Updated: Jun 1
Varanasi is established between two rivers Varuna and Assi thus, the name Varanasi also known as Kashi. Varanasi was previously also known as Banaras or Banarasi, is full of life from dawn to dusk. Amidst all chaos, one can find peace and the presence of divine within oneself.
It’s an ancient city where ancient masters had walked the path of light. A bath at the Ganga river is believed to wash away one’s sin.
There are Annapurna and Shri Visalakhshi temples nearby. Shri Vishalakshi temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeth and the statue behind the current one was self-manifested.
At the entrance to Gate 1 is the Dhundiraj temple (Ganesha). Dashashwamedh Ghat is also nearby where evening Aarti happens. I was greeted by a sudden heavy downpour of rain. As the ghats are closed due to tide, bathing in the river and boating were not allowed. I take this as blessings from the natural rainwater before stepping to the Kashi Viswanath temple which was recently renovated. Being Ganesha Chathurthi in 2022, what could I ask for more than being in this ancient site to celebrate the occasion.
The current temple was believed to be rebuilt around 1780 by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore, Madhya Pradesh. After her husband passed away, she reigned the Holkar dynasty. She defended her state and led armies into battle. The current administration installed a statue of the Queen at the updated Kashi corridor in honour of her. There is also a statue of Adi Shankaracharya in honour of him. Queen Ahilyabai undertook and reconstructed many temples throughout India such as Kedarnath, Badrinath, Rameshwaram to name a few and the list is very long of her contribution towards rebuilding of the sacred sites in India. She created and established a textile industry that was flourishing at that time.
Her strength is an inspiration to modern day women of what one can achieve.
Photography was not allowed inside the temple. I have posted a picture from Gate 4.
Area around Kashi Vishwanath temple is very well protected. The dome is made of gold. The corridor is beautifully done.
Although Varanasi is bustling all through the day and night, a sense of peace is always felt.
Kashi lives on within you.