Facing lots of trouble in life?
Want some peace from your life?
Or, you just stopped here with a “know more” attitude?
Whatever your reason be, the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi, has solutions to nearly all the questions bouncing in your head. You will shortly know why I am telling you this.
First thing first, Varanasi is one of the oldest city in the world, some proofs says that it is nearly 3000 years old, but many scriptures explain that it is 5000 years old, and established himself by Lord Shiva.
Many pilgrims from all around the world visit Varanasi to gain peace of mind, practice spiritualism and asking gods to free them from all the troubles.
It is also said that, if you die in Varanasi or if you are cremated here on the cremation ground like Manikarnika Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat, then you will be free from the cycle of rebirth.
So, jot down your reason to visit Varanasi, but before that, we need to know places where you will feel connected to the cosmos, and those are 5 ancient temples in Varanasi.
let’s dive in and know more about these ancient temples and famous legends associated with them.
1. Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple is the heart of Varanasi, and one of the twelve jyotirlingas manifested in here. Pilgrims from all around the world visit Varanasi to see a sight of this jyotirlinga named Vishweshwara to gain the blessings of Lord Shiva.
When we think about the golden temple, then the first thing that comes to our mind is the golden temple of Amritsar, right?
Of course, you are right, but you will be astounded by the fact that Kashi Vishwanath temple is also known as the golden temple in Varanasi because its two domes are fully platted with 1 tonne of gold.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple was destroyed several times in history, and people kept rebuilding it for the obeisance of Lord Shiva. Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple in 1669 and after the destruction of this holy temple, the Gyanvapi mosque was built on that same particular place.
So, the original Kashi Vishwanath temple was destroyed, and when you will visit this place in Varanasi then you can clearly able to see the remains and structure of the original Kashi Vishwanath temple under the dome of the Gyanvapi mosque.
The Maratha ruler of Indore, Ahilya Bai Holker built this temple again in 1780, adjacent to the Gyanvapi mosque. Later in 1835, Mahara Ranjit Singh donated 1 tonne of gold to cover the dome. In 1983, the Uttar Pradesh government took the management responsibility of this holy temple.
Here is a pro tip for you from my side, when you are planning to visit this temple, try to visit it in the early morning nearly 5:00 AM, otherwise you have to wait in long queues.
If you don’t want to wait in long queues then you can book a VIP ticket, an offline ticket can be booked from the counter, and an online ticket you can book from shrikashivishwanath.org
2. Kaal Bhairav Temple
Kaal Bhairav Mandir (Temple) is one of the oldest temples in Varanasi, the exact construction date of this temple is not known to anyone but it is built somewhere around the 17th century.
This holy temple is dedicated to the fiercest form of Lord Shiva, Kaal Bhairav. When you will visit this temple then you will only able to see the head of the deity and all the other parts of the body are covered with clothes and flowers.
It is said that Kaal Bhairav is the protector of Varanasi, people living in Varanasi has to take the permission of Kaal Bhairva before leaving Varanasi, and people coming to Varanasi has to take his permission to live peacefully in the city without facing any adversity. So, don’t ever try to miss this temple in Varanasi.
The legend of Kaal Bhairav Temple is such that, ones Lord Brahma() and Lord Vishnu() engaged in a quarrel about who is supreme, Lord Shiva after watching this quarrel transformed himself into a large column of light piercing to heaven.
Lord Brahma took the form of a swan and flew in the sky to find the end of the light, whereas Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar a dug into the ground to find its end, but both of them failed and returned back.
Lord Vishnu accepted his defeat, whereas Lord Brahma lied that he found the crown of the pillar, due to which Lord Shiva became so angry and created a new form of Kaal Bhairav and ripped off the fifth head of Load Brahma and cursed him, that is why Lord Brahma is not worshipped in any temple and even there is not a single temple dedicated for him.
The killing of a Brahman formed a sin for Kaal Bhairav and the skull of Lord Brahma’s fifth head stuck on his hand, when he visited Varanasi the skull from his hand fell on the ground, that is where Kaal Bhairav Temple is established.
Kaal Bhairav temple is situated in narrow lanes of Varanasi, approximately 10 minutes distance from Kashi Vishwanath temple. Don’t ever try to use maps to find this temple otherwise, you will be lost, just ask locals and they will surely help you out to reach this temple in Varanasi.
3. Durga Kund Temple
Durga Kund Temple in Varanasi is dedicated to the goddess Durga of Hinduism. The appearance of this temple is made with northern style structure, the whole temple is in red color and can be spotted from a very far distance.
It is said that the idol of deity present in this temple is not created by any human rather it appeared itself inside in the temple premise.
The legend related to this ancient temple is such that ones Kashi Naresh (King of Varanasi) invited other kings for a Swayamvar of his princess. Later he came to know that the princess is in love with a prince, so Kashi Naresh took a decision and secretly married his daughter to that prince.
When other people and kings came to know about this, they created huge adversity for Kashi Naresh by declaring war. Kashi Naresh pleaded to goddess Durga to get him out of the trouble, She listened to his prayer, and goddess Durga came to help him on her Lion, and defeated all the kings.
Kashi Naresh then requested to goddess Durga to stay in Varanasi forever and protect the city, that is why this temple is built.
Durga temple is less crowded as compared to other temples in Varanasi, So, you need not to worry about any timings for visiting.
4. Sankat Mochan Temple
Sankat Mochan temple of Varanasi is dedicated to the monkey god, Lord Hanuman. This temple is established by the famous poet and author Goswami Tulsidas, who is mainly known for writing Ramacharitamanasa, which is an Awadhi version of the holy book Ramayana.
“Sankat Mochan” means “reliever of problems”, which attracts many people to this temple to gain blessings from the idol of Lord Hanuman. Pilgrims from various places come to this temple every Tuesday and Saturday.
This Temple is also one of the oldest temples in Varanasi. It is said that Goswami Tulsidas had a vision of Lord Hanuman, and on the exact spot this temple was constructed.
You could easily see monkeys jumping and playing and around in the temple premises which also shows that this temple is dedicated especially to the monkey god, Lord Hanuman.
If you travel here in the month of April then it would be a big advantage for you, because a music event organized by them titled “Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh” in which various performers come to play their classical music.
5. New Vishwanath Temple
Vishwanath Temple is surely one of the must-visit temples in Varanasi because you will be astounded by the fact that this temple holds the record of the world’s largest Shiva temple.
However, this temple is a replica of the Kashi Vishwanath temple, constructed by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya in 1930. This holy temple of Shiva is located inside the campus of Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
If narrow lanes of Varanasi and the ringing of bells start giving you a headache then it is high time that you should consider visiting Vishwanath temple, because this temple is situated in a very spacious place with greenery all around. Also, you will get a picturesque environment.
Although Varanasi is called as the spiritual capital of the world, which is the main reason you will find countless temples in every nook and corner of the city, I have mentioned some of the oldest and historical temples that have some enthralling tales related to them.
Always be clear in your mind, that why you are visiting Varanasi. If you want to ask something to the gods then ask it with a pure heart, not with greed.
Tell me in the comments down below which one is your favorite temple in Varanasi and why?