Temples in Varanasi: Beyond Religion And Spirituality
The city of Shiva doesn’t disappoint when it comes to stark and architecturally intricate temples in Varanasi. When you visit the city you can visit one of the thousands of temples in Varanasi to discover a new aspect of the city.
Though not all temples are as grand as others, each temple holds some history and culture that is precious to the people of Varanasi. So if you are looking for famous temples to visit while you stay in Varanasi, check out our list.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Arguably the most popular temples, not only in Varanasi but in India too, is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The temple was one of the most renowned temples of Lord Shiva and still holds that title after so many years. The temple has a rich history associated with it since it has been around for over centuries.
The ancient temple got destroyed multiple times by intruders like Qutb-ud-din Aibak, but Hindus rebuilt the temple multiple times and restored it to its former glory. You can witness the latest renovated temple in Varanasi in the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor where the Prime Minister Of India inaugurated it in December 2021.
Sankat Mochan Mandir
While Varanasi is the city of Lord Shiva, one of the other prevalent Varanasi temples in the city is of Lord Hanuman. Like all others on this list, it is a temple for a deity, but it offers a fresh experience for first-time visitors. If you have been to Varanasi before, you must have seen monkeys lazing around the streets in Varanasi.
They are said to be the descendants of the Lord and still roam around the city to protect and bless it. And you will see hundreds of monkeys at the Sankat Mochan Mandir itself. But don’t worry, that is normal and you can even feed them to show your devotion. When you visit, don’t miss out on the delicious Besan Laddoos that you can get at the temple.
Kaal Bhairav Mandir
Lord Shiva had multiple forms, each with a different personality and traits. One such form was Kaal Bhairav or Bhairav. Bhairav was an intimidating and daunting form of Lord Shiva which came into existence to end the anger of Brahma. He decapitated Brahma’s fifth head to do so, but because of that, it haunted him for a long time.
But by doing so, the head he decapitated stuck to him for a long time but fell off when he reached Varanasi. It is why locals believe that Varanasi is the final resting place where Bhaiarv resides and made the temple. Since Bhairav played the role of the protector, he is considered to be the protector of Varanasi too.
Durga Kund Mandir
Dedicated to goddess Durga, the Durga Kund Mandir is another grand temple in Varanasi city with a unique architectural design. Goddess Durga is one of the most powerful deities in Hinduism and thus the devotees pray to her. The temple is connected with a Kund, which is a small artificial pond.
Initially, the pond was directly connected with the river Ganges, but now, its source of replenishment is mostly rainwater. Nevertheless, the temples are grand and you can be a part of the aartis that take place throughout the day. You can also get some local delicacies in the nearby area named after the temple.
Bharat Mata Mandir
One of the most unique temples on this list, the Bharat Maata Mandir is not your conventional temple. Instead of being centred around a god or goddess, the temple is centred around Bharat Mata or Mother India. There is a map of undivided India in the temple, replacing the conventional idols, carved out of marble.
The temple was created by a freedom fighter and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. The Varanasi temple has had some renovations since then, but the essence of it remains. You can visit the temple for a newer perspective and witness some intricate carvings and designs unique to this temple.
Maa Annapurna Mandir
Annapurna is made up of two words ‘Anna’ which means grains and ‘Purna’ which means the provider of. It is a temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati who is believed to have donated food to Varanasi for the people. Though many theories revolve around the story, the goddess is worshipped as the Goddess of Food in Varanasi.
The location of the temple is quite close to the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, so you can visit the temple after you visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. And if you visit around Annakut Day, which comes only once a year, you can also witness the gold idol of the Goddess which is only displayed then.
Kashi, the city of Lord Shiva, and thousands of temples have some of the best temples in the country. You can witness the cultural and religious heritage of the people by visiting one of these temples during your visit.
Even if you’re not particularly religious, the infrastructure and experience of these temples will be an amazing experience for everyone. So the next time you visit Varanasi, do try to give some of these temples a visit and get a full experience of the city.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Varanasi temples for Hindus only?
No, the temples in Varanasi are not for Hindus only, they can be visited by any person regardless of religion.
Which is the best temple in Varanasi?
After its recent glow-up, the Kashi Vishwanath is one of the oldest yet most scenic temples in Varanasi which you must not miss.
Are temples only for religious visitors?
No, these temples are architectural wonders and places with tranquillity, so they are not limited to religious purposes.