Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga : One of most famous 12 Jyotirlingas

Situated on the western bank of holy river Ganga in Varanasi, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas or temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main deity of Kashi Vishwanath Temple is Lord Shiva, also known as Vishwanatha or Vishweshwarar meaning ‘the ruler of the universe’. The city of Varanasi, the cultural capital of India, is thus known as the city of Lord Shiva. The temple has 800 kg of gold plating on its tower.

Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga – Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

History of Vishweshwar Jyotirlinga

The earliest mention of this temple is in the Puranas. It has been demolished by Qutb-ud-din-Aibak in 1194 AD and then by other invaders over the centuries including the Mughal emperor, Aurangazeb, 1669, who built a mosque on its site.

It was re-built by various rulers including Mughal emperor Akbar’s general, Raja Man Singh, and his finance minister, Raja Todar Mal. The current structure was built on an adjacent site by Maratha ruler, Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar, of Indore, in 1777. The jyotirlinga is at the center of the sanctum on a silver altar. There are shrines to other gods such as Vishnu, Vinayaka, Kalabhairav, and Saneeshwara.

There is a well inside the temple, which is called the wisdom well or jnana vapi. It is believed that the linga was hidden here when the Mughals came to destroy the temple.

The spire or shikhara was plated with gold donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh (who ruled the North-west of the Indian subcontinent) in 1835. Since its three domes are gold-plated, tourists call it the ‘Golden Temple of Varanasi’.

An incredulous story behind Vishweshwar Jyotirlinga

It is believed that Lord Shiva lived here but his mother-in-law was unhappy with his abode. To please his consort, Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva requested the demon, Nikumbha to make the place suitable for his family at Kashi. Parvati was so pleased with the residence that she offered food to everyone and that is why she is worshipped as Annapoorani or Annapurna. Even Lord Shiva is believed to hold a begging bowl in front of her, seeking food.

Interesting facts about Vishweshwar Jyotirlinga

  • It is believed that those who live or/and die in Kashi will attain Moksha or enlightenment. Any act of goodness here will eliminate all sins.
  • Kashi is one of the oldest cities in the world.
  • It is believed that if you see the golden spire and then make a wish, it comes true!

While you can visit this spiritual spot at any time in the year, it would be best to visit it during winters between October and March. Visiting this ancient and divine destination during Mahashivratri would be the ultimate treat for any devotee!

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Khushi Anand

Hello! Great to meet you! I’m Khushi Anand, a university student who’s always looking out for new places to explore and stories to tell. With my colorful creativity, I want to take you guys on the adventure of a lifetime. www.khushianand.com

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