Vyas Temple is located within the premises of Ramnagar Fort. Front corridor of the fort leads to Vyas Temple.
Calm and beautiful views of Ganga can be seen from the temple. From the highest roof of temple, all Ghats and River Ganga are clearly visible.
This view looks more pleasant during rain. The temple is around 7 km from Dashashwamedh Ghat. The ghat below Vyas Temple is the only ghat on
the eastern bank of Ganga in Varanasi; otherwise, all other ghats of Varanasi are located on the western bank of the river. The ‘lingam’ in
Vyas Temple is a bit different. Actually there are three ‘lingams’ enclosed in a copper casing. First Lingam represents Sage Veda Vyas. Second
one represents Sukhdev (Vyas’ son who narrated Bhagwat Katha to King Parikshit). Third lingam is Kashi Vishwanath.
Vyas Kashi’s history is quite ancient compared to Ramnagar Fort. It has immense religious significance in Hindu mythology. It is said that when Vyas was exiled by Annapurna from Kashi, he started to live at this place, and at this site itself Mahabharata was written. Veda Vyas is also considered as a writer of prominent 18 Puranas & Brahma Sutra. Included in Seven Chiranjivis (long living or immortal), Vyas compiled the Vedant Sutras. Famous Hindu festival Guru Purnima is celebrated on his birthday, coincidentally the day when Vyas compiled and classified the Vedas into four – Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Saam Veda & Atharva Veda. Devotees gather at Vyas Temple in large number to pray the sage. Some legends say that due to his bad temper, Veda Vyas was exiled from Anandvan (as Varanasi / Kashi was then called) by Lord Shiva. And he had to live outside Varanasi that's why he stayed in Ramnagar. Vyas had done ‘tapasya’ to please Lord Vishveshwar. On being pleased, Shiva had given him a boon that a temple would be built where Vyas lives and Kashi Darshan would be incomplete without visiting this palace. People still believe that Kashi visit is incomplete without going to Vyas Temple.
Sage Veda Vyasa finds place in the story of Mahabharata too. Satyawati was his mother and Rishi Paraashar was his father. Once, when Satyawati had helped Rishi Paraashar to cross a river, he gave her a ‘mantra’ as a boon. Satyawati recited the mantra immediately and Vyasa was born. At that time Satyavati was unmarried. Later Satyawati was married to Shantanu. They had two sons Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. Chitrangada was killed by enemies and Vichitravirya was very weak and ill. Satyawati requested Bhishma to get princess for Vichitravirya. Bhishma forcibly lifted Amba, Ambika and Ambalika from ‘swayamvar’ and brought them to Hastinapur. Amba cursed Bhishma, as she loved Shalva. Although Bhishma allowed her to go but, then, Shalva did not accept her. Considering Bhishma responsible for all this, Amba cursed him. Ambika and Ambalika were being married but Vichitryavirya collapsed during the course. Ambika & Ambalika, then, asked Bhishma to marry them but Bhishma couldn’t marry because of his pledge. In that scenario, distressed Satyawati opened the secret of Vyas. Vyas, a sage with bright personality, was called to help ensure successors to the throne. Due to bright aura, Ambika, out of fear, closed her eyes; as a result, Dhritrashtra as her son was born blind; Ambalika got pale and hence Pandu was born pale. Satyawati requested second chance for Ambika but Ambika sent a maid and hence born son was Vidura, an excellent politician during Mahabharata era. Thus, Kauravas and Pandavas were the grandson of Rishi Veda Vyasa and Dhritarashtra and Pandu were his sons. His sons were adopted as the sons of Vichitravirya of the royal family.
The holy temple, dedicated to Veda Vyas, is situated at the bank of River Ganga. Vyas is considered as Kala Avatara (black incarnation) of Lord Vishnu in Dwapar Yuga. Since born black (Krishna in Sanskrit) and at an island (called Dweep thus Dwaipayana in Sanskrit) in Yamuna, Vyas was also named as Krishna Dwaipayan. Veda Vyas is also known as Baadarayana (a person who moved among the badari bushes) and Paaraasharya (son of Rishi Paraashara) and Satyavateya(son of mother Satyavati). The aim of this incarnation was to compile Vedas in written form from oral form, so that this knowledge survives for times to come.
The Hindu pilgrims on Varanasi tour definitely visit Vyas Temple in Vyas Kashi (Ram Nagar).