Shri kashi vishwanath mandir history
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The Shiva temple has been mentioned in Puranas including Kashi Khanda (section) of Skanda Purana. In 11th century A.D., Hari Chandra reconstructed the temple. Muhammad Ghori destroyed it along with other temples of Varanasi during his raid in 1194. Reconstruction of the temple started soon after. This was demolished by Qutb-ud-din Aybak. After Aybak's death the temple was again rebuilt. In 1351 it was destroyed again by Firuz Shah Tughlaq, who also had Hindu holy works translated in Persian.The temple was rebuilt in 1585 by Todar Mal, the Revenue Minister of Akbar's Court.Aurangzeb ordered its demolition in 1669 and constructed Gyanvapi Mosque, which still exists alongside the temple . Traces of the old temple can be seen behind the mosque. The current temple was built by Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780.The temple spire and the dome are plated with 1000 kg of gold donated by the mighty Jatt Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, in 1835.
As Puran says Kashi Vishwanath Baba is divided in to 3 parts of Trishul Kedareshwar Vishweshwar MahaMritunjay.According to puran the person who stays at the end of his life time gets moksha.Kashi Vishwanath gives tarak mantra to get moksha. People who live in kashi get Aarth, Dharma, Karma, Moksha.The Temple is also known as the Golden Temple, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of the city.This is the holiest spot in the city.
More than the Ghats and even the Ganga, the Shivalinga installed in the temple remains the devotional focus of Varanasi. Varanasi is said to be the point at which the first jyotirlinga, the fiery pillar of light by which Shiva manifested his supremacy over other gods, broke through the earth’s crust and flared towards the heavens.
The original temple was destroyed by aurangzeb who built a mosque in its place, but the traces of the old temple can be seen behind the mosque.The present temple was built by Maharani Ahilya Bai of Indore in the year 1776 and the gold plating on the towers of the temple was provided by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Indore.
To the side of the temple is Gyan-Kupor('The well of Knowledge'). It is believed that the Shiva Lingam removed from the original temple was hidden in this well to protect it from Aurangazeb and it still lies there. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the temple.
The temple complex consists of a series of smaller shrines, located in a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli, near the river. The linga the main deity at the shrine is 60 cm tall and 90 cm in circumference housed in a silver altar. There are small temples for Kaalbhairav, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Sanishwara, Virupaksha and Virupaksh Gauri in the complex. There is a small well in the temple called the Jnana Vapi (the wisdom well) and it is believed that the Jytorlinga was hidden in the well to protect it at the time of invasion. It is said that the main priest of the temple had jumped in the well with the Shiv Ling in order to protect the (Jyoti-r)Ling from the invaders..
The Varanasi city is addressed with vivid names such as ancient city of ghats, cultural capital and so on. Varanasi becomes immensely sacred due to the existence of Mahadev (Lord Shiva). The never ending joyous spirit of the city is in close proximity with the essence of Kashi Vishwanath.
Displaying a gesture of impeccable harmony, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and a Mosque in Varanasi co-exists in the same premises. The tough security protocols at the temple entrance have not been even close to affect the spirit of devotees to visit their Lord.
The Kashi Vishwanath temple registers a stunning visit record that tolls to around 3000 visitors every day. At certain occasions, the numbers reach lacs. The temple entrance is through a narrow street surrounded by unique, souvenir shops and guards.
Importance of the temple
The temple is widely recognized as one of the most important places of worship in Hindu religion and most of the leading Hindu saints, including Adi Sankaracharya, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Goswami Tulsidas, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Gurunanak have visited this site. A visit to the temple and a bath in the river Ganges is one of many methods believed to lead one on a path to Moksha (liberation). Thus, people from all over the nation, try to visit the place at least once in their lifetime. There is also a tradition that one should give up at least one desire after a pilgrimage the temple, and the pilgrimage would also include a visit to the temple at Rameswaram in South India, where people take the water samples of the Ganges to perform prayer at the temple and bring back the sand from near that temple. Due to the immense popularity and holiness of this temple, hundreds of temples across the nation have been built with the same style and architecture.
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