Varanasi’s most significant temple, this popular Shiva shrine stands out as one of its major landmarks. Notably, its idol is not created through artificial means but is instead naturally occurring and known to change every year.
Please be mindful of what items you bring into this temple; cameras, cigarettes, lighters, alcohol, metal objects such as belts and weapons as well as cameras are not permitted here. In addition, monkeys inhabiting its interior should also be treated with caution.
1. Kaal Bhairav Temple
Kaal Bhairav Temple is an international place of worship where devotees from across the globe come to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings and perform Tantric rituals. Additionally, Tantriks perform their tantric ceremonies here too and an earthen lamp known as an Akhand Deep is kept burning to illuminate this special space. Additionally, alcohol offerings to God in this temple are believed to be consumed by deities themselves by pouring them into shallow cups placed near His mouth. British officers investigating this mystery had been unable to discover its secrets behind it all.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of 12 Jyotirlingas. According to legend, even death fear Kaal Bhairav. If worshiped for six months with devotion then salvation can be gained.
2. Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of twelve Jyotirlingas and one of Hinduism’s holy sites, holds great religious importance to Hindus. Adorned with golden images of Lord Shiva and Nandi (his horse), this shrine draws visitors year-round; particularly during Shravan and Mahashivratri festivals.
Aurangzeb’s destruction of this ancient temple in the seventeenth century led to its reconstruction by various Indian rulers including Vikramaditya and Ahilya Devi Holkar. According to legend, those who faithfully pray to this divine lord can expect their prayers being answered and tension eased away.
Temple also houses an image of Sankata Devi seated atop her vehicle – four-armed lion. Surrounded by statues representing nine planets, she is believed to provide protection against sorrow for devotees. Sankata Devi also acts as protector for Pandavas and Varanasi city itself.
3. Mrityunjaya Temple
The Mrityunjaya Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in Mahamrityunjaya form – meaning “conqueror of death”. Devotees believe performing Mrityunjay Puja can protect them from untimely deaths. The temple features four-pillared entry mandapa, mukha mandapa, antrala and Sanctum Sanctorum that holds a large Shiv Linga.
Near the temple there is a well with significant religious importance which is believed to contain water with medicinal benefits due to being drawn from various underground streams.
Temple of 108 Kundiyas in Assam is known for hosting various forms of homa ceremonies that aim to remove any negative energy and health concerns from an individual’s life, thus increasing longevity. On Tuesday evening, Assam Minister of State for Home Affairs Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma joined Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah to perform Mrityunjay Homa together amidst an enormous pavilion outside. On the sidelines stood an array of 108 Kundiyas for priests performing rituals alongside this temple.
4. Bharat Mata Temple
This unique temple dedicated to Bharat Mata (Mother India) honors the concept of nationhood by delineating each of India’s five regions in one corner of the building and featuring an undivided map inside. 20th-century national Hindi poet Maithili Sharan Gupt composed a poem for its inaugural event; her name can be found written on one corner. Additionally, 30 workers and 25 masons participated in its construction; their names can be seen on an inscribed plaque found within.
On the first floor is a statue of Goddess Bharat Mata holding a milk pot and stack of grain in her hands, alongside an enormous map of India and picture of Indira Gandhi inaugurating this temple. Additionally, Sankata Devi, considered as the Goddess of all answers is worshiped here.
5. Durga Temple
This stunning temple is an example of Nagara style architecture, boasting intricately detailed artwork on its pillars and walls of its oblong apsidal corridor. A clockwise circuit around this shrine should be undertaken in order to appreciate all of its carvings along this gallery that surrounds the garbhagriha.
It was constructed by a Bengali queen during the 18th century as a tribute to Goddess Durga and stands close to an rectangular pond (kund).
Inner walls of this temple feature narrative sculptures depicting Goddess Durga vanquishing Mahishasur, her buffalo-headed demon manifestation. There are also multiple smaller lingams and idols of other Hindu deities and goddesses placed throughout.
6. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple stands as an epicenter of faith and strength near Assi River, inspiring devotion among devotees who visit it. Lord Hanuman represents selflessness and devotion – many devotees believe their wishes get fulfilled when visiting this beautiful temple of Lord Hanuman.
Tulsidas, author of Ram Charita Manas, had a vision of Lord Hanuman where this temple now stands, inspiring its creation and subsequent rebuilding during the early 1900s by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya who founded Banaras Hindu University.
This temple of Lord Hanuman is commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the numerous monkeys living within its walls. Devotees offer prasad (desi ghee ke basan ke ladoo) and sindur on his idol for protection from unfavorable Saturn placement in their horoscopes. Each morning at 2:45 AM four Brahmins wake him up using Rudri Path for Mangala Aarti at this temple.