- Kasi Viswanathar
Kasi is amongst
the holy spots for visit by the Hindus in Benares in Uttar Pradesh.
It is believed that a visit to Kasi ensures liberation & hence pious
Hindus seek a visit during their lifetime. This is the location of
the Benares Hindu University, the place of learning of several aspects
of Hindu culture. The Lord himself has declared this spot as his
Royal residence. Goddess Parvathi's mother felt ashamed that her
son-in-law had no decent dwelling. To please Parvathi Devi,
Siva asked Nikumbha to provide him with a dwelling place at Kasi.
the request of Nikumbha, Aunikumbha a brahmin made Divodas construct a
temple for the Lord here. The pleased Lord granted boons to all his
devotees. But Divodas was not blessed with a son. The angered
Divodas demolished the structure. Nikubha cursed that the area would
be devoid of people. When the place was emptied Lord Siva once again
took residence here permanently. The Lord along with Parvathi Devi
once again started blessing his devotees with wonderful boons.
was so pleased that she offered food (annam) to one and all and hence is
worshipped as Annapoorani. The Lord himself is seen with a bowl in
his hands asking for annam from the seated Devi at the Devi's shrine adajacent
to Viswanathar's shrine. This is considered to be one of the 52 Sakthipeedams
(the place where Parvathi's left hand fell, when her corpse was cut by
Mahavishnu's sudarsana chakram).
The Siva lingam
is placed in a square shaped brass plated pit. Devotees are permitted
to offer worship such as abhishekam with holy ganga water, garlanding
the Lord, karpoora aarathi, etc. personally to the swaymbhu lingam.
There are several
smaller shrines around the main shrine. The head of each ghat has
a Siva linga shrine. The Lord can be seen placed on a pedestal at
every location in the city, even if there is not shrine as such.
temple is situated the temple of Dhundhiraja Ganapathi.