Sunday 14 April 2013

Varanasi: Important Temples & Places in and around Sri Kashi Viswanath Temple, Varanasi, Uttarpradesh, India

Varanasi is the oldest surviving city of the World. Varanasi is also called as "Kashi"(City of Light) and "Benaras". Varanasi is the city of more than 2000 temples. Among them Sri Kashi Viswanatha Temple is the  first Jyothirlinga, the fiery pillar of light by which Lord Shiva manifested his supremacy power over other Gods and the most important heritage temple in India. Some important temples near Sri Viswanath Temple and other important places of the Varanasi City are as follows... 

Sri Annapoorna Mandir is near the temple of Lord Viswanatha. A Golde imae of Annapoorna Devi is in this temple. Lord Shiva is in the form of Bhikshatana Murthy.

Bala Ganapathi Temple is nearer to the temple of Sri Annapoorna Mandir. Sri Ganapathi, the main deity of the temple is known as "Dundi Raja Ganapathi." The Lord will be witness for One's visit and as such is called "Sakshi Ganapathi".

Kalabhairva Temple is located at a distance of 2KM from Viswanath Mandir. The Lord of this temple is called as "Kshetra Palaka Daiva". The Pradakshina Path os this temple is relatively bigger one than the Viswanath Temple.

VishaLakshi Temple is in the other end from Viswanatha Mandir. Goddess VishaLakshi is in sitting Posture. The Goddess is very beautiful may be because of the Big Eyes by which the name "VishaLakshi" may be derived. In this temple the Pradakshina Path is roofed here.
All these temples are situated nearer to the Lord Viswanatha Mandir and many other temples are located at a far distance in the temple city.

Durga Temple is on the banks of Durgi Kunda on the main road to Benaras Hindu University. This temple is of recent independent origin. It has an imposing Mahadwara with the Gopura that can be seen from a distance. The Perambulatory Path (Pradakshina Path) is a wider one. There are small shrines built along the Pradakshina Path. The main temple is on a high ground built of red sand stone. The pillars is the Mukhamandapam are exquisitely carved. Durga Devi inside the Garbha Griha is inspiring devotion.

Tulasi Manasa Mandir is the next temple on the same road. The temple is built in 20th century. Tulasi Dasa wrote "Ramayanam" in Avadhi Language(Hindusthani language surrounding Ayodhya region). This rendering is called "Rama Charitha Manasa". The walls of the temple has "Rama Charitha Manas" engraved in marble stone - Amritha Shila. This temple was built by one Rathanial Surekha in memory and inspiration of his parents in 1964.

Sankat Mochana Hanuman Mandir is the next famous temple. It is on the Highway to Benaras Hindu University. The temple has got a big Garden around the Temple where monkies abound. Sankat Mochana Hanuman is a huge image of Hanuman standing imposingly invoking devotion and dedication among devotees. Sri Seetha RamaLakshmana Temple is situated Opposite to this Hanuman Temple.

Before entering the gates of B.H.U. one should see in the old city, the birth place of Jhansi Rani Lakshmibai. Here, a compound earmarked by a sign board and a statue of the Rani riding a horse with the child tied to her back is majestically stands in the rear ground. On the back wall, the story of Lakshmibai is depicated in stucco figurines. 

Benaras Hindu University is the brain child of  "Pandit Madana Mohana Malaveeya". The university was found in 1904 in the vast expanse of 1000 acres of land donated by the Raja of Benaras. The university has an imposing "Mahadeva Temple" inside the compound in the middle of the university. In the upper chamber an image of Lord Shiva in sitting posture is awe inspiring. Besides there is Goddess Parvathi Devi Shrine. The essence of Hindu Dharma is engraved on the walls here in details both in Hindi and English.