak maarne ke baad, tezi se aap shatak ki ore pahunch raheho. Hope to see you hit a century soon. This is my wish for you on this special day.

    • Thank DL ,

      Your comments are one of the most encouraging ones . Yes twelve jyotirlingams it took time to compile but I did it finally what I was trying for long time. Century is too much for now because I need to travel that much. At the moment no future travel journeys are planned apart from Trimbakeshwar on 25th of this month again with my wife Sonali and Aarya .

      I was there in Trimbakeshwar few days ago with Sandeep Jatdevta . The post is already coming .

  6. rastogi says:

    प्रिय विशाल
    काशी विश्वनाथ मंदिर के बारे बहुत अच्छी जानकारी दी है।एक बात है अंग्रेजों को हम लाख बुरा कहें पर उन्होंने हमारे मंदिरों को न तो तोडा और न हि उनकी जगह अपना चर्च बनवाया।

    • Vijaya says:

      आप समझते हैं किअँग्रेज़ों ने हमारे मंदिरों को नहीं तोड़ा.
      यह एक बृहत भूल है क्यों की अँग्रेज़ों ने क्या-क्या अत्याचर किए हमारी जनता न जानती है और न हमारे इतिहास के पुस्तकों में इन सत्यों को प्रदर्शित किया गया है .
      भारत का इतिहास विदेशियों ने लिखा है (और उन्हीं के जैसे सोचनेवाले भारतीयों की लिखी पुस्तकें) आज भी हमारे बच्चों को विद्यालयों मैं पढ़ाया जा रहा है.
      अँग्रेज़ों ने भारत आते ही हिंदू जनों की ज़मीन हड़प करके अपने ईसाई गिरजे और ईसाए स्कूल बनाए.
      ज़रा सोचके देखें- जहाँ भी ईसाई स्कूल हैं उनके पास कितनी ज़मीन व जायदाद है.
      इसका आज तक हमारे लोगों के पास कोई हिसाब नहीं है और न ही हमारी सरकार को कोई चिंता है .
      हमारी सरकार में अधिकतम ईसाई और मुसलमान भर दिए गये हैं और अब भी भरे जा रहें हैं .
      उन्होनें हमारे मंदिर भी तोड़े और उन्हीं जगहों पर ईसाई धर्म के गिरजे बनाए. गोमांतक में- जिसे आज हम ‘गोआ’ कहकर बुलाते सैकड़ों मंदिर तोड़े गये और वहाँ ईसाईओं के गिरजे खडें हैं.
      कोंकण व मंगलूर में यही किया गया और वहाँ की पूरी जनता आज ईसाए बन चुकी है .यही हाल केरल प्रदेश का भी है.
      दक्षिण भारत में तमिल नाडु में जीतने भी गिरजे खड़े हैं वहाँ का इतिहास यदि पढ़ा जाए तब पता चलता है कितने मंदिरों को तोड़कर उसी स्थल पर ईसाई गिरजे बनाऐ गये हैं.
      हिंदू समाज अपने स्वभाव से सबों को सम-भाव व एक ही दृष्टि से देखते आई हैं और अब भी खरा सत्य नहीं समझ पाते हैं.
      यदि हम अपने देश का सच्चा इतिहास नहीं पढ़ेंगे तो आने वाले काल में भी हम धोखा खाएँगे और मूर्ख बनाए जाएँगे .
      और आनेवाली पीढ़ियाँ हमारी भूलों को कभी क्षमा नहीं कर पाएँगे.
      यह मानव संस्कृति के विरुद्ध व भारत के प्रति सबसे बृहत आघात व कभी भी न माफ़ होनेवाला पाप साबित होगा .

  7. Shalabh says:

    Vishal,

    Just amazing write-up and pictures you present are just so well placed with the text that it looks like im ready a beautiful novel on Kashi. Keep it up…

    very very informative…

  8. venkatt says:

    As usual a very informative detailed post. Very useful for first-time visitors to this holy place.

  9. Ritesh Gupta says:

    Hello Vishal Ji…
    जय हो काशी विश्वनाथ की….शिव शकंर भोले नाथ की…
    First of ” Happy Deepawali ” to you and your Family. May God fill your life with happiness & peace.

    (_()_)

    Excellent writeup with decorative beautiful Pictures along with more & more necessary information about Varanasi.

    Thanks for the such a nice post

    Ritesh

  10. Nandan Jha says:

    Festive Greetings Vishal and everyone at Ghumakkar.

    My kid was very young so we skipped this temple during our short stay at Banaras. Many thanks for the detailed info around hotels, maps etc. Jai Bhole.

  11. Archna says:

    thank you this was a real treat to read and very soothing. The healing energy was very helpful to my chaotic mind. Thanks for posting. god bless

  12. mukesh deo says:

    Dear vishalji its very amazing and pics are also very good but can u know one thing that about the secrate of parad shivling it is very powerful. i want to talk with u can u .

  13. Rajakumar says:

    Thanks Vishal for nice info.

    I need little more help. I am planning to go in November.Mine is quick visit.

    I will be reaching at 8 pm on Friday. Iam planning to stay near Godpwlia chowk recommended by you. want to take a dip early morning 2:30 am in Ganges and want to go to Darshan through gate1 because I am booking aarati online.
    Is it safe to go early morning to ghat and then go to temple. Or shall I take bath at hotel and go to Aarati.

  14. Saikat says:

    Hello Vishal sir, this is Saikat.

    I saw ur Twelve jyotirlinga clg ,and there is a very clear px of shree Vaidyanath jue, sir now I need only a high resolution snap of shree Vaidyanath jue. It would be a gr8 fvr 4 me, if u vl send the required px.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Saikat

  15. Prabhakar says:

    Be in touch and if happens to visit Konkan pl let me know…………………
    May all be blessed by Almighty…………………..

    Regards……………………….

    Prabhakar…………………………

  16. raghu kumar says:

    good presentation on holly kashi jai maha deva

  17. Jayakumar says:

    Thank you ji for your kind guidance on Kashi Vishwanath temple.

  18. HarshvardhanPandey says:

    काशी विश्वनाथ मंदिर के बारे बहुत अच्छी जानकारी दी है।एक बात है अंग्रेजों को हम लाख बुरा कहें पर अँग्रेज़ों ने हमारे मंदिरों को नहीं तोड़ा.



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