Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga: Lord Shiva's Sacred Abode

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Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 9:26 [IST]

Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga

Located in the holy city of Varanasi, Kashi Vishwanath is one of the holiest abodes of Lord Shiva. With more than 3500 years of a history behind it, this place is also known as Kashi and hence, the temple is popularly called as Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The residing deity in this temple known as Vishweshwara has been a central part of worship in Hinduism. Kashi Vishwanath temple has been rebuilt many times, the present one being built by a female Maratha monarch named Ahilya Bai Holkar.

Structure Of The Temple:

Vishwanath temple has a 15.5 metre high spire covered with the 1000 kilos of gold donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore. The Jyotirlinga in this temple is enclosed in a silver altar. Kashi Vishwanath has a series of smaller shrines located in a small lane within the circumference of the temple. There is a well inside the temple which is known as Jnana Vapi or the Wisdom Well. Some stories about the temple say that the Vishwanath Jyotirlinga was hidden in the Wisdom Well at the time of invasion by foreigners.

Importance:

Varanasi also known as the City of Ghats is enameled with the presence of Lord Shiva in its air. More than 3000 devotees pay their visit to Kashi Vishwanath everyday. At the river side of Ganga the Sandhya Aarti is worth a view in the evening times. Sometimes on occassions like Maha Shivratri, the number of visitors even reaches a lakh.

Kashi Vishwanath and a mosque named Gyanvapi Mosque exist side by side. The original temple was built at the present location of the mosque. But after being destroyed by Aurangzeb and a mosque was built there. The temple was rebuilt at it's present location.

According to the ancient Hindu Mythology people who once take bath in the holy water of Ganges in Varanasi and offer prayers to the Vishweshwara jyotirlinga in Kashi Vishwanath attain Salvation or Moksha. There are also some myths which say that Lord Shiva himself blows the mantra of salvation into the ears of those who choose to end their lives in Varanasi.

Travel:

By Bus: Almost all major cities in India are well connected to Varanasi by bus route. Frequent buses are available from all other major towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh to Varanasi.

By Rail: There are two rail heads to reach Vishwanath Temple namely the Varanasi Junction and Kashi Junction. Both of them are well connected to all major railway junctions in India like Delhi (780kms) and Kolkata (680kms).

By Air: Daily connecting flights can be found from Delhi(780kms), Mumbai (1593kms) and Agra (577kms). These airports are in turn well linked to all other major airports in the country.

Vishwanath Temple must be visited at least once by all Hindu pilgrim souls. By going to this place you will not only be visiting one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimages but also one of the oldest cities in the world, that is Varanasi.

Topics: shiva temples, hindu gods
 
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