Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sankat Mochan Temple

Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple or Sankat Mochan temple is located in the southern part of Varanasi, At a distance of 2 km from Assi Ghat and 8 km from Varanasi Junction. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the monkey God of Hinduism, it is one of the holy temples in Kashi and also one of the top places to visit in Varanasi. The term ‘sankatmochan’ refers to reliever of all problems.

Legend has it, that Tulsidas, the author of 'Ram Charita Manas', the Hindi version of the 'Ramayan', originally written by Valmiki in late 1500 AD, founded the temple after a vision of the Lord Hanuman at that spot. The holy text was discovered in 1623 and has been in the temple since 1701. It is written in the Awadhi dialect which is part of the eastern Hindi language family.

The devotees of the Lord Hanuman offer Prasad ( basan ke ladoo) and Sindoor on the statue to the Lord Hanuman which is sealed in the campus of the temple. They also decorate the idol of the Lord Hanuman with the flower garland. 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).

According to Astrology, Hanuman saves human beings from the anger of the planet Shani (Saturn), and especially people who have an ill-placed Saturn in their horoscopes visit this temple for astrological remedies. This is supposed to be the most effective way for appeasing Shani. While it is suggested that Hanuman did not hesitate to engulfe in his mouth the sun, the lord of all planets, which humbled all the gods and angels, making them worship him for the Sun's release. Some astrologers believe that worshiping Hanuman can neutralize the ill-effect of Mangal (Mars) and practically any planet that has an ill effect on human life.

Apart from the everyday visitors, thousands of devotees gather here on occasions like Hanuman Jayanti. A special procession known as Shobha Yatra is also arranged which starts from Durgakund Temple. The temple also organizes 'Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh', a classical music and dance festival every year in the month of April, in which musicians and dancers from all over India take part.

How to reach?
By Air - The nearest airport is Varanasi Airport.
By Rail – Nearest railway junction is Varanasi. Well connected to all over India.
By Road - Buses ply to cities to all over India. Local travel can be done with Rickshaw or taxies.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Where the Varuna and Asi rivers join the Ganges, a beautiful city was built there in the ancient times. It was named Varanasi. Varanasi, a prime place of pilgrimage, a tribe called kasha used to live. Therefore, Varanasi was also known as Kashi. Near Kashi, Ganga flows in the shape of a bow. Hence it acquired special importance. A king called Deivodas expanded this area.
Varanasi is located in Uttarpradesh, in the Gangetic plains.

Purana of kashi vishwanath jyotirlinga

Nirvikar cahitanya and Sanatan Brahma have assumed the form of Saguna Vishwarupa from the initial Nirgun Roopa or form. The Shiva Shakti roopa became the Purusha (man) and Stree (the woman) again. Prakriti and Purusha (Nature and man) (Shiva-Shakti) were once ordained by Shiva to do tapas in the universe in order to create the best being. He specified the best place for this purpose. When a prayer was held, Nirgun Shiva, with His own powers and aura, created a wonderful city called Panchakoshi. Vishnu, who resided there, spent a lot of time praying to Shiva after which several watersprings originated there. Vishnu was amazed at this wonderous event, and even as he tilled his head, a gemstone fell from his ear. Because of this place, it was also called Manikarnika. The entire Panch Koshi area of Manikarnika waters were then gathered into the Trident by Shiva. Then from the navel of Vishnu was born a lotus flower with Brahma in it. Brahma was ordained by Shiva to create a world, at which Brahma created this wonderful world. It had fifty crore Yojanas of area and fourteen lokas. In order to save the lives of these who are bound by their own actions or karma. Shiva kept panchakoshi city away from the entire universe. In this city, Shiva Himself established the saviour Muktidayak JyotirLinga, which He can never leave. Shiva removed this very Kashi from His Trident and set it in this mortal world. It was not to be destroyed when Brahma’s day ends, but during Pralay i.e., final destruction of the world, Shiva saved it by keeping it safe in his trident. So the kashi is called avimukta kshetra. In Kashi, the Avimukteshwar Linga is there forever. Those who can never hope for salvation, attain Moksha here. 
This holiest city of Panchakoshi, with its capacity to destroy every conceivable sin, is the vehicle of a special Moksha by the name “Samyugha”. That is the reason why this city which is ruled by Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha, is the place, where even divines want to die. Sarwaguna from inside and Tamoguna from outside, are the qualities of Rudra here. When prayed to, Vishwanatha Bahagavan Sri Shankar made this abode and resided there with Parvati.

History of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Varanasi, which was a pious place of pilgrimage for the hindus, soon became an eyesore and source of jealousy for the Muslims. From 1033 to 1669 AD Kashi came under several destructive attacks. Temples were demolished and Masjids built there instead. But due to the dedication of the Hindu devotees, the JyotirLinag pilgrimage place continued to develop. During the reign of the British and the Marathas, this place really developed well. Even the Jaina and Boudha monks helped to keep the place of the city intact.
The Kashi Vishweshwar temple as we see it now was built by Ahalya Devi Holkar in 1777 AD. In 1785 AD, the then King of Kashi, Mansaram and his son Belvant Singh built many more temples near Varanasi. In 1755 AD, the Avadh pantof pratinidhi (representative) got the old temple of Bindumadhava repaired and renovated it beautifully. The kalabhairava temple was built by Srimant Baji Rao Peshwa in 1852 AD.
King Ranjit Singh had the Kashi Vishwanath temple towers covered in gold. A huge bell hangs in the temple. It was donated by the King of Nepal. Surrounding Saranath, there are many Budhhist stupas, Viharas and Chaitra grihas. In 1931 AD the mahabodhi society had built a very beautiful Buddha temple in Saranath.
The Hindu devotees visit Kashi to make offering. Here they perform many rituals and consider themselves blessed. Along side, several foreign tourists visit this place regularly. Places worth seeing include Ghats, temples, tapobhoomi and the scenic beauty of the surroundings. Kashi Kshetra and Sri Vishweswara JyotirLinga are connected as the holiest shrines in the world. The Ganga water here is considered as the nectar of the earth. Dying in Kashi or performing the final rites is considered as the way to the Heavens. Kashi - Rameshwar(1) yatra is the prime pilgrimage for the Hindus. 

  • Where Kashi Vishwanath temple is Located?

    The temple is located on the banks of River Ganges in Varanasi. The temple is located 5 km away from the Cantt railway station. Maduadih railway station is just 4 km away from the temple. You can reach the temple by taxi or auto rickshaw.
  • Best time to visit Kashi Vishwanath temple

    The temple will be at prime beauty throughout the year. Winter (October – March) has a pleasant climate which makes sightseeing easier. The rituals starts early by 3 am in the morning. The second ritual starts by 11:15 am. In the evening, rituals starts at 7 pm, 9 pm and 10:30 pm. The temple closes by 11 in the night.
  • Cost / Entry Fee

    There is no entrance fee to enter the temple. If you are planning to perform rituals under your name, you need to buy tickets for the same. Buying flowers for the deity from the shops near the temple is a common act. It is not compulsory to buy flowers. Giving donations to the priest or putting money in the hundi is not compulsory.
  • What to See in Kashi Vishwanath temple

    The temple complex consist of numerous shrines. The main shrine has a linga (form of Shiva) which is 60 cm tall, placed in a silver altar. The shrine is built in a quadrangle shape and there are many small shrines that surround this main shrine.
    Jnana Vapi :
    This is a well inside the temple. It is said that the jyotilingam (holiest form of linga) is hid in this well to protect it from the invaders. According to legends, the head priest of the temple jumped into the well with the deity statue when invaders attacked the temple. The well borders the mosque and the temple.

    Sabha Gurh :
    This hall leads to the sanctum. In the sanctum, you will find a black colored linga placed on silver platform.
    Domes :
    There are three domes in the temple. All the three domes are made out of gold.