You must have heard about Kashi Vishwanath Temple if you know a little bit about mythological buildings of India. It is one of the oldest Hindu temples which are dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The holy Ganga flows near the temple, and the Vishwanatha means Ruler of the whole universe. This temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times in history, and till now, its glory has been maintained by the devotees. The present structure was rebuilt by Ahilya Bai Holkar, who was the famous Maratha Ruler in the year 1780.
The importance of Kashi Vishwanath temple
There is a total of 12 jyotirlingas in India and it is one of the most prominent of all. The other Jyotirlinga Temples are Somnath, Bhimashankar, Mahakaleshwar, Mallikarjuna, Omkareshwar, Triambakeshwar, Kedarnath, Deogarh, Rameshwar, Nageshwar, Vaidyanath, and Grishneshwar. The history of the Kashi Vishwanath temple is thrilling as it has stood on its place even after several demolishes by Muslim emperors.
This temple is known as a holy pilgrimage for Hindus and the people take a bath in the Ganga water near the Mandir to get liberation after death. The people from the Hindu community arrive at this temple from different parts of the world at least once in their lives. Due to the popularity of this temple, there are more than 100 temples that are built is a somewhat similar style to this temple. There is a famous belief that Lord Shiva blows salvation mantra in people's ears who die at Vishwanath temple naturally.
The overall structure of Kashi Vishwanath Mandir
This temple has numerous small shrines which are situated in a small lane named as Vishwanatha Galli near Ganga River. The temple is of quadrangle shape, and it is surrounded by the sculptures of other gods. There are smaller shrines for Virupaksh Gauri, Sanishwara, Virupaksha, Vinayaka, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, and Kaalbhairav. There is also a small well, which is known as Jnana Vapi (Gyaan Vapi).
It is known that Jyotirlinga was found hidden in this well to protect it from time invasion. The main priest of this temple once fell off in the well to protect this Jyotirlinga. The color of Jyotirlinga is dark brown and it is enshrined in Sanctum which is placed on the silver platform. The complete structure of this temple has a total of three parts. Almost 3000 visitors arrive at this temple every day to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. The number also reaches up to one Million on some special occasions and festivals. The three domes in the temple are supplied by well known Maharaja Ranjit Singh and these domes are made of gold.
Know the story behind Kashi Vishwanath
In the heart of the Banaras city of India lies the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which is known as one of the most divine places in the country. This temple is also mentioned in Hindu scripture named Skanda Purana. This temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and it is visited mostly by the Hindu devotees. The story begins from the day when Lord Brahma (Creator of Universe) was having a tussle with Lord Vishnu about the supremacy of powers. Lord Shiva came to evaluate their skills and he pierced a total of three worlds in the light form. In this battle, Vishnu lost the match. Shiva came to know about the deception of Brahma, he appeared as the 2nd light pillar and cursed Brahma that he would never be worshipped till the world ends but Vishnu will be glorified.
Qutub Ud Din Aibak utterly destroyed this temple in 1194 CE. It was again built during the Illtutmish reign by the Gujarati Merchant. Later on, it was demolished during Sikandar Lodhi reign and after that during Emperor Aurangzeb activities to spread Islamic culture in India. Raja Man Singh rebuilt the temple during Akbar Reign but Hindus avoided visiting the temple. Later on, the temple was rebuilt by the Raja Todar Mal in 1585.In 1669, Aurangzeb destroyed this temple, and he made Gyanvapi Mosque in place of it. In the year 1742, Malhar Rao Holkar planned to demolish it, but the plan wasn’t successful because Nawabs used to control Lucknow. Finally, it was built by the daughter in law of Malhar Singh. The Kashi Vishwanath Mandir has been able to stand on numerous tests till now.