Kashi Vishwanath Temple   ||   Varanasi Tourist Attractions 

 
                                                                                      

The Vishwanath temple is synonymous to Varanasi. Vishwanath Temple is the most sacred and the most famous temple in Varanasi. In fact, Vishwanath Temple is extremely popular in other parts of India too. A considerable chunk of foreign visitors in India come to Varanasi every year to get a glimpse of the Vishwanath Temple even though the followers of Semitic religions are not allowed to enter the sanctum of the temple.

The history of Vishwanath Temple that is also called Golden Temple at times is full of ups and downs. The temple and city has always been on the receiving end of the invaders be it Afghans, Turks, Rohila or Marathas. The temple has been built and razed to the ground several times in the history. It was first destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji in the 13th century and was later rebuild. Emperor Akbar donated several acres of villages to the trust that was later cut down substantially by Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb was a fundamentalist who hated every possible religion and sects in India including Sufi and Shiite order among the Muslims. Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore built the present temple that stands in Varanasi, in the year 1776. Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore donated the 800-kilogram Gold-plating of the towers that gives the temple its colloquial name.

Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the destroyer of worlds and the presiding deity of the city. It is said and believed that Varanasi is the spot at which the first 'Jyotirlinga' broke through the earth's crust and flared towards the heaven. Lord Shiva did this in order to take the final call in the war of supremacy among the Hindu Gods. Next to the temple is the Well of Knowledge where, as legend goes, the original Shiva lingam lies hidden. More than the Ghats and even the Ganges, the Shiva lingam installed in the temple remains the devotional focus of Varanasi.

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Varanasi, the cultural capital of India, has many shades. Nowhere in the world you find such vivid hues amalgamating at a single place. The city has everything that a disturbed soul seeks and much more. Marked by it numerous temples and 80 Ghats, Varanasi is humanism personified. A tour to this city is a must for every visitor who ventures to India. The city has various temples and attractions to offer to visitors. We list a few of them here: -

Bharat Mata Mandir
Bharat Mata Mandir or Bharat Mata Temple is one of its kinds in Varanasi. Contrary to what most of the tourists believe, this temple is not dedicated to any God, Goddess or certain deity for that matter. It is dedicated to the human manifestation of India popularly called Mother India or Bharat Mata in Hindi. The temple was inaugurated by non other than Mahatma Gandhi, The father of the Indian Nation.

Banaras Hindu University
BHU was built in the year 1916-1917 under the special act of parliament passed in the year 1915 named BHU act. The act was passed by the interim parliament that worked under the imperial British government. Mahamna Pundit Madan Mohan Malaviya and Annie Besant did the conceptualization and implementation of this university. Raja of Kashi donated 1350 acres of land for the construction of the sprawling campus.

Durga Mandir
Goddess Durga is a significant manifestation of Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. In fact she is said to be Shakti, or the manifestation of Parvati that signifies the female element of Power and harmony in nature. This is precisely because a Bengali Maharani built this temple in the 18th century.

Ramnagar Fort
Ramnagar Fort is the former as well as the present residence of the Maharaja of Kashi also known at times as Raja of Banaras. It is situated on the opposite bank of the Ganges along which the city of Varanasi thrives. The most important construction inside the fort is the 'Durbar Hall' or the Hall of public audience.

Sankat Mochan Mandir
Sankat Mochan Mandir do not have much historical significance but is a good place to visit at least once. No body knows who established this temple. It was actually very small in its early phase. In the due course various 'Mahants' collected funds to upgrade the structure and today it boasts off a large complex.

Tulsi Manas Mandir
Tulsi Manas Temple has a very historical as well as cultural importance for not only Varanasi but also for the whole of India. This is because Ramayana was composed at this very place. Goswami Tulsi Das was the man who composed Ramayana in Hindi in the form of "Ram Charit Manas".

 
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