Every pious man’s go-to place to be awestruck by the presence and strength of the great Lord Shiva is the New Vishwanath Temple. Its sanctity is magnified not only by its location in the heart of India’s cultural capital, Varanasi but also by the holy river Ganga that runs alongside it. The majestic New Vishwanath Temple, which is located on the campus of Banaras Hindu University, is one of Varanasi’s most popular tourist attractions. Visiting this temple allows the worshipper to place himself in God’s hands, at his disposal, and listen to his heart’s voice.
The temple’s quiet and calm helps you to forget about the stresses of everyday life. The wonderful energy in the air pushes one to succumb to the Almighty’s soft caress. Vishweshwara, Shiva’s most famous Jyotirlinga, is said to possess vast and limitless power. A single gaze at this Jyotirlinga can purify our souls and lead us down the road of real knowledge and devotion.
HISTORY & SIGNIFICANCE
Several reigning Mughal kings destroyed (and then rebuilt) Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir on several occasions. As a result, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya decided to build a replica of this Mandir on the Banaras Hindu University campus. In 1931, the Birla family gratefully agreed to take on the challenging task of duplicating the massive temple and lay the foundation. It took 35 laborious but rewarding years for the project to be declared complete in 1966.
Although primarily a Lord Shiva temple, this exquisite temple has nine other temples within one and welcomes visitors of all faiths to marvel at its magnificence, which employs symbolism to portray Hinduism’s values and beliefs. The New Vishwanath Temple encompasses all aspects of Hinduism, including good, evil, and humanity, emphasizing the importance of Dharma, Kama, Artha, Moksha, and Karma in our lives.
The path to the New Vishwanath temple is flanked by lush trees, making for a beautiful sight. The trek to the temple provides unobstructed views of the building’s magnificent antique architecture. The balconies, pavilions, and spires of the beautiful temple are all intricately crafted. Sculptures depicting bulls, crocodiles, lions, and other animals may be found around the temple grounds.
The huge and strong pillars welcome worshipers into the stunning and tastefully furnished hall. This magnificent temple, which stands 77 meters tall and is largely built of lambent marble, is a sight to behold. Shikhara, the city’s tower, is the world’s tallest and really a sight to behold. The entire Holy Bhagavad Gita, as well as other scriptures, are etched in the marble walls with great care. On the walls are inscribed illustrations of the Holy Scriptures, which leave everyone in awe of the majesty of old art.
The idol of Lord Shiva glistens in a marble parlor on the upper floor. Because the temple is surrounded by lush green gardens and neatly kept lawns, the upper-floor verandah provides a
lovely perspective of these open spaces.
HOW TO REACH?
The 77-meter tower, which stands in the middle of Banaras Hindu University’s (BHU) sprawling campus, is difficult to overlook. The BHU is around 15 kilometers north of the Varanasi City Railway Station, and it takes 45 minutes to get there. Buses from various sections of the city-run frequently to the BHU Bus Stop, which is the closest to the university. The Banaras Hindu University is also served by several motor rickshaws and taxis.
Right outside the temple’s entrance is a cold coffee shop that provides cold coffee with a large dollop of vanilla ice cream for INR 25. It’s well-known in the area and a must-try. Outside the main entrance, there’s a bhelpuri stall that’s also worth a visit. Every eatery on and around the BHU campus closes at 11:00 p.m. at the latest. Make sure you eat something before then!
TIPS TO VISIT
- The Mahashivratri festival is enthusiastically celebrated in the temple, with brilliant lights and diyas lining the Ganga’s banks. However, because this is such a popular time for worshippers to pray to Lord Shiva, the lines to enter the temple are extremely long, and it may take several hours to get in.
- You must remove your shoes at the temple’s entry, and the floor can be rather cold once inside. Putting on a pair of socks can make your experience much more pleasant.
- There’s no entry fee for the temple, don’t get yourself fooled by any thug out there.
- The timings of the temple are 4 AM to 11 AM and 12 PM to 7 PM.