15 Most Famous Temples In Varanasi
Varanasi is the city of temples and one of the holiest places of India. There are hundreds of temples in the city. Kashi, the former name of Varanasi is believed to be the birth place of Lord Shiva. Along with this, Varanasi garners immense significance germane to spiritualism and Hindu Dharma and therefore makes it the top pilgrimage spot of the country. Every ‘teertha’ of the Hindus is represented in Varanasi. This is the reason that Varanasi, also called Banaras, is considered as the cultural capital of India. This makes a lot of visitors from all over the world explore Varanasi. Scores of Varanasi tour packages are offered by various travel companies to the pilgrims, tourists and inquisitive travelers. Some of the top temples in Varanasi are listed below.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple: When in Varanasi, the most important temple to visit is Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The temple has a Shivlingam dedicated to Bhagwan Baba Vishwanath, who happens to be one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva. The temple has a huge significance for the devotees and for the entire Hindu religion. Many saints have also paid a visit in this temple. A new corridor built in the year 2022 around this holy temple, one of the Dwadash Jyotirlingams, has enhanced its beauty, cleanliness of the area and facilities to the pilgrims.
Sankat Mochan Temple: As the name says, the temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Lord Hanuman is believed to be the strongest who is the remover of dangers. The temple was built by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviyaji. Hanuman Jayanti is the best time to visit this temple. Lots of monkeys are always found near this temple because of obvious relevance.
Kaal Bhairav Mandir: This one is the oldest Shiva temples of Varanasi. Bhairav is one of the Avatars of Shiva. Bhairav is eleventh rudra avatars and has eight Manifestations. Kaal Bhairav Mandir in Varanasi is the most powerful and oldest one. The temple has a huge cultural and religious significance for the Hindus.
Durga Mandir: There is a temple in Varanasi that is dedicated to Goddess Durga and that is called the Durga Mandir. This temple is red in colour and is built in typical Nagara style. There is a pond inside the temple premises containing dark water that is connected to the river Ganga for some years.The act of Lord Vishnu sitting in the sea on a coiled up Shesh Nath is recreated in this ‘kund’ or pond every year.
Mrityunjay Mahadev Mandir: It is quite evident that a lot of temples in Varanasi is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The major significance of this temple is that the temple is known the cure the diseases of the devotees. Another name of this temple is Ravaneshwar temple. As the name of this temple says, the deity of this temple saves their devotees from any unnatural death.
Bharat Mata Mandir: The temple is dedicated to Goddess Bharat Mata or India Goddess or Mother India. It is an old temple that was built in 1936 by Babu Shiv Prasad Gupta who was a freedom fighter. There is no deity in the temple but a map of India. It is an interesting temple to visit.
Annapurna Devi Temple: Annapurna Devi is a Goddess who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Annapurna Devi is a Goddess related with the food and nourishment. Inside the temple, there is a golden deity of Goddess Annapurna Devi. It is believed that she is the one protecting the city from the dearth of food. Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao has built this temple.
Sheetla Mata Mandir: This temple is located on the banks of river Ganga. Sheetla Mata Mandir is a Shakti Peeth and is one of the most revered Shaktipeeths of the presiding deity, Sheetla Devi. The best time to visit this temple to experience the best congregations is during the Chaitra Navratri and Navratri months.
Nepali Mandir: One of the most famous and oldest temples of Varanasi is the Nepali Mandir also known as Kanthwala temple. This temple is an exact replica of the Pashupatinath temple in Nepal. The temple was built by Rana Bahadur Shah, then exiled king of Nepal in the 19th century. Nepali temple is built with stone and wood and has enough terracotta structures.
Tulsi Manas Mandir: This one is a very attractive temple made of white marbles and has a beautiful garden. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Ram and has the statue of Lord Ram, Lakshman, and also Lord Hanuman. There is also a Shivlinga inside the temple. There is a wall inside the temple that has the scenes of Ramcharitamanas.
New Vishwanath Temple: The main name of this temple is Birla Temple and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated inside the Banaras Hindu University. The Birla family undertook the construction of this temple in 1931 and it was fully completed in 1966. The temple is almost 77 metres high and is made of marble mostly.
Vishalakshi Mandir: There are 51 major Shakti Peeths in India and Vishalakshi Mandir is one of them. According to mythology, Shakti Peethas were constructed wherever the body parts and ornaments of Mother Sati fell. This temple is known to radiate power of the Devi and help the devotees in various ways.
Sankata Devi Mandir: Sankata Devi is also a form of Goddess Parvati. This temple is of high importance for the women. The deity of the temple is represented with four arms riding on a fierce lion. The statues of the nine planets are also inside the temple. According to legends, the Pandava brothers visited this temple during their exile.
Shri Tilbhandeshwar Mahadev Mandir: An interesting part of this temple is that it is one of the few temples in which the deity is not man-made. It was a naturally occurred statue which happens to grow a certain length every year. This part is enough to state the fact that there is strong presence of God inside the temple.
ISKCON Temple of Varanasi: Finally, ending the list of the top temples in Varanasi with the ISKCON temple of Varanasi. This temple was built in 1966 out of white marble. The temple is famous for many cultural and religious activities. This temple is located closer to BHU. Lots of devotees visit this temple from all parts of the world.
These are definitely the most famous temples in Varanasi. One can find temples in every corner and nook of the city. If the tourists have to make a list to visit the top temples then these must be in their list. Each of these temples has a strong mythological significance. Exploring all of these temples means exploring the main essence of the city and understanding the Hindu mythology in detail.