Varanasi City Guide
The temples of Varanasi are as old as the city itself. The temples here evoke a huge sense of spirituality. There is a special aura of mystery around the these temples and there deities, which can be felt only by first hand experience.
The Temple City
Mythologically, the oldest city on earth, Varanasi, is the most sacred place for Hindus. The city is also called as Benaras and Kashi. The city has countless number of temples, spread across the city. The holy temples of Varanasi are amongst the most visited temples in India. Situated on the banks of holy river Ganges, Varanasi temples add to the religious value to Ganges. The older part of city is still refered as Kashi and it is said that the first ray of light fell on Kashi, when the earth was created. There are many ancient as well as new temples which are worth a visit.
Kashi Vishwanath :
The most sacred temple of Varanasi, Vishwanath temple is devoted to lord Shiva. The temple is near Dashashwamedh ghat, in the heart of old Varanasi. The construction of the temple was destroyed by Aurangzeb in 18th century, to construct a mosque. Though the new building is not as elaborate as the temples of South India and Orissa, the sense of devotion in the temple is very strong. The temple is one of the holiest temples for a Hindu.
Durga Temple :
The Durga temple at Durgakund, is a beautiful temple. The temple is built next to a lake called Durgakund lake. The temple is very famous among the locals.
Sankat Mochan Mandir :
The most sought after temple of Lord Hanuman. What Vishwanath Temple is to lord Shiva, Sankatmochan Temple is to lord Hanuman. The vast campus of temple is filled with devotees on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Tulsi Manas Temple :
Also called as Birla temple, it was built by the Industrialist Birla Family. The temple is next to the Durga Temple. Built in white marble, the temple is very big and is spread in huge area, covered with green parks and lawns.
Bharat Mata Mandir :
The Bharat Mata Mandir, is unusual in the terms of presiding deity. The temple does not have idols of any god, but a large relief map of India, carved out of Marble. The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, and lies 3 Km from Kashi, or the old Varanasi.
Nepali Temple :
The King of Nepal had built this temple on Lalita ghat in Nepali style. The Nepali temple is also called the 'Kathwala temple'. The temple has some magnificent woodwork. The workers who carved this temple out were brought from Nepal. The wood used in the temple is also found in Nepal. The speciality of this wood is that it is resistant to termites.
New Vishwanath Temple :
The New Vishwanath Temple, in the premises of Banaras Hindu University, is dedicated to lord Shiva, and is a replica of the original Vishwanath temple. The temple is built in white marbles, and was designed by Madan Mohan Malviya, founder of the University. The temple is open to people from all caste and religion, unlike other temples of Varanasi. The huge campus of New Vishwanath Temple is a delight to the eyes of visitor.
Kaal Bhairav Temple :
The Kaal Bhairav is said to be the Inspector of Kashi. It is believed if he gets angry on someone, the person cannot leave Varanasi for his entire life. The legends says that even death is scared of Kaal Bhairav. People who go on pilgrim visit to Varanasi, do not forget to visit Kaal Bhairava Temple.
Reaching the Temples
Local Transport of Varanasi include the Auto-rickshaws, hand-rickshaws and taxis. Its best to walk down or get a Rickshaw to move in the Old Varanasi. For other parts of city, Auto-rickshaws are a good option.