Vacationers, who are planning to opt for tour packages in India, cannot miss to visit the sacred land of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. This holy city is situated on the banks of the revered River Ganges and is considered to be one of the most venerated places of religious importance among Hindus. Those who want to explore the vibrant culture, rich customs and varied traditions of this country would be more than delighted to come here. One of the oldest places of the world to be inhabited by man, this city has a glorious history, and its every nook speaks of ancient stories and legends. There are numerous ancient shrines here that are thronged by pilgrims, who seek blessings of the almighty all-round the year. Historians, art patrons and explorers also flock here in thousands to discover the true ethnic colours of India.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
One of the most venerated shrines of the city is the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which is considered to be one of the most sacred temples among Hindus. This religious edifice is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is thronged by visitors every year, especially during festivals like Maha Shivratri and Nag Panchami. Positioned on the western coast of River Ganges, this shrine is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas – the Radiant Symbol of the Almighty. The main idol inside the temple complex is of Lord Vishwanath – a form of Lord Shiva.
The shrine has been mentioned in some of the oldest Hindu scriptures and is considered to be a centre of worship as per the Shaiva philosophy. The sacred structure has been renovated and reconstructed a number of times over the years. As per the chronicles, the last time this temple was demolished by Aurangzeb, who established the Gyanvapi Mosque at its place. The current edifice was constructed by Ahilya Bai Holkar – a Maratha monarch – in the year 1780. This is a must-visit site for those who wish to offer prayers, explore the quaint beauty of the temple and encounter the vibrant culture of this place, during a holiday in India.