Kashi, now called Varanasi is one of the destinations of Lord Shiva, for which he had distinct affection. In India, Lord Shiva is worshipped to seek liberation from death and rebirth cycle. As per ancient legends, if one dies in Varanasi, also known as Shiv ki Nagri, one will receive instant liberation from all his sins. This is why, Varanasi is considered to be the most divine place to visit in India.
Kashi means (light of Brahma or God) and since it is located amidst the rivers Varuna and Asi, the city is now called Varanasi. The famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the major attractions here. This holy shrine has huge significance among Hindu devotees.
Let’s read some interesting facts about this temple.
1. History of Kashi Vishwanath Temple
As per studies, this temple was originally built in 1490. It witnessed the rule of many Kings and even Buddhists and underwent many reconstruction cycles for centuries. It is said that Emperor Akbar built the original temple that was destroyed by Aurangzeb (Akbar’s son) and built a mosque instead. It is also believed that this temple was robbed and destructed by the Mughals.
2. The Great Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar constructed this temple
Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar (the Sovereign of Indore) is said to have donated money to reconstruct, reestablish and reinstate this temple. Even today, this temple’s ruins are evident at the western fence of the mosque.
3. Jyotirlingas of Shiva
This temple is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva and is said that it was home to Lord Shiva for a short span of time.
4. The Wish-fulfilling Chhatri
This temple is adorned with a “Chhatri” made of pure gold. It is said that whoever sees this golden chatra, his wish gets fulfilled.
5. The Mysterious Well
This temple has a ‘Well of Wisdom’ where Lord Shiva’s idol was hidden in a well, when Aurangzeb was planning to destroy the temple soon.
6. Architecture of the temple
Maharaja Ranjit Singh (leader of the Sikh Empire) donated gold to build this temple. It has an inner sanctum that boasts a Mandapa and Shiva linga, made of black stone, set in a silver square altar. There are other various temples in its complex dedicated to Kaalbhairav, Lord Vishnu, Virupaksh Gauri and many more.
The best time to visit Varanasi is from November to February.
A visit to the city of Varanasi is a soul-cleansing experience and is best enjoyed when you actually visit this place. This is why, we offer couple of Varanasi tours that caters to all travel needs. You can check out our “Golden Triangle with Varanasi” tour by visiting https://www.getsholidays.com/golden-triangle-with-Varanasi.asp#/ to know more.