Temples of Varanasi

Kashi is known as the land of Shiva. Everything in Kashi not only revolves around the main temple of Vishwanath, as Shiva is known here, but He is also believed to be in control of everything that happens in this holy city. Normally, in Hindu mythology, the nine planets, or Navagrahas, who govern our actions, are independent, and perform their duty without interference from the Gods (a case of not even God interfering with nature and her rules). However, Kashi is a special city, an exception to this rule, where Shiva even governs the Navagrahas. 

Food is one of the basic necessities of life, and it is no wonder that we say ‘Annam Brahma’, food is God. It is the mother who provides food for the child, and it is again no wonder that we pray to the goddess Parvati as Annapurna, the one who gives us food. It is believed that Parvati gave Alms to Shiva, and she is depicted with a bowl in one hand and ladle in the other, serving food to Shiva, standing in front of her, with his begging bowl in His hand. The most popular temple of Annapurna is at Kashi "Annapurna Devi Temple). There are two other temples of Annapurna, one in Kerala, and one in Gujarat. To read about the legend of Annapurna, and her other temples in India. Click Read more....

Dedicated to Lord Kaal Bhairav, who is known as the 'Kotwal of Varanasi', it is said that without his permission no one can stay in Kashi. Bhairav is considered a fearsome manifestation of Shiva who wears a garland of skulls and carries a club of peacock feathers. The name Kaal Bhairav means both Death and Fate. Even Death, it is said, is afraid of Kaal Bhairav.     
One of the most interesting temples in Varanasi, you will find a door guarded by Bhairav's mount, the dog, through which there is a fine courtyard. In the centre of the courtyard, there is the main shrine of Bhairav. His silver face, garlanded with flowers, can be seen through the doorway of inner sanctum, while the rest of the idol said to be holding a trident, seated upon a dog, is hidden behind a cloth drapery. 
This temple was a spiritual centre in Kashi for many centuries for the most severe of Shiva ascetics. Today, the temple is no longer the exclusive domain of such extremist yogis and is patronized by ordinary householders for his protective blessings. An important temple of Varanasi, it is much revered by those who live under its influence in the surrounding Kotwalpuri section of the city.

 

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