6 Lesser Known But Fascinating Temples of Kashi

6 Lesser Known But Fascinating Temples of Kashi October 20, 2019

Kashi Karvat

“Karvat” means “a saw.” It is said that in this temple, a saw used to be suspended from the ceiling. Devotees would come here, and the saw would drop on them, and they would be cut in half from sahasrar to muladhara.

Gradually the practise was banned and later the saw was kept on the floor. Devotees would throw themselves on the saw to kill themselves. The British banned this and took away the saw.

The linga here is called Bhimeshwar linga.

Lat Bhairav

Bhairavi-yatana was administered at a pillar (lat) whose stump, now called “Lat Bhairo,” still stands beside the present Kapalamochana tank where it is worshipped as a linga of Bhairava. Lat Bhairav is also called Kapali Bhairav.

This stump might originally have been the pillar called the mahasmashana stambha in the puranas. It is not clear if the pillar was located in this same place, or was moved here later after being razed to the ground in some earlier location.

In 1665, a French traveller described it as being thirty-two to thirty-five feet high. He was also told that it had sunk into the ground more than thirty feet in the previous fifty years. On the capital of the pillar, he reported, was a round ball encircled below with a row of beads.

In 1809, the Lat Bhairava pillar was almost completely levelled during the Banaras riots of 1809. It was toppled, and what is left today is a stump, 3 feet thick and 7 to 8 feet high, that stands on an elevated platform in the midst of a Muslim idgah. Entirely encased under protective copper sheeting installed after the riots, it is separated from the idgah only by a small enclosing brick wall.

To the stump of the original Lat, which was once famous among the population both for its antiquity and for its sanctity, is normally affixed a small mask of Bhairava.

Shri Samrajeswar Pashupatinath Mahadev Mandir also known as the Nepali Mandir

This temple is also known as Mini Khajuraho  and Kanthwala Mandir (Kanthwala in Hindi means wooden).

Constructed in the 19th century by the King of Nepal, the temple is made of terracotta, stone and wood and is replica of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.

The King of Nepal, Rana Bahadur Shah was in Varanasi from 1800 to 1804 and titled himself as “Swami Nirgunanda”. During this time, he decided to build a replica of Pashupatinath Temple in Varanasi.

During the construction, Shah moved back to Nepal. In 1806, he was stabbed to death by his stepbrother. His son  completed the project 20 years later. The land was later transferred to the king of Nepal by Kashi Naresh in the year 1843. The temple, the adjacent area, Lalita Ghat and a dharamshala, belong to the Nepal government.

Amriteshwar

According to Kashi Khanda, devotees who touch the Amriteshwar Linga attain Amritatva (victory over death). The Shiva Linga has been described as so powerful as to make dead people alive. Those who pray to Amiteshwar will have no fear of rebirth.

In Kashi Khand, Lord Shiva tells Parvati about 14 powerful Shiva Lingas in Kashi which are capable of giving mukti to devotees. Amriteshwar is first among the 14 mentioned. IN another chapter of Kashi khanda however, a different list of 14 is given.

Neelkantheswar Temple

Kashi Khand describes various lingas that were originally elsewhere but have been established in Kashi by Nandi. Neelkanth Linga has been installed in Kashi from Kalanjar mountains. These mountains are in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan. By worshipping this linga, devotees become equivalent to Lord Neelkanth.

Gorakhnath Temple

The Nathis had two akharas in Kashi in the 1800s. One at Goraknath temple, and another at Lat Bhairav. There is a linga here and also a padam of Goraknath.

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