Kashi Vishwanath temple is located in the old city of Kashi which is the present-day Varanasi. The city is considered one of the holiest cities in India. Everyone exploring India visits Varanasi at least once. The city has a unique spiritual vibe that can grip you there.
The Kashi Vishwanath temple also enhances the spiritual significance of this place along with the river Ganges. It is also amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas that are placed all around India. Many legends are attached to the city of Varanasi as well as the Vishwanath temple. There are many historical tales about the temple that will blow away your mind.
Since the temple is so old, it is bound to have some interesting stories. These stories have been running through the old streets of Varanasi since time immemorial. The legends and stories make Varanasi, such a sought-after place for all the spiritual seekers across the world.
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Kashi Vishwanath is a temple that is not just famous amongst India tourists but also amongst foreigners. A lot of people visit the city of Varanasi and the Kashi Vishwanath temple all year long.
Let us check out some of the surprising historical facts of the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple!
- The history of the Kashi Vishwanath temple has been rather tumultuous. It was founded in the year 1490. Since there were many kings who ruled the city of Kashi, the fate of this temple kept changing. Also, there was a period when the Buddhists lived there. Thanks to so many changes, the temple saw a lot of slaughters in the banks of the Ganges river. The temple was also destroyed and plundered several time. But it stood the test of time and was rebuilt several times.
- The temple of Kashi Vishwanath was built during the time of Akbar’s rule. However, it is said to have been destroyed by Aurangzeb at a later period. According to the stories, Aurangzeb built a mosque thereafter destroying the temple. There is a mosque that still stands next to the temple. This co-existence of a different religion is what makes India a unique country.
- The recent rebuilding of this temple happened recently. It was done by Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar, the famous Queen of Indore. She offered funds and took the initiative to restore the entire Vishwanath temple which was destroyed over some time by invaders. The temple in its present form is the one built by her.
- The word Kashi is derived from the word Kas which literally means shine. The religious significance of this temple is massive. It is even believed that Lord Shiva resided in this temple for a period of time. The Shiva linga in the Kashi Vishwanath temple is amongst one of the 12 Jyotirlingas that are spread across India.
- The Kashi Vishwanath temple has a Golden chatra on top of it. According to the wide belief of the people who live there, if a wish is made after seeing that Golden chatra, it is bound to get fulfilled.
- According to the legends, the first light fell on Kashi when the Earth was created. It also states that Lord Shiva stayed there for some time. He is considered the protector and the guardian of the people and the city of Banaras.
- There is a well of wisdom or the Gyan Vapi. According to the stories narrated by people there, when the news about Aurangzeb’s plans to completely destroy the Kashi Vishwanath temple was spread, some people took steps to protect Lord Shiva’s idol. They hid the idol in a well in order to protect it from any kind of That well still exists in between the temple and the mosque. So, when you visit the temple next time, you may want to take some time off to check it out.
These are the seven super interesting facts that are associated with the history of Kashi Vishwanath temple. Every old and spiritual place in India has some unique and surprising legends attached to it. Kashi Vishwanath, being one of the oldest temples, definitely has its share of stories and legends.
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These interesting facts would definitely urge you to visit the place very soon. But when you visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple, remember these facts and try to imagine yourself traveling back in time when the temple was founded.
Also, keep your eyes open and talk to the locals there to get some more insights about the temple, its history and the city of Varanasi. You will definitely love visiting Kashi Vishwanath temple when you are exploring India. It is easy to reach there by train, bus or even a flight.
You can choose your transport and plan for your trip. So, when are you planning your next visit to Kashi? If you want to visit more temples, Here is the list of 25 famous temples in India that you can visit anytime.