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Kashi Vishwanath Mandir also called the Golden temple is one of the famous Hindu Temple of Varanasi which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated on the western bank of the holy river Ganga. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple is a major sacred attraction, dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of the city.
This present temple was built by Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in the year 1776, however, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple was existent even before the present one. About 800 kg of Gold being used to cap the spire by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, hence it is known as the Golden Temple in Varanasi. The temple has been built and rebuilt many times in the past centuries.
The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganges and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara meaning Ruler of the universe. The temple town, which claims to be the oldest living city in the world, with 3500 years of documented history, is also called Kashi and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
How to reach Kashi Vishwanath Mandir:
Kashi Vishwanath Mandir is mainly located at the bank of River Ganga in Varanasi. It is located 5km from Varanasi Cantt Railway Station and 4km from Maduadih Railway Station. You can reach the temple by Auto, Rickshaw, Cab, etc.
Timing to Visit the Temple:
You can visit the temple on any day of the week from Monday-Sunday.
Open: All days
Opening: 4am to 11pm
Preferred: 6 pm to 9 pm
There is no entrance fee to enter the temple. If you are planning to perform rituals under your name, you need to buy a ticket from 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 consists of numerous shrines. The main shrine has a linga (a form of Shiva) which is 60cm 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.
Gyan Vapi: This is well inside the temple. It is said that the jyotirlinga (a holiest form of linga) is hidden in this well to protect it from the invaders. According to the legends, the head priest of the temple jumped into the well with the diety statue when the invaders attack the temple. The well borders the mosque and the temple.
Sabha Guru: 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.