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triveni sangam

Triveni Sangam Allahabad

Triveni Sangam Allahabad

The word “Sangam” originates from Sanskrit language which means according to the Hindu tradition – the confluence of three rivers. These three rivers are essentially Ganga, Yamuna and the mystical Saraswati River. This confluence is at Prayaga, India where the legendary Kumbha mela is held for the past twelve years. The river Saraswati is invisible and is said to flow underground eventually joining the other two rivers from below. The point of confluence is a sacred place for all Hindus. A bath here at Triveni Sangam, said to wash away all of one’s sins and free one from the cycle of rebirth and finally attain ‘Moksha’ and inner peace.

Allahabad’s ancient name is Prayaga. The sacred holy site of sangam is located at about 7 km from Civil Township at Allahabad.

triveni sangam

History of the Kumbha Mela

It is said that Kumbha the very word comes from the immortal Pot of Nectar, which the Demigods (Devtas) and Demons (Asuras) fought over. Our ancient scriptures like the puranas also mention about how the demigods and demons together made the nectar of immortality and decided to share half of it for each. To churn the portion of the milky ocean they came at the sea shore where the Mandara Mountain was used as the churning rod.  But as a deadly poison was produced at first Lord Shiva drank the whole of it without getting harmed. And while drinking the few drops spilled was licked by serpents and reptiles.

After 1000 years of churning, Dhanwantari appeared with the Kumbh of immortal nectar in his hands. The demigods, being fearful of the demons’ ill intent, forcibly seized the pot with its safety entrusted onto the four Gods – Brahaspati, Surya, Shani, and Chandra.

Significance of Triveni Sangam Allahabad

  • Here one of the former prime ministers of India, Indira Gandhi used to come for a holy dip.
  • Hindu pilgrims take boats to bathe from platforms erected at the confluence. This, together with the migratory birds gives a picturesque look to the river during the Kumbha Mela, in January.
  • It is believed to be the place where drops of nectar fell from the pitcher, from the hands of the Gods.
  • The Rig Veda, which says, “Those who bath at the place where the two rivers, white and dark, flow together, rise up to heaven. More than a thousand years later, the classical Sanskrit poet, Kalidasa, described the confluence of the white ‘waters of the Ganga with the blue waters of the Yamuna as if they were a string of pearls and sapphires combined, or a garland of white and blue lotuses intertwined’.

Festivals at Triveni Sangam Allahabad

  • One of the most revered festivals – the Kumbha Festival is held at Prayag on the lunar conjunction day.
  • During the period of Kumbha Mela (special dates assigned for spiritual bathing), it is believed that a thousand times stronger confluence takes place. Apart from self-purification purposes, thousands of people also come to the shores during Kumbh Mela to offer pind for their deceased parents.

How to reach Triveni Sangam Allahabad

  • By air: Allahabad is well connected to the major cities of India. Regular flights are easily available. The Bamrauli airport is nearest.
  • By rail: You can easily get regular trains to Allahabad from other major cities of the country. Nearby Railway Station(s) are- chheoki (COI), allahabad junction (ALD), allahabad city (ALY), naini (NYN), phaphamau junction (PFM), prayag (PRG), subedarganj (SFG), bamhrauli (BMU).
  • By road: there are quite a number of bus stops connecting with major areas in Allahabad.

Hotels nearby Triveni Sangam Allahabad

  • Hotel Crown Palace at Rambagh Hewett road of South Malaka is a grand place to check in. It is close to the area and has a great view to look at.
  • Hotel Kanha Shyam at strachay road civil lines is another great place to tuck in. it has well suited accommodations and reasonable pricings.

Places to visit nearby Triveni Sangam Allahabad

  • Allahabad fort is a great place to visit and it is archeologically important. It gives you beautiful visibility from top including famous Sangam of Allahabad. It is a historic site that landmarks legend from the days of yore.
  • Shankar Viman Mandapam is situated very near to Sangam this temple is of Lord Shiva but architecture looks like south India temple. Beautiful view of Sangam can be enjoyed from the top floor of this temple.
  • Alopi Devi Mandir is one of the foremost shaktipeeth. Many people come to visit it to offer their prayers and receive blessings from Devi Ma.

Deo Krishna Mandir

Deo Krishna Mandir, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

The world famous holy city of Mathura situated on the banks of the sacred River Yamuna is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, just 50 km from Agra. The city is the birthplace of Lord Krishna and is popularly known as Krishna Janmabhoomi (Deo Krishna Mandir).

The region of Mathura and surrounding areas were called Brij Mandal or Vraj Mandal. This area included Madhuvan, Kumudvan, Vrindavan, Gokul, Govardhan, Nandagram, Radha Kund, Shyam Kund and Prem Sarovar. The town of Vrindavan is located 15 km from Mathura. This area used to be the forests where Lord Krishna used to spend his childhood days doing mischief and slaying demons.

Deo Krishna Mandir is one of the most sacred sites as per the beliefs of Hinduism. The site on which the shrine has been constructed is believed to be the exact spot where Lord Vishnu manifested himself as the eighth avatar of Lord Krishna. During the excavation of the 1500-year-old temple that was damaged by Aurangzeb, it was found that the actual Sanctum or the Garbhagriha was intact and buried under the debris from the temple demolition. The Grabhagrih is believed to be the actual place where Lord Krishna took birth. Next to the prison cell, a shrine is dedicated to the Ashtabhuja form of Yogmaya (Goddess Durga) who appeared to Kansa to warn him about his dismal future.

Apart from the Grabhagriha, Deo Krishna Mandir complex also is the site of the Keshavdeva Temple. The shrine is dedicated to the long haired form of Lord Krishna. Deo Krishna Mandir was built by Seth Ramkrishnaji Dalmia in the 1950’s at the same site where the ruins of the earlier Keshav Deo temple were found. Deo Krishna Mandir complex also consists of the Bhagavata Bhawan which is comprised of five main temples.

The city of Mathura is protected by four Shiva Temples in the four cardinal directions – The Rangeshwar temple in the South, the Bhuteshwar Temple in the West, the Pipaleshwara Temple in the East and the Gokarneshwara Temple in the North.

Deo Krishna Mandir 2

History and Legends of the Deo Krishna Mandir

  • The oldest mention of Mathura can be traced back to the age of the epic Ramayana. Shatrughna, youngest brother of Lord Rama (Lord Vishnu’s seventh avatar) slew the demon King of Mathura, Lavanasura was the nephew of Ravana. The place where the event takes place was named Madhupura and eventually Mathura.
  • In the Dwapara Yuga, around 3000 BC, Mathura was an important settlement ruled by the Yadava Dynasty. King Ugrasena and his Queen Padmavati were ruling Mathura during the golden period. However, his kingdom was usurped by his devious foster son Kamsa or Kansa who was the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna. He was a cruel ruler under whose rule; people were tortured for minor issues and punished excessively. It was prophesized that the eighth son of his sister Devaki will be the end of him. As a result, he tried several times to kill her. However, to save Devaki, her husband promised Kansa that he will hand over his newborn children to him in exchange for her life.
  • Kansa imprisoned Devaki and Vasudev and mercilessly killed their six newborn children. Prior to the birth of the seventh child, Lord Vishnu requested Yogmaya (Goddess Durga is also known as Narayani, Ambika, and Vaishnavi) to transport the embryo from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini, who was Vasudev’s second wife in Gokul. He also requested Yogmaya to take birth from the womb of Yashoda in Gokul. Yogmaya agreed to the proposal and accordingly transferred the seventh embryo from Devaki to Rohini and she herself took birth as a girl in Ma Yashoda’s household. The seventh son born to Rohini was named Balram, Lord Krishna’s elder brother.
  • Lord Vishnu took birth as the eighth son of Devaki. Yogmaya entranced the jail guides taking advantage of which, Vasudeva carried baby Krishna across the raging River Yamuna to the house of Nand and Yashoda in Gokul. He brought back the baby girl from their house to the jail. When Kansa came to kill the newborn child, the girl transformed into fierce eighth handed form of Yogmaya and warned Kansa that the eighth child who will kill him has been born in Gokul.
  • The life of young Krishna in Gokul and Vrindavan is well documented and a stuff of legends. He was the mischievous kid who loved butter and played divine flute music. People loved him instantly and he became the apple of the eye of the Braj Bhoomi. His Rasleelas with Gopis (village girls)are legendary and he is often associated with the God who spread the love. He also slew several demons during his stay at Gokul which made him popular and people started considering him as a divine soul.
  • After the end of Mahabharatha and the start of Kaliyuga, the scriptures don’t mention much about the fate of Mathura and surrounding areas. However, Jain and Buddhist texts dated 6th century BC mention that the area around Mathura was often visited by Vardhamana Mahavira and Gautam Buddha.
  • The city of Mathura was an important trade center for not just Indians but also to traders from nearby countries.
  • The indigenous art form of Mathura gained international fame and recognition under the reign of the Kushanas. This form of Art is recognized in present times as the Mathura School of Art. King Kanishka ordered the construction of several monasteries and sculptures relating to Buddhism in the area.
  • The period between 400 AD to 650 AD has been documented by several travelers like Fa-Hsien and Hieun Tsiang who concluded that both Buddhism and Hinduism flourished in the prosperous city. The city was economically well off and the societal structure was just and accommodating to travelers. Hieun TSiang also mentioned five large temples, twenty large monasteries, several Stupas and thousands of Monks and Priests walking the streets.
  • The first major invasion of Mathura occurred in 1015 AD by Mahmud Ghazni. The city and its treasures were plundered. Temples and Monasteries were completely destroyed and its precious sculptures and idols were stolen. The new Temple that came up in its place was destroyed again by Sikander Lodi, 300 years later.
  • However, during the reign of Akbar, Deo Krishna Mandir was restored again. European travelers like Francois Bernier and Jean Baptiste Tavernier have documented a giant and marvelous temple which was visible from s distance of approximately six miles.
  • The magnificent temple was again razed to the ground by Aurangzeb in the month of Ramazan in 1669. On his orders, a mosque at the place was constructed using the materials of the Temple. These materials can still be seen today. After the fall of Aurangzeb, the Rajputs, and the Marathas restored the former glory of the city.
  • Under the British rule, Mathura was finally restored to its former glory and was considered as a pilgrimage site.

Significance of the Deo Krishna Mandir

  • The Garuda Purana mentions the region of Mathura is a part of the seven Moksha Puris or the Sapta Puris considered extremely sacred in Hindu religion. The other six cities are Ayodhya, Haridwar, Varanasi, Kanchipuram, Ujjain, and Dwarka. Mathura is one of the holiest lands on Earth. It is the land of Krishna, one of the most loved Gods in Hinduism.
  • It is believed that a Parikrama or circumambulation of Vrindavan washes all the sins accumulated by the person over his or her previous births. The whole Brij Mandal including Mathura and Vrindavan is sprinkled with places relating to legends of Lord Krishna.
  • The idols of the deities of the Bhagavad Bhawan are all unique. The idols of Radha-Krishna are six feet high. The idols of Sri Jagannath, Subhadra and Balram are made using the same wood (Nimba Kashtha) that was used to make the idol of Lord Jagannath at Puri, Odisha. Lord Keshveshwar (Lord Shiva) is worshiped in the form of a Linga. The Linga is made of Mercury mixed with herbal extracts making it one of a kind in the world.
  • Inside Deo Krishna Mandir complex, the Gocharan Leela Darshan (life-size tableaux representing Krishna interacting with cows) and the tableaux representing Rasleelas of Krishna are a must visit for any devotee.
  • The city has been chosen as one of the heritage sites for HRIDAY – Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of the Government of India. Under this scheme, 12 ancient cities of importance have been identified from different parts of the country. The heritage sites at these places like temples, ghats, and other monuments will be developed and equipped with better sanitation facilities, roads, and public transport, parking and information kiosks.
  • The town of Vrindavan is also known as the city of widows. The widows of the region leave their households and reach Vrindavan to spend the rest of their lives in dedication to God.
  • A holy dip at the Vishram ghat near the temple is believed to be taking a dip in the three holy Rivers of Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati at Prayag. The Bengali ghat is believed to be the place where Vasudeva crossed the Yamuna with baby Krishna to reach Gokul on the other side.

Deo Krishna Mandir Timings

  • Deo Krishna Mandir opens at 5 AM and closes at 9:30 PM in summer. Deo Krishna Mandir remains closed during 12 PM to 4 PM in the afternoon. The Garbhagriha remains open from 5 AM to 9:30 PM.
  • Deo Krishna Mandir opens at 5:30 AM and closes at 8:30 PM in winter. Deo Krishna Mandir remains closed during 12 PM to 3 PM. The Garbhagriha remains open from 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM.

Dress Code

Deo Krishna Mandir administration does not mention any specific dress code but it is recommended that one wears decent clothes that cover one’s legs and arms.

Poojas and Rituals at Deo Krishna Mandir

  • Akhand Sankirtan – In the first floor complex of the Bhagavata Bhavan, an uninterrupted recital of the Akhand Harinaam Sankirtan has been going on since 1982.
  • Yamuna Aarti – The spiritual experience of conducting an Aarti in the evening on the banks of River Yamuna at Vishram Ghat is a must-see for any devotee. The participating devotees light small lamps and let them flow in the Yamuna as a tribute to the River as well as the sanctity of the place.
  • Nava Graha Pooja – The Pooja is performed for devotees who want o remove the ill-effects of placement of planets in their horoscope. It helps in removing obstacles from achieving the goal.
  • Gopal Sahasra Naam Path – The Lord is worshiped by reciting his 1008 names and singing chants praising him on behalf of the devotee
  • Rudrabhishek and Mahamrityunjaya Path – The Pooja is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is worshiped as fire or Rudra. The puja wipes out all sins and purifies the atmosphere. It also removes all sorts of planetary related ill-occurrences. The Mondays of the month,are considered as ideal for performing the Pooja.
  • Poshak Seva – The Seva includes dressing up Lord Krishna in beautiful attire and dedicating the day’s rituals to him on behalf of the devotee.
  • Phool Bangla – The Seva includes decorating the temple and the deity with flowers and worshiping the Lord on behalf of the deity.
  • Bhog Seva – Several types of Bhogs (food offerings) can be dedicated to the Lord such as the Baal Bhog, Raj Bhog, Uthapan Bhog and the Phal Bhog with Shayan Bhog.

Festivals celebrated at the Deo Krishna Mandir

  • Sri Krishna Janmashtami – The auspicious Ashtami (eighth day) of the Krishna Paksha of the Shravan month (August – September) is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna was born at Mathura. It is widely celebrated all over the country. However, the celebration at Mathura occurs on an unprecedented grand scale. All the temples of Mathura and other regions of the Braj Bhoomi are decorated with immense love and devotion. Various musical programs are organized at the Temple premises. Bhajans and Kirtans are sung the whole day till midnight by devotees who observe fast on the day. The idol of Lord Krishna is decorated in the form of a young infant and kept on a swing. At midnight, the idol is bathed with milk and curd and then placed in the cradle. It is a belief that any genuine wish of the devotee will be fulfilled if made during the rocking of the cradle. After the midnight Pooja (it is believed that Lord was born at midnight), Panchamrit is distributed to the devotees who then break their fast. The lord is offered “Chhappan Bhog” or 56 types of dishes for the special day.
  • Holi – The festival of colors is celebrated in the month of Phagun or March. The Lathamar Holi is celebrated at the Krishna Janmabhoomi with great fanfare and dedication. The day starts with colorful presentations of the importance and the significance of the festival. It is believed that Holi was the favorite festival of Lord Krishna, several cultural programs like Dance, Dramas, and Tableaux presentations continue throughout the day. The whole temple is decorated with Gulal (powdered color) and flower petals.
  • Basant Panchami – The grand festival is celebrated in the month of Magha (January – February). The occasion marks the onset of spring season. On this special day, Lord Krishna is dressed up in yellow (Yellow or Saffron denotes good harvest and spring in Hinduism). The whole temple complex is decorated with yellow flowers and sheets of cloth. The Bhog or the offerings to the Lord also consists of Kheer that is laden with Saffron imparting a slight yellowish tinge. The Saraswati Pooja is also performed on this day as it is believed to be Goddess Saraswati’s birthday. The traditional “Holika” is also set up on this day marking the beginning of the preparations for Holi.
  • Jagannath Rath Yatra – The annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balbhadra, and Goddess Subhadra is conducted during the month of June-July. The idols of the deities are kept on a decorated chariot and are taken around the city amongst chanting of shlokas and bhajans. Thousands of people gather round the path which the Rath takes to have a glimpse of their favorite God. After the Yatra, the Rath reaches the Janmabhoomi at about 9 PM. The Sadhus are then given Dakshina and a Bhandara is organized for the devotees. The Bhandara marks the end of the celebrations.
  • Besides these festivals, Radhashtami, Goverdhan Pooja, Mahashivaratri, Deepavali, Bhai Duj, and Gopashtami are also celebrated with great spiritual dedication.

How to reach Mathura

  • By Air – The nearest airport is Agra Domestic Airport at a distance of 50 km. It connects Mathura to cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, and Khajuraho. However, better connectivity is provided by the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi located about 150 km from Mathura. The Airport is well connected to all major cities in the country as well as important international destinations. One can board a bus or a taxi from the airport.
  • By Train – Mathura Junction is the railway station that connects the holy city to other major cities in India. Trains connect Mathura to all major cities in India like New Delhi, Jammu, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Jaipur, Vizag, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Panaji, Bhopal, Haridwar, Khajuraho, Pune, and Chandigarh.
  • By Road – The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation operated buses from all major towns and cities in UP as well as from neighboring states like Delhi and Uttarakhand. Apart from the buses, the National Highway 2 connects nearby towns and cities to Mathura. However, the newly constructed 6-lane Yamuna Expressway that connects Delhi to Agra is the fastest way to reach Mathura by road.

Where to stay

The Sri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan runs a rest house with basic modern facilities within the Temple Complex. The rooms are rented out to Sadhus and devotees at nominal rates.

The city of Mathura is well developed and hosts a large number of hotels that cater to various budgets. Some of the luxury hotels are Hotel Brijwasi Royal, Hotel Country Inn, and the Brijwasi Palace. The well-known budget hotels are Hotel Keshav Palace, Hotel Ganga Palace, and the Yamuna Dham. A number of lodges have come up in Mathura that provides reasonable accommodation to tourists and pilgrims.

Where to eat

The cuisine of Mathura is unique and any visitor to this bustling city must try to the local delicacies. Mathura is famous for its sweets and Lassis. The Kulhad (Earthern pot) Malai Lassi is a delicacy that one must taste when visiting the city. Thandai, Bhang Thandai, Paan, Dal Vati, Chana Chidwa, Mathura Petha, Ghewar, and Faini are some of the mouth-watering vegetarian delicacies that one must have at the local shops and hotels. Some of the popular hotels for this type of local cuisine are Brijwasi Mithaiwala, Sri Nath Ji Bhandar, and Shankar Mithai Wala.

Nearby Temples

  • Dwarkadhish Temple – The Temple was constructed in 1814 and is one of the most popular temples in Mathura. The presiding deity of the shrine is Lord Krishna. The Temple is architecturally wonderful and is a visual treat to the devotees. Every year, the festival of Jhulan Yatra is celebrated at the temple with great excitement and devotion.
  • Gita Mandir – The beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is situated 5 km from Mathura on the road connecting the city to Vrindavan. The Temple complex has been constructed by the Industrial family of Birlas. The temple is made of white marble. The unique feature of this shrine is that the whole text of the Bhagavad Gita is inscribed finely on the walls of the Temple.
  • Prem Mandir, Vrindavan – The religious complex is situated on the outskirts of Vrindavan. The presiding deities of the Temple are Sri Radha Govind and Sri Sita Ram. The construction of this shrine was completed in 2012. The structure is made of pure marble with sculptures and inscriptions depicting the important events in Lord Krishna’s life.
  • Sri Banke Bihari Ji Temple – The Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is situated at Vrindavan. Bankey means “bent at three places” and Bihari means “enjoyer”. The image of Lord Krishna is in a Tribhanga pose. The body is curved at three positions in the body – neck, waist and the knee. The temple dates back to 1862. The original temple was established by Swami Haridas, Guru of the famous singer Tulsidas. It is believed that the idol of the Temple was given to him by Lord Krishna himself.
  • Vishram Ghat – This Ghat is one of the most important Ghat to be visited in Mathura. According to the legend, Lord Krishna rested here for some time after killing his evil uncle Kansa. It is considered sacred to take a dip in River Yamuna
  • Besides these Temples, several grand temples can be visited such as Govinda Dev Temple, Radha-Gopinath Temple, Madan Mohan Temple, Sri Ranganatha Temple, and the Radha Vallabha Temple.
Kashi Yatra

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage that a Hindu must make to ensure good health, well-being and to ultimately to attain Moksha. The Temple is situated in the holy city of Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh.  The holy River Ganga flows beside the Temple increasing the spiritual value of the Temple by manifolds. Kashi Vishwanath Temple plays an important role in Hindu mythology and has been mentioned innumerable times in scriptures like Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana, the Upanishads and in the Vedas.

In the famous Skanda Purana, the city of Kashi has been given twelve different names, some of which are Varanasi, Anand-Kanan, Avimukt, Rudrawas, Shri Shivpuri and Muktibhumi.  The name “Kashi” means Prakash or Light of Brahma and Vishnu. The name of Varanasi is derived from the fact that the ancient city was initially situated between the Varuna and Asi rivers or Ghats.

The city consists of hundreds of temples, each having a unique significance in Hindu mythology. The Lords Dandapani (Lord Karthikeyan, son of Lord Shiva) and Kalabhairav are the guardians of the city. The city consists of around 84 bathing ghats and several Theerthams that are supposed to exist since the times of the Vedas.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple complex is quadrangular in shape with several small temples and shrines dedicated to Lord Dandapani (Karthikeya), Lord Vinayaka, Kalabhairavar, Avimukteshwar, Lord Vishnu, Virupaksha, Virupaksha Gauri and Lord Shaneeshwara. There are three distinct regions of the Temple – the first is a spire over the Temple of Lord Vishwanath, the second is a golden dome and the third is a spire with a trident and a flag atop it. The Temple has a Sabha Griha that leads to the Garbha Griha where the Linga is housed.

kashi vishwanath temple

History and Legend

  • As per mentions in several Vedas and Puranas, the Jyotirlinga existed at this place since time immemorial. However, actual evidence for the Kashi Vishwanath Temple exists only from the 11th century onwards.
  • The Kashi Vishwanath Temple was subjected to repeated invasions and destruction. The original structure of the Temple was destroyed by Qutb-ud-din-Aibak in 1194 CE but was rebuilt under the reign of Sultan Iltutmish.
  • The Kashi Vishwanath Temple was again attacked under the reign of either Sikander Lodhi or under Husain Sharqi in the 1400s. Raja Man Singh built it but was boycotted as he allowed the Mughals to marry into his family. However, Todar Mal further re-built the Temple with Akbar’s blessings at the original site in 1585.
  • In 1669, Aurangzeb destroyed the Temple again and over the foundations, built the Gyanvapi Mosque. The remains of the Temple can still be seen in the Mosque premises.
  • Plans were made to demolish the mosque by Maratha ruler Malhar Rao Holkar in 1742 and in 1750 by the Maharaja of Jaipur. However, they were unsuccessful in doing so due to the objections raised by the Nawabs of Lucknow.
  • In 1780, Rani Ahilyabai Holkar constructed the present Kashi Vishwanath Temple near the mosque. In 1828, the widow of Daulat Rao Scindia, Baija Rao built a colonnade with 40 pillars at the Gyan Vyapi premises.
  • The Gyan Vyapi Well boundary, the Ghats, and other small temples were eventually built during the period 1833-1840.
  • In 1841, Silver was donated to the Kashi Vishwanath Temole by the Bhonsles of Nagpur and in 1859, Gold was donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
  • The legend of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple dates back to the origins of life on Earth. It is believed that at the time of creation when there were no humans on Earth, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu fought for supremacy. They used powerful weapons against each other and the fight continued for thousands of years. To test them, Lord Shiva intercepted them and created an endless pillar of fire and light. Both Brahma and Vishnu wanted to know the end of the pillar. Lord Brahma assumed the figure of Swan and flew up and Lord Vishnu assumed the figure of a Boar and went down to find the end. After searching for centuries, Lord Vishnu came back and conceded his defeat but Lord Brahma lied and said that he had found the end of the pillar.
  • The lie angered Shiva and he came out of the bright light and fire. He declared that all three of them will form Omkaar (Trinity), Brahma will be the creator, Vishnu will be the preserver and Shiva will be the destroyer. He cursed Brahma that no one will worship him because of his lies. He also declared that Lord Vishnu will be a Purushottam or the Supreme Being.
  • The pillar of fire vanished but some of the parts of it remained at Kashi as a Jyotirlinga.

Significance of the Temple

  • The Linga of the presiding deity Lord Vishwanath (Lord Shiva) is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas that are revered in Hindu mythology. The Jyotirlinga means that the Linga is self-manifested and that Lord Shiva himself has turned into the Linga. It is believed that a one-time visit to Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga equals to the visit of the rest of the eleven Jyotirlingas. The Jyotirlinga is considered as the first among all Jyotirlingas as is called the King of Jyotirlingas.
  • It is believed that Kashi is the holiest city for Hindus and that anyone who lives here will attain Moksha. It is a belief that anyone who departs from the city of Kashi will attain spiritual enlightenment and salvation. This is the reason that the ashes of departed people are mostly dispersed in the River Ganga at Kashi.
  • The city of Kashi or Varanasi is the most direct of the seven Moksha Puris as per Hindu beliefs. The other six are Ayodhya, Mathura, Haridwar, Kanchipuram, Ujjain, and Dwarka.
  • The holy city of Kashi is considered as the most ancient continually inhabited city in the world.
  • The holy city is home to other Gods too. In the Puranas, the city is also mentioned as Aadyavaishnav Bhoomi and Lord Brahma is supposed to have performed ten Ashwamedha Yagnas at the Dashashwamedha Ghat. The place is also important for devotees of Shakti (Goddess Sati) as the city is also home to a Shakti Peeth.
  • It is mentioned in the scriptures that the city was built by Lord Shiva on his trident as his residence after his marriage with Goddess Parvati. Hence, it is believed that the city is so sacred that even if the end of the world (Pralayam) happens, the city of Kashi will survive.
  • It is believed that the first rays of the sun fell on the city of Kashi when the world was created. Lord Shiva is the protector of the city.
  • It is believed that the nine grihas (Navagraha) do not influence or affect the people living in Kashi as they abide by the rules of Lord Shiva. They cannot even enter the city without Lord Shiva’s permission.
  • The well of Gyan Vaapi is also known as the well of wisdom. It is believed that before Aurangzeb attacked the city, the Jyotirlinga was hidden inside the well. The well can be seen between the mosque and the temple.
  • The Ghat of Manikarnika on the banks of River Ganga, situated near the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is considered as a Shakti Peetha. The Shakti Peethas are the 52 places where parts of the body of Goddess Sati (Adi Parashakti), first wife of Lord Shiva, fell on Earth after being decapitated by Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra in the Daksha Yagna episode of history.
  • The Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been visited and appreciated by several revered ancient saints like Sri Adi Shankaracharya, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Gurunanak.
  • A popular tradition that is followed till date is that the water taken from River Ganga after visiting the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is used for Abhishekam of the Jyotirlinga of Sri Ramanathaswamy in Rameswaram. The sand from the Temple is brought back to Kashi and given as an offering to Lord Vishwanath. Hence, it is believed that pilgrimage of Kashi and Rameswaram will lead to complete Moksha and enlightenment.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple Timings

  • The Kashi Vishwanath Temple opens daily at 2:30 AM and closes at 11 PM.
  • The Mangala Aarti is performed between 3 AM to 4 AM.
  • The mid-day Bhog Aarti is performed between 11:30 AM to 12 PM.
  • The Sapta Rishi Aarti is performed between 7 PM to 8:30 PM.
  • The Shringar Bhog and Aarti are performed at 9 PM.
  • The Shayan Aarti starts at 10:30 PM.
  • The general darshan timings are 4 AM to 11 AM, 12 PM to 7 PM, and from 8:30 PM to 9 PM.
  • After 9 PM, pilgrims are allowed to view the Lord from outside the sanctum.

The devotees can also have an Online Darshan and e-pooja by visiting the website https://shrikashivishwanath.org

Dress code

Although there is no prescribed strict dress code for entering the Kashi Vishwanath Temple premises, it is advised to wear decent clothes to visit the shrine. Shorts and miniskirts are generally not encouraged.

Poojas and Rituals

The below Sevas are performed between 4 AM to 6 PM:

  • Rudrabhishek – The Pooja is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is worshiped as fire or Rudra. The puja wipes out all sins and purifies the atmosphere. It also removes all sorts of planetary related ill-occurrences. The Mondays of the month, as well as the Pradosham days, are considered as ideal for performing the Pooja.
  • Maharudrabhishek – In the Abhishek, recitations of Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda and Atharva Veda is done in front of the deities of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
  • Laghurudrabhishek – This Abhishek is done to resolve issues related to health and wealth. It is also done to remove the bad effects of planets in the horoscope.
  • Shravan Somvar Pooja – The Mondays of the month of Shravan (July – August) are considered highly auspicious for worshiping Lord Shiva. Devotees observe Somvar Vrat during the Shravan month and perform Poojas in their homes.  The articles used for the worship are Bilva leaves, white flowers, water, honey, and milk. The charges for the Seva are Rs. 6251.
  • Lakh Vilvarchana – This Archana is performed by offering a lakh Bilva leaves to the Linga of the God.

The below Poojas are under the Long Term Schemes offered for a period of 20 years:

  • Dainik Pooja and Archana scheme – The scheme is an annual scheme for which the membership fees is Rs. 11,000. As per the scheme, the Rudrabhishekam is performed once a year for 20 years in the name of the devotee.
  • Yati Bhiksha – The word “Yati” means “Sadhu” or a Sage. The “Yati Bhiksha” means that offerings like food will be provided to the Sadhus residing in the holy town of Varanasi. The charges for the Seva are Rs. 8751.
  • Sarwa Pooja – All the Poojas of the day are performed for one day in the name of the devotee. The charges of the Seva are Rs. 13751.

The Poojas and Sevas can be booked online by visiting the site https://shrikashivishwanath.org/

Besides the above Poojas and Sevas, the below Yatras should be performed by the devotees:

  • Panchatheertha Yatra – The pilgrims should take a bath in the five main Ghats in the sequence of Asi ghat – Dashashwamedha ghat – Aadikeshav ghat – Panchganga ghat – Manikarnika ghat, and then visit all the shrines at Kashi.
  • Mauni Yatra – The Yatra should begin with a bath in the Manikarnika ghat followed by the darshan of various forms of Shiva and Shakti and end with a bath again at the Manikarnika ghat. The condition of the Yatra is that it should be performed in silence.

Festivals celebrated at the Temple

  • Mahashivaratri – The festival is celebrated on the 13th night and the 14th day of the month of Maagha (February / March). The Linga of Lord Shiva is bathed with Ganga water, applied with Chandan paste, and offered Bilva leaves, bhang, datura, flowers, coconut, fruits and cow milk. People keep fast for the whole day and do Shiva Pooja at their homes. Taking a bath in River Ganga on Mahashivaratri is considered extremely sacred.

Several myths and legends are associated with the festival of Mahashivaratri. As per one legend, the Devas and Asuras both churned an ocean of milk to obtain Amrit (water that gives immortality). They came upon a deadly poison which exploded into poisonous fumes when touched. The fumes enveloped the entire world and all Gods rushed to Lord Shiva to protect the world. Lord Shiva absorbed the fumes with his trident and swallowed the poison, thus saving the world. This is the reason for the blueness of the skin especially the throat of Lord Shiva.The day is also known as the day Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati.

  • Makara Sankranthi – The day is celebrated with great pomp and festivities. The devotees take a dip in River Ganga and pray to the Sun God on this day. The day signifies the ascent of the sun and beginning of spring. The day is dedicated to a good harvest in the agricultural terms. On the day of the festival, thousands of kites are flown in the Varanasi skyline which is an enthralling experience to have.
  • Shravan festival – The whole month of Shravan (June-July) is celebrated with great zest and excitement. The month of Shravan is considered to be the holy month of the Hindu calendar. Special decorations and special Poojas are performed for Lord Shiva on every Monday. On the first Monday, decoration of Lord Shiva occurs, on the second, both Shiva and Parvati’s idols are decorated. On the third and the fourth Monday, Lord Ardhanarishwar and Sri Rudrakshaya are worshiped.
  • Dev Deepawali – The festival literally means “The Diwali of the Gods”. The festival is celebrated in the month of Karthik Poornima, 15 days after the festival of Diwali. The steps of all the ghats are lit with lamps in honor of river Ganga. It is believed that Gods descend to the Earth to take a bath in Ganga.
  • Rangbhari Ekadashi – The festival is celebrated in the month of February –March. As per the legend, the consummation of the marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati happened on this day. The devotees carry the idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in a Palki from the house of the Mahant of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and take them to the sanctum of the Temple. Then the Gods are offered with Gulaal and Rose petals.

Besides the above festivals, Ramnavami, Hanuman Jayanti, Dussehra, Holi, and Janmashtami are also celebrated with great pomp and fare.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

  • By Air – The nearest airport to the city is Babatpur which is 22 km from Varanasi. Direct flights are operated by Air India as well as other private airlines from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Agra, Bhubaneswar and Lucknow.
  • By Train – The nearest Railway Station is Varanasi Junction or the Mughal Sarai Junction. Several trains connect the city to almost all major parts of the country like Delhi, Chennai, Howrah, Jammu, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Guwahati.
  • By Road – The city is located on NH2 highway linking Kolkata to New Delhi. Several buses are available from places like Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Patna, Nagpur, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh and Gaya.

Where to stay

A number of Government operated Guest Houses are available for accommodation for Government servants. Please visit the link to see a list of the Government Guest Houses – https://shrikashivishwanath.org/accomodation.aspx

Apart from these Guest Houses, several private hotels offer a wide range of rooms like standard, AC Rooms, and dormitories.

Where to eat

The city of Varanasi boasts of great food and culture. The traditional must haves of the city’s culinary delights are Chaat items like Kachoris and Puris along with the Tomato Chat. The Kashi Kalakand is also a popular desert here and is available widely. Lassis and Thandais are popular drinks that one must try out in the city for an enjoyable experience. The cuisine in Varanasi is mainly vegetarian with occasional but rare non-veg hotels.

Nearby Temples

  • Kashi Visalakshi Temple – The sacred Temple is located behind the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths of Goddess Sati. It is believed that when her body was cut with Lord Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra, her third eye (Aksha) and the earing (Manikarni) fell at this location and hence the name Visalakshi.
  • The Kalbhairav Temple – The Temple is situated 1 km away from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is said that one must visit this Temple to complete their Kashi yatra. As per the legend, when Lord Brahma lies about finding the end of the huge pillar of light, Lord Shiva gets angry and assumes the form of Kalbhairav. He decapitated one of the five heads of Brahma. However, the decapitation made Lord Shiva guilty of the crime of killing. He carried the head of Brahma and roamed around as a Bhikshatana until his sin was forgiven. The head was released from him after he reached Kashi. He is the guard of Kashi and it is a belief that no one can enter Kashi without his permission.
  • Markandey Mahadev Temple – The Temple is located at Kaithi, Varanasi which is 29 km away from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. As per the legend, a couple named Mrikandu and Marudvati prayed to Shiva to attain a son. Lord Shiva granted them a boon of a son who was eventually named Markandeya. He was an extraordinarily intelligent in his childhood. He was always dedicated to Lord Shiva and master of the Mahamritunjaya Mantra. When he became 16, Yama came to take him. Markandeya prayed for the defense to Lord Shiva who vanquished Yama and granted him the gift of immortality.
  • Bharat Mata Mandir – This unique temple is located just 4 km away from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The Temple is located inside the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth Campus. The unique feature is that the Temple does not contain any idol of Gods and Goddesses. The Bharat Mata is worshiped here. A map of India can be seen in the sanctum to which offerings are made. The Temple was constructed by Babu Shiv Prasad and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1936.
  • Mrityunjay Mahadev temple – The famous temple is located just 1 km away from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is believed that the Mrityunjay Mahadev is the “God who triumphs over death”. Devotees from all over the country come here to pray for long and healthy life and against unnatural death. It is a belief that the well of the temple contains water with medicinal properties and it can cure several ailments of the sick.
  • Annapoorna Mandir – The Temple dedicated to Annapoorna Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati is located near the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is believed that Goddess Annapoorna is responsible for the nourishment of the human souls. Anyone who worships her with devotion will never have any food shortages in his or her life.
  • Tulsi Manas Mandir – The Tulsi Manas Mandir is dedicated to Lord Rama, Lakshman, and Sita. It is believed that the Temple is constructed over the place where the saint Goswami Tulsidas wrote the epic Ramcharitramanas. The walls of the Temple depict the scenes of the epic.

Besides the above temples, several important and historically significant temples can be visited in the city of Varanasi. Some of those Temple are the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, the Durga Temple, the Vyas Temple, the Birla Temple, the Tilbhandeshwar Temple and the Sarnath Temple.