ADI KESHAV Kashi Khand, Chapter 69 mentions the various forms of Keshav (Lord Vishnu) in Varanasi. Lord Vishnu told Sage Bindu that a devotee who worships him (Lord Vishnu) in the Lord’s form as Adi Keshav finds his sadness being cleansed away and will enjoy only happiness. Adi Keshav By worshipping Adi Keshav the devotee attains Mukti. Adi Keshav has installed Sangameshwar Ling at Varuna Ganga confluence and the former grants Moksha to the devotees.
LOCATION OF ADI KESHAV Adi Keshav is located at A-37/51, Rajghat Fort.
Bindu Madhav Temple is the oldest temple of Lord Vishnu in Kashi. Kashi is a very important place of pilgrimage located in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This city is one among the sapta moksha-puris – the cities where one can achieve liberation. Kashi is divided into two parts – Vishnu Kashi and Shiva Kashi. From Manikarnika Ghat to the Adi Keshava Ghat, the city is known as the Vishnu Kashi. From Manikarnika Ghat till Assi Ghat, this sacred city is known by the name Shiva Kashi.
As per the scriptures, Lord Vishnu donated Kashi in charity to Lord Shiva as per his request. After receiving Kashi from Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva donated half of this sacred city back to Lord Vishnu. As a gesture of gratitude to Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva created Vishnu Kunda at the Manikarnika Ghat. Any devotee who takes a bath in this Kunda at 12 pm is released from the shackles of birth and death. The Vishnu Kunda is also called as Manikarnika Kunda because Lord Shiva’s pearl studded ear-ring had once fallen in this Kunda.
This temple was once a major center of pilgrimage. The original temple was demolished by Aurangzeb in the year 1669. Like any other prominent temples in India, the barbaric Moghul King used the pillars and other debris of the demolished temple to build the Alamgiri mosque next to it. Later in 1672, Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj reconstructed the present day temple and re-installed the Deity of Lord Bindu Madhav in the temple. Until then the Deity was kept submerged in the Ganga River by the pujaris from 1669 to 1672 after the demolition of the temple to protect the Deity. In the 19th century, Maratha ruler Bhawan Rao had the temple renovated.
The original Bindu Madhav temple had been described by Jean Baptise Tavernier who had come to India to deal in jewels in the mid-17th century as standing in it’s full grandeur and glory. He mentions the original temple as a cross shaped pagoda with towers on each of the four arms and a spire rising from the sanctum sanctorum. The Deity was 6 feet tall and garlanded with rubies, pearls and diamonds. Sitting before the Deity of Lord Bindu Madhav in the temple, poet Tulsidas had written about the glories of the temple. The current temple of Lord Bindu Madhav is flanked by a modest door which stands guarded by the sculpture of Hanuman and Garuda from the original temple.
The Deity of Lord Bindu Madhav is very attractive to the mind and the soul. This is a self-manifested shaligrama vigraha. The Deity of Lord Bindu Madhav is a four handed Narayana form holding Panchajanya, Sudarshana, Lotus and Kaumodaki along with Goddess Lalshmi. The Deity is so attractive that just a glance can make you enchanted for lifetime.
There was a sage named Agni Bindu Rishi, who engaged in penance and worship of Lord Vishnu on the banks of River Gandaki in Muktinath situated in Nepal. Lord Vishnu being pleased with the penance, blessed the Rishi with boons and instructed that His Deity be installed in Kashi. The Lord also instructed that His Deity be consecrated by Sage Agni Bindu with the name taken from half of the Rishi’s name Bindu and the other half from the Lord’s name Madhav. Hence, the Deity was called Bindu Madhav. The Lord gives darshan to his devotees as Bindu Madhav in Kashi, Veni Madhav in Prayag, Sethu Madhav in Rameshwaram, Kunti Madhav in Pitapuram near Kakinada and Sundara Madhav in Thiruvananthapuram. Hence, these five places are known as Pancha Madhav Kshetras. Devotees also believe that these five Deities of Lord Madhav were installed by Indra in order to atone the sin of killing Vritrasura.
Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma are the three main Gods of Hinduism. Once, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu got into a fight regarding who is the supreme among all three. All the Vedas pronounced Lord Shiva as the supreme power. Both Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma laughed at this conclusion. Shiva got angry and went into a rage that created a ferocious light.
Lord Vishnu surrendered but Lord Brahma continued to stare at the light, which caused one of his heads to burn out. The light that was created by Lord Shiva became a being called as Kal. Kal walked around the world with the head of Brahma in his hand. When he entered Kashi, the head dropped to the ground and his sins washed away when he had a holy dip in river ganga. Kaal stayed back in Varanasi
Lord Bheeshan Bhairav is believed to favor his devotees in getting relief from evil spirits and negative effects. He is believed to be the guardian of the North direction. Bheeshan Bhairav Temple in Nakhhaas. This deity is also known as Bhoot Bhairav.
Lord Samhar Bhairav is believed to help his devotees in getting rid of their bad deeds (Karma) of their past. It is believed that this avatar of Lord Bhairav annihilates the sins of the devotees who worship him. According to beliefs, he is the guardian of the North-East direction. Samhar Bhairav Temple is located at A.1/82, Patan Darwaja, near Gai Ghat
Lord Unmatt Bhairav is believed to help his devotees in controlling their harmful characters that may lead to negative impact. According to beliefs, he is the guardian of the West direction. Unmatt Bhairav Temple is located in the Panch Kroshi Marg at Deora Village, which is about 10 Kms. away from Varanasi.Local
Lord Kapal Bhairav is believed to help his devotees in thinking and working only towards rewarding actions. According to beliefs, he is the guardian of the North-West direction. Kapal Bhairav is located in Kazzakpura (Lat Par mosque, Lat Bhairav Temple).
Lord Asitang Bhairava is believed to bless his devotees to achieve skills & creativeness. He is the guardian of east direction. Asitang Bhairav Temple is located at K.52/39, Maha Mrityunjay Temple near Vriddh Kaleshwar.
Lord Krodhan Bhairav also known as Aadi Bhairav is believed to grant strength and courage to his devotees to achieve success. He is believed to be the guardian of South-West direction. Krodhan Bhairav is adjacent to Kamakhya Devi in the Kamakhya Devi Temple.
Lord Ruru Bhairav is also known as Guru Bhairav or Anand Bhairav amongst locals, and is believed to bless his devotees by enhancing their knowledge to lead a successful life. It is believed that Lord Ruru Bhairav is the guardian of the South-East direction. Temple is located at B.4/16, Hanuman Ghat, Varanasi.
Lord Chand Bhairav is believed to provide his devotees an incredible energy that helps them in attaining success over their competitor. According to beliefs, he is the guardian of the South direction. Chand Bhairav Termple is located in the premises of Kushmanda Durga Temple, next to the idol of Kali Mata.
Durga temple is also known as the Monkey temple (because of the presence of huge number of monkeys), situated in the Durga Kund, Varanasi The statue of Goddess Durga is not human made; it was appeared by its own in the temple. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Durga. It was built in the 18th century. Durga temple was constructed by a Bengali Maharani in the north Indian Style with multi tiered shikhara.
Another Durga temple, known as the Brahmacharini Durga Temple is situated close to the Durga Ghat (means Durga Kund) at the bank of the holy river Gange in Varanasi. Durga Ghat is one of the most famous Ghat in the Varanasi was built in 1772 by a saint, Narayana Diksit.
Once, the Ayodhya king Dhriva sandhi had two wives known as Manorama and Lilavathi. They have son named Sudarsana (from Manorama) and Satrijith (from Lilavathi). Both sons were getting their education very well. One day, the king Dhriva sandhi went to hunt and killed by a lion. The minister of the king had decided to make next to Sudarsana but the second wife of the king had opposed it. Yathajith (father of Lilavathi) made a plan to kill Sudarsana and Manorama got afraid. And she left the kingdom with her son and went to the saint Bharadwaja at Trikutaadri in order to save her child.
Once, Sudarsana was playing with his friends and heard Kleeba word (means impotent). After some days he forgot the actual word and uttered Kleem always. Saint noticed that educated him to worship, the Vaishnavi (Goddess reverenced by Kama beejakshara). He started to worship the Goddess Vaishnavi and once She came in front of him. She was happy with him and given a spiritual Bow and arrows to always win in the battle field.
Sasikala (daughter of the king of Kashi, Subahu) was fallen in love with the Sudarsana as she heard more about him. One night, Mata Vaishnavi came in the dream of her and told to marry with the Sudarsana. Sudarsana went to the Swayamvara of Sasikala with his mother. Satrijith was also there in the Swayamvara with his grandfather in law; Yathajith. He announced and warned Sasikala that she should select Satrijith as her husband otherwise he will kill both. Father of Sasikala was very afraid and tried to agree her daughter to marry with Satrijith. But she denied and told her father that Mata Vaishnavi would protect them.
Subahu married his daughter with the Sudarsana on that night. By hearing this event, Yathajith came with his army at the border of Kasi to fight with Sudarsana. A serious battle had started between them, then Goddess Durga become visible in front of them in the sky and killed both (Yathajith and Satrijith). The whole army got afraid and went away from the battle field. In this way Sudarsana got victory on the battle. By knowing all this, Subahu also became devotee of the Goddess Vaishnavi and worship too much of Her. Goddess Vaishnavi became happy to him and asked him to get any boon from her. Subahu prayed Her to reside in Kashi and defend them. Goddess Vaishnavi accepted and reside on the bank of Durga kundam, where Subahu constructed a temple. After victory Sudarsana went to the Ayodhya and started ruling Ayodhya.
The Vishalakshi Temple or Vishalakshi Gauri Temple is dedicated to the goddess VishalakshiMaa, meaning wide eyed Devi.It is located at Mir Ghat on the banks of the Ganges at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. This temple is among the 52 Shakti peethams, and is part of the famous triad of temples – Kanchi Kamakshi, Madurai Meenakshi and Kashi Visalakshi. it is among the popular temples in Banaras and also one of the must visit places in Varanasi.
According to mythology, the karnakundala (earring) of the goddess Sati fell on this holy spot of Varanasi. Another version says that this is a Shakti Peetha only because one of the three eyes of Goddess Sati (Akshi) fell here. As the divine eye can perceive the entire universe, Mother here is called Vishalakshi, the vast-eyed.
When Adi Shankaracharya visited the temple, he performed prayers to replenish the powers of the temple, which had borne the brunt of several invasions. He also installed a Sri Yantram and it is to this Yantram that puja is done. Kumkumarchana to this Sri Yantram is considered very auspicious and can be performed by asking the pujari there.
Kedareshwar of Kasi is said to be equivalent to the Kedareshwar of Himalayas.The Kasi Kedara mahatmya tells that Lord Kedareshwar kept his fifteen kalas in Kasi and he is in Kedareshwar only with his sixteenth kala. Kedareshwara appeared in Kasi from the food made up of Green gram, kept as Naivedya to him, by the king Mandhata.
The Kedareshwar temple is present at Kedar ghat.
Once upon a time Paarvathi asked Lord Shiva to tell about Kasi. Lord Shiva praised kasi a lot. He told that all the sins of the people who enters Kasi will be removed. He also told that the only exception is Shivaparadha(Opposing Shiva). Parvathi prąyed Shiva to tell a remedy, so that her children who ever done Shivaparaadha can be protected. Shiva didn’t accept. Parvathi went to Kasi and did a very big Tapasya. After a very long time her Karna kundala(Jewel of the ear ring) fell down. That created Manikarnika teertha which was formed before the famous Manikarnika teertha was created by Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva appeared before her and accepted her prąyer.
The prachina Manikarnika is at Kedar ghat.Taking a dip in prachina Manikarnika renders the devotee free of all his/her sins including Shivaparaadha which is not removed by entering in to Kasi.
Once upon a time Rishi Mandhata worshiped Lord Kedareshwar at Kedarnath. Pleased by his worship Lord Kedareshwar appeared before him and asked his wish. Mandhata requested to show the Linga rupa of Shiva. But, Lord Shiva refused it and explained. After cutting the fifth head of Brahma, Vishnu and many other deities prąyed Shiva to give life to Brahma. Lord Shiva gave rebirth to Brahma. After getting life Brahma asked Shiva to give him Linga darshana so that he can get rid of the sin he made. But Shiva told that he had taken an oath and couldn't show it there. He suggested that Brahma can go to Kasi and do Ten Aswamedha yagas so that his sin can be cleared. Brahma went to Kasi and did worship at Dasaswamedh ghat. Lord Shiva ordered Mandhata to do worship at Varanasi. Mandhata went to Varanasi and again started his worship.
Mandhata is strict at Atithi puja and he takes his lunch only after offering an Atithi. He used to go to Kedarnath daily with his Tapas-shakti. One fine day some great Rishis appeared before him and told that they wish to come to Kedarnath with him. Mandhata was very much pleased and accepted. But that day he didn't completed his worship. He prepared a Naivedya with Rice mixed with purified green gram. Then a Bhikshu appeared before him asking meals. Mandhata separated the Naivedya and kept a part of it for Naivedya and the remaining part for Bhikshu. He went to bring water for the Bhikshu. In the mean-while both the parts got mixed up and Mandhata couldn't find the differentiation. He became confused and worried about Shiva Naivedya. All the Rishis and the Bhikshu were hurried him. He prąyed lord Shiva to solve the problem. The Bhikshu got mixed up in the Naivedya showing that he was Shiva himself. That Anna-rasi converted in to Shila rupa (Shiva linga). Then Lord Kedareshwar with Annapurna appeared before Mandhata and other Rishis. He gave them Linga darshana and many other boons.
Mahishasur’s son Gajasur was aggressively beating up and killing various Shiv Gans (attendants / servitors). Wherever his steps touched the ground there were earthquake like tremors. His gigantic hands uprooted all the trees and his forceful exhalation of breath caused huge tidal waves in the ocean. Left alone, Gajasur would have created havoc in the world and Lord Shiva did not want any sort of disturbance in the Punya Kshetra : Kashi. When Gajasur approached him in a speed, Lord Shiva pierced him with his Trishul and lifted him high in the sky. Before dying Gajasur told Lord Shiva that he was extremely happy that he faced death at the hands of Lord Shiva and this was indeed a bliss in disguise for him. All living beings have to die one day or the other and he prayed that such kind of death should be a boon to all. He also wished that, after his death, his skin should adorn Lord Shiva for ever and he (Gajasur) would have the satisfaction of being in constant touch of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva agreed accordingly. He further stated that Gajasur had attained his death in the Avimukta Kshetra called Kashi and his body will attain the form of a huge Shiv Ling precisely at that place. This Ling will be called Kriti Vaseshwar. Krithi Vaseshwar will be a huge/enormous ling, much bigger than any of the Shiv Lings in Kashi. For the benefit of mankind, Lord Shiva stated that he and his family will always remain in Krithi Vaseshwar Ling.
KRITHI VASESHWAR - Jap or Japam is repeated recitation of a mantra or shloka. According to Brahma Vaivart Puran, Krithi Vaseshwar makes the life of Kashi Vasis (residents of Kashi who have adopted divine life) fruitful and gives Moksha to devotees who pray at this temple. According to Koormapuran, whether a devotee attains Moksha even after thousand births or not, with blessings of Krithi Vaseshwar, the devotee certainly attains moksha and is liberated. Elsewhere in Kashi Khand, Goddess Parvaty desired to know about the Lingas which are worshipped in Kashi and which are capable of giving mukti. Lord Shiva told Goddess Parvaty that there are crores of Lingas in Kashi (Kashi Khand, Chapter 73) of which many are Swayambhu Lingas and many have been established by devotees after observing vedic rituals. Special importance is on all Chaturdasi days after Poornima (one day before Amavasya). A person undergoing Vratham on the above day and doing pooja at Krithi Vaseshwar temple attains highest level of happiness
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE Krithi Vaseshwar temple is located at K-46/23, West of Har Tirath Pond, in Mrityunay Mahadev Road. Hans Teerth as mentioned in ancient texts is now known as Har Tirath and many buildings have now come up where once the pond existed. The temple is approachable from a famous locality called Bishweshwarganj, which is a great mandi (market place) and travelling to the temple in cycle rickshaw is convenient.
The temple of Kameshwar, in the northern part of Varanasi, is of ancient origin. Also known as Kamananath Temple, it is remarkable for the vast accumulation of shrines and images within its boundaries. At the entrance is a temple, with a group of deities inside, who are supposed to guard the passage. Passing along, one reaches to the first court where a Nagaada (kettle drum) is placed. It is beaten at intervals during the day, in honour of the presiding divinity. Then, proceed to the second courtyard. An extraordinary sight presents itself. The entire area of the quadrangle is literally filled with temples, so that it seems impossible to insert another. The quadrangle is not large, when compared with the courtyards of some other temples in Varanasi. All the temples are painted red, and have short steeples. The principal one is dedicated to Kamananath, or Kameshwar, the Lord of Desire, who, according to Hindu belief, assists his worshippers in the realization of whatever they aspire to achieve. Another temple is inhabited by Ram, Sita, the goddess Lakshmi, and the Sun. The temples altogether amount to ten or a dozen, each containing several idols.
A Peepal tree, worshipped as abode of all the gods due to round the clock oxygen-emitting property, is located amidst a platform on the north side of the enclosure. Several idols of various deities are placed thereupon. One of these idols is of Nrisingh, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. His birth is said to have been out of a pillar or post, which split down the middle, in order to admit him into the world. The two parts of the pillar are represented in the stone figure, one being on each side of the idol, which, in the form of a man with two horns on his head, is seated in the fork of the divided pillar, gloating over the demon who lies prostrate across his lap. Nrisingh is seen the demon Hiranyakashyap disembowelling and pulling to pieces with his nails. Besides other images, there is the usual emblem of Shiva, with a snake creeping up it; and on the horizontal stone, which is always connected with it, are carved ten other emblems, exact counterparts of the entire idol, with the exception of the snake. On the sides of the quadrangle, long narrow rooms open on the centre of the square; and these may be regarded as so many separate shrines, inasmuch as they are occupied by groups of deities. Two of these are filled with the peculiar emblems of Shiva and one of them holds as many as twenty-five. A third has a figure of Nrisingh, similar to that just described, and, also, the goddess Machaudari, an immodest figure, seated on a peacock. There is, likewise, in the same room, an image of the Rishi Durvasa, whose asceticism is said to have been so vigorous, that he was raised, by its instrumentality, to an equality with the gods, and sat with Lord Vishnu as his peer.
The temple of Kamananath is connected with a depressed plain close by, which was formerly an extensive kund or pond, and was then called the Machaudari Tirth, or place of pilgrimage, which, like other kund (ponds /tanks) in Benares, was frequented by many pilgrims, who worshipped in the temple and bathed in the pond. The kund had got drained several decades ago. The Machaudari Tirth is now abolished and, consequently, the number of pilgrims frequenting the temple of Kamananath has greatly diminished.
Markandey Mahadev temple is located at kaithi, Varanasi. Once, there were a couple named, Mrikandu and his wife Marudvati. They were devotees of Lord Shiva and have no child. They decided to do a ‘Tap’ and one day Lord Shiva became happy on that couple and came out before them. Lord Shiva asked them, do you want to have common son having a long life or an extraordinary son having a short life. The couple had requestd to Lord Shiva for the latter one.
After sometime Marudvati had delivered a baby boy and named him “Markandey” (means son of the Mrikandu). He was extraordinary and God gifted child and became very intelligent being early in his childhood. He was always dedicated to the Lord Shiva and master of the Mahamritunjaya Mantra. When he had completed his 16, Yama (Lord of death) came on the earth to take him. At that time Markandey was worshiping Shiva Linga in the temple. When Yam asked him to go with him, he became very afraid and begged to Lord Shiva to defend him. Yama threw his rope on the boy and just after sometime Lord Shiva appeared by bursting the Shiva Linga. Lord Shiva was very angry with Yama’s rude behavior. Lord Shiva saved the life of Markandey and blessed him with everlasting life as well as stated that he will always be of sixteen year old. On that day, Lord Shiva had declared that His devotees will forever be secure from the rope of Yama. Flaming appearance of the Lord Shiva (which was appeared to save Markandey) is called the Kalasamhara Murti.
This temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva and situated on the way from Daranagar to Kalbhairav temple. There is an ancient well which has much religious importance and it is believed that its water is curable to several diseases.
The history of this temple is all behind an ancient well and “The Shivling”. The meaning of the word Mrityunjay Mahadev is “The God who triumphs over of death”. It is considered as, the Shivling in this temple keep away all the devotees from their unnatural death. Lord Shiva is worshiped as Mrityunjay Mahadev by devotees in order to get triumph over his unnatural death. People from all over India come here and perform “Mrityunjay Path” to get rid of their problems. In the campus of the temple there is an ancient well (also known as koop). The water of this well has therapeutic effect on human beings. It is considered as it has mixture of several underground water streams and has miraculous effect for curing numerous diseases.
Another story behind the magical well is that, a famous person “Dhanvantari” (father of the Ayurveda) has poured all his medicine in that well, that’s why the water of this well is sacred and has medicinal effect as well as able to cure various diseases.
This temple is famous for its exquisite architecture and wood work. It is believed that the temple was built by King of Nepal and thus, this shrine is also called Nepali Temple. It is situated in the Lalita Ghat and catches the attention of many visitors in Varanasi. The intricate wood carving is what attracts visitors the most; the temple reflects the refined taste for good architecture taste of the rulers of Nepal. Nepal using the wood(kath) imported from Nepal. The beautiful woodwork of the Nepalese artisans is mesmerizing. This is a very unique temple and is unparalleled in India and elsewhere.
Birla Temple is located in the BHU campus in Varanasi and it is known as the Birla Temple because it is built by the Birla Group of Industries. The temple was founded by the Raja Birla of the Birla family of great industrialists. It was planned by the Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya (the founder of the Banaras Hindu University) as part of the BHU campus. Temple is open to all the people of any castes and religions. There are nine temples in the BHU campus of Shiva Lingam, Nataraj ji, Mata Parvati ji, Ganesh ji, Panchmukhi Mahadev, Hanuman ji, Mata Saraswati ji, and Nandi ji.
Birla Temple is made up of the marble and its construction was completed in 1965. The tower of the temple is known as the tallest temple tower. Even it is tallest to the Qutub Minar in the New Delhi. Birla Temple is matchless and ostentatious temple in the Varanasi
Close to Annapurna Temple is the temple Sakshi Vinayaka or the "witness-bearing Lord Ganesha or Vinayaka”. Though the idol of Lord Ganesh on the plinth is grand but strictly in architectural terms, it cannot be termed as temple. On the road between these two temples is a red glaring figure of Lord Ganesh, with silver hands, trunk, feet, ears, and poll, squatting down on the floor, which is raised a little above the pathway. Pilgrims, on completing the journey of the Panchkosi road (Panchkosi Parikarama), must pay a visit to this shrine, in order that the fact of their pilgrimage may be verified. Panchkosi Parikrama is the 10 miles circumambulation of the temples in Kashi. Should they neglect to do this, all their pilgrimage would be without merit or profit. The temple is in a square and was erected by a Maratha Peshwa in 18th century.
Sankat Mochan Temple is dedicated to the Lord Hanuman. This temple is also called as the Monkey temple because of the presence of lot of monkeys inside the premises. It is one of the holy temples of the Lord Hanuman The meaning of the Sankat Mochan is relief from all the problems (Sankat means problem and Mochan means relief giver). Sankat Mochan Temple was constructed by the educationist and freedom fighter Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya (the founder of the BHU) in the early 1900s. The Hanuman Jayanti (birthday of the Lord Hanuman) is celebrated every year by organizing a special Shobha Yatra (a parade) from Durga temple (Durga Kund) to the Sankat Mochan Temple.
The temple of the Sankat Mochan has unique feature by having the idol of Lord Hanuman in front of his Lord Rama (whom he is always dedicated in unselfish manner).
It is considered that the temple was built from the time when Goswami Tulsidas had a vision of the Hanuman. The temple was established by the great saint Goswami Tulsidas (the author of the Ramacharitamanas). The Ramcharitamanas is the Hindi edition of the Hindu epic Ramayana which was initially written by the Valmiki.
Lord Hanuman is very powerful Avtar of the Lord Shiva and known as the Rudra Avtar. He is the son of the Lord of wind (Pavan) and Mata Anjana Devi, that’s why He is known as the Pavanputra. It is considered as, the Lord Hanuman become very happy with the very little prayer and Pooja. Lord Hanuman is the great Karma Yogi and an extraordinary Brahmachari. He is the sign of desirelessness and unselfish Bhakti towards the Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman is also known as the Mahavira, Pavanputra, Bajrangabali, Pavankumar etc.
Sankatha Temple is located near to the Sindhia Ghat, Varanasi and dedicated to the “Goddess of Remedy,” known as the Devi Sankatha. There is a huge statue of the lion inside the premises. The statues of nine planets are also there in the temple. Sankatha Mata is a four armed idol of the most important deity of the temple. The idol of the Mata is silver plated. The idol of the Sankata Devi is about 4 to 5 feet tall which is considered as the self-manifested. On both side of the Mata, there are idol of the Lord Hanuman and Lord Bhairav. There is a big Shivlingam and a Banyan tree which protects the idols of Lord Ganesh and Lord Hanuman. There are temples of nine planets are also in the temple. It is commonly believed that Pandavas had paid homage to the Sankatha Devi during their exile
Sankatha Temple is the most powerful and popular temple in the Varanasi city and located high above the Sankata Ghat in the complex lanes of the Varanasi city. Sankata Devi protects Her devotees from all the dangers of life by vanishing the dangers. Her devotees know Her as a Matrika or caring mothers. According to the Puranic stories she is known as the Vikat Matrika means the Fierce Mother
A little beyond Vishwanath temple, a small shrine dedicated to Sanichar or Shani Dev or the planet Saturn is located. The deity within, representing the planet, exhibits a silver head, beneath which depends an apron. Shani Dev is considered as lame so moves slowly. He rides on bison. The torso of his idol is thoroughly covered with the apron. A garland of flowers hangs from either ear, falling below the chin; while above the figure a canopy is spread, designed to illustrate the majesty of the god. It is said of this deity, that, for seven years and a half, he troubles the life of men in general, but that he exempts his own worshippers from the trials and disasters which, for this period; he brings on the rest of mankind. He is worshipped by bathing Him with mustard oil. On Saturday, a large number of devotees gather here to pray and worship with rituals prescribed in tradion.
The temple of Goddess Shitala (Shitala Mata Mandir) is a major tourist attraction in Varanasi. Devotees of the goddess visit the temple frequently but, on Shitalashtami, a large number of Hindus throng here to offer prayer to secure themselves from diseases- the wrath of Goddess Shitala. Only Hindus are permitted to enter the white-colored Shitala Mata Temple. The temple remains open from 5 AM to 11 PM. This goddess is a personification of chicken pox, small pox and accompanied with fever. Since the efforts of various government agencies under the guidance of WHO (World Health Organization) has paid off resulting in eradication of smallpox from India, the Goddess Shitala is now being worshipped in some regions as deity of tuberculosis. As per legend, Goddess Shitala, also called as Mother Shitala, was born only with Lord Brahma, the creator, to be worshipped on earth. This Hindu goddess is both worshipped and feared. Goddess Shitala is not only associated with smallpox but with heat also.
It’s because the viral disease of smallpox is followed by delirium due to high fever. In India, winter lasts till February. Since March, the weather conditions start changing for hotter environment, implying scorching summer season ahead. This transition period (March & April) in season and weather conditions is the time of prevalence of diseases like smallpox, fever etc. Hence, major religious observance, Shitalashtami, comes near the advent of the hot season. Festival of Shilashtami is observed every year on the eighth day of the bright half of the Hindu lunar month of Vaishakh (April-May) to propitiate a jealous, spiteful goddess whose wrath is visited upon those who ignore and displease her. In northern India this festival falls at the advent of the hottest time of year; the climate thus mirrors the heat and fevers brought on by contact with Shitala herself, in her form as smallpox. Although Shitala is conceived as spiteful and jealous, she cannot be ignored, since this will be sure to provoke her wrath. The literal meaning of her name, “Cool One,” can be seen as an attempt to appease her wrath through flattery. Therefore, in order to pacify her anger, the devotees offer cool liquids like cold mild and curd.
Near Prayag Teerth one can find Shool Tankeshwar Ling. A devotee who takes bath religiously in Prayag Teerth and worships Shool Tankeshwar, will attain the benefits equivalent to hundred times the benefits which would have accrued to him, had he taken bath in Prayag (Sangam – Allahabad). Besides, the devotees will find all round happiness and will attain Moksha. Here one point is worth mentioning. When river Ganga approached Kashi with a violent force, Lord Shiva threw his Trishul (Trident) hard into the ground, just before the entry point to the South of Kashi. By this action, Ganga had to slow down her force and she agreed to flow gently through Kashi and that she would always remain in Kashi, giving happiness to the residents thereat. Scientifically speaking, the River Ganga is perennial in Kashi and at some points, even during the dry summer, the depth is over 130 feet. Accordingly, people believe that Shool Tankeshwar temple is at a point almost 2 Kms. South of Assi. But according to Kashi Khand, the place has been mentioned in the vicinity of Prayag Teerth, which is almost a part of Dasaswamedh
LOCATION OF SHOOL TANKESHWAR Shool Tankeshwar is located at Dasaswamedh Ghat steps The temple is quite famous, also known as Bada Ling. Alternatively, they can travel by boat upto Dasaswamedh Ghat and climb the step
Near the temple of Vishweshwar (Kashi Vishwanath Temple), and to the south of Sanichar, is a small shrine, dedicated to 'Shukreshwar’, which is visited by persons desirous of becoming parents of handsome sons. It is said that Shukra god will bestow a fine son on his worshippers, even though fate should not have conferred one on them and, so long as he lives in Benares, he will pass his time happily, and, at death, will depart to the realms of Lord Shiva i.e. ‘moksha’. Located in Vishwanath Gali in Varanasi, Shukreshwar temple is visited by the devotees mostly on Friday and Monday.
Sitamarhi temple is located in Bhadohi district. This temple is situated on the banks of Ganga river and 11 km from Jangiganj Bazar in the middle of Allahabad and Varanasi. It is believed that at this place Mother Sita had absorbed herself in the earth. Here is the 110 feet high statue of Hanuman ji, which has the distinction of being the world’s greatest statue of the Hanuman ji.
Tilbhandeshwar Temple is one of the oldest temples in the Varanasi city, located near to the Bengal Tola Inter College and next to the Madanpura (the most renowned weaver colony). Tilbhandeshwar Temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It is believed that the Shiva Lingam present in the Tilbhandeshwar Temple increases every year by a nominal length. A unique combination of the Malyali and the Banarasi culture is represented by this temple. Hindu devotees celebrate here their famous festivals such as Mahashivratri, Shravan, Navratri, Makar Sankranti, Ayappa Puja etc. The statue of other Hindu deities is also visible in this temple such as Maa Parvati, Vibhandeshwar, Bhairav and Loed Ayappa. It is considered that Mata Sharda had spent some days in the Varanasi at this temple.
Devotees of the Lord Shiva can realize the supreme power at the Tilbhandeshwar Temple. It is considered that the Shiva Lingam present in the Tilbhandeshwar Temple was emerged by itself many years ago and known as the Shvambhu. The temple has very calm environment and best place for the meditation. Devotees offer Jal to the Shiva Lingam and meditate in the feets of the Lord Shiva.
Tulsi Manas Mandir Temple is one of the famous temples of the Varanasi and also known as the Tulsi Birla Manas Mandir. It is located at Durgakund very close to the Durga Temple in the Varanasi city. It is made up of the white marble in the year 1964 and looks very attractive having beautiful garden. The temple is dedicated to the Lord Rama and constructed by the family of Banaras. The temple has beautiful images of the Ram, Sita, Lakshhman and Hanuman.
Goswami Tulsidas had written an ancient Hindu Epic Ramcharitamanasa at this place in the Kashi. He had described the life history of the Lord Rama in this Epic
The main gate of the temple has written Shri Tulsi Manas Mandir Haridwar. At the right side of the entrance gate, there is an attractive Tulsi Garden which has very calm and clean environment. The Tulsi Garden has the statue of Tulsidas which illustrates the stanza “Tulsi Das chandan ragane, tilak det Raghuvir.” On the left side of the main temple, there is a beautiful pond having four Ghats.
Each bank of the temple has different statues denoting special subjects of the Hindu Epics. The northern Ghat of the pond has statue of the Shri Kakbhushundi ji, southern bank has statue of Shri Yagywalkaji Maharaj, eastern ghat has statue of Shri Ashuthosh Shankar (means Lord Shiva) and the western bank has statue of the Goswami Tulsidas Ji. Center of the temple has Ram Darbar with the Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati. The statue of all the Gods and Goddess, described in the Hindu epic, is present in the temple. The wall of the temple is described with different types of Chaupayees, Dohas, Chhandas and Sorathas.
The second floor of the temple has statues and scenes of the great Hindu legends from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The temple is named after the great saint of 16th century Tulsidas.
Vyasa Temple is located in the Ramnagar at the opposite side of Varanasi at the bank of holy River Gange. This temple is dedicated to the Veda Vyasa. He was the author of the great epic known as Mahabharata. Vyasa Temple is a must see place in the Ramnagar and has a lot crowd through the year. It is considered that the Lord Shiva had banished the Vyasa from Varanasi because of his bad temper and Vyasa had to stay up on the other side of the Gange means Ramnagar. From that time Vyasa was not allowed to come in the Varanasi and he made a temple in the Ramnagar at the eastern bank of the Ganga and had started to live there.
In the Puranic story, it is clearly mentioned that when Vyasa was unsuccessful to find alms in the Varanasi city he put a nuisance on the city. Once, Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati took human form as a householder at a house in Varanasi, Vyasa was very happy with the alms he expected that he disregards his putted curse. But, as he made bad temper, he was banished from Varanasi by the Lord Shiva.
Vyasa is a most respected stature of the Hindu tradition. He is also called Veda Vyasa as he had classified the Vedas into four parts. Veda Vyasa is a character as well as the author of the most religious importance epic, Mahabharata. It is considered that Vyasa is a kala Avatar or embodiment of the Lord Vishnu. Vyasa is also the compiler of the Vedanta Sutras as well as he is considered the one of the seven Chiranjivis (means long life, or immortal). He was the fourth associate of Rishi Parampara of the Advaita Guru Parampara.
Guru Purnima is the great festival in Hinduism and dedicated to the Vyasa. Guru Purnima is also known as the Vyasa Purnima and celebrated every year at the Vyasa Temple. It is believed that Guru Purnima is the birthday of the Vyasa and also a day when he divided the Vedas. He appeared first time as a compiler as well as a character in the Mahabharata. He was born at the island of River Yamuna that’s why he is named as Dwaipayana (means born at island). Still, that place is named Vedvyas, after him. The modern name of that place is Kalpi in the Jalaun district, Uttar Pradesh. Vyasa had dark complexion that’s why he is called the Krishna also. Kauravas and Pandavas were the grandson of the Vyasa and Dhritarashtra and Pandu were the sons of the Vyasa. His sons were adopted as the sons of Vichitravirya of the royal family. His third son was Vidura by a serving maid.
It is considered that Lord Vishnu in the form of Vyasa in third Yug (Dvapara) had divided the Vedas in order to encourage the man kindness. It is considered that in the Vedhagiri there is an ashram of the Vedavyasa. His sons went to visit him during their exile period at the Vedhagiri and got advised. Still, there is a remains of the ashram at the top of the Vedhagiri hill.
Once Yamraj installed one Shiv Ling and one idol for Lord Surya in Yam Teerth and performed rigorous Tapas. The Shiv Ling came to be known as Yameshwar and the idol of Lord Surya came to be known as Yama Aditya. Kashi Khand states that if a person takes bath in Yama Teerth (now Ganges at Sankata Ghat), worships Yameshwar and Yama Aditya, such devotee will never experience the tortures of Hell. (He will reach heaven after his death). On an auspicious day when Tuesday, Bharani Nakshatra and Chaturdasi (14th day after Amavasya or Poornima) coincide, if a person performs rituals for his forefathers, he will attain all round happiness. It is believed that forefathers eagerly wait for their descendents to take bath in Yam Teerth and perform the rituals on the aforesaid day. A person who prays to Yama Aditya and Yameshwar after taking bath in Yama Teerth will always remain happy.
LOCATION OF YAMA ADITYA Yama Aditya is located at No. Ck.7/135, on the steps leading to Sankata Ghat. Sankata Devi temple is an important landmark.