Vishalakshi Temple

Vishalakshi Temple
Vishalakshi Temple

The Vishalakshi Gauri Temple, renowned amongst Hindus worldwide, is dedicated to the Goddess Vishalakshi- meaning ‘She with large eyes’ in Sanskrit. Situated close to the Kashi Vishwanath temple at Miraghat (Manikarnika Ghat), on River Ganges’s banks in Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh, India – known as ‘Kashi’, a mainstay of ancient Indian culture and archaeology – this hallowed abode stands as timeless testament to history past. Kashi or Varanasi is one of the seven holy puri’s of Hindus. Vishalakshi Temple of Kashi is mentioned in Devi Purana. It is considered that the earrings or eyes of the Mata Sati have fallen in the Varanasi at this sacred spot.

The stunning Sri Vishalakshi Temple is an iconic example of South Indian architecture, boasting an ornate Gopuram entrance with intricately carved sculptures. The four pillars in front of the main shrine are adorned with magnificent colorful artwork and inside lies a sacred Garbhagriha that houses two idols – Adi Vishalakshi, the original black stone idol on the left backside and another decorated one encrusted in glittering jewels. Adi Shankaracharya performed prayers to renew the powers of the temple and the goddess which had borne the brunt of several invasions. He also installed a Sri Yantram here.

The Visalakshi Temple is renowned for its Kajali Tij Festival held bi-annually during the Hindu month of Bhadrapad (August). This sacred event takes place over a span of two weeks, with festivities climaxing on the third day.

This temple is a part of the sacred 51 Shaktipeeths, dedicated to Goddess Visalakshi and her husband Kaal Bhairav. According to ancient scriptures, these holy shrines have formed on the spots where parts of Sati’s body or clothes fell while she was being carried away by Lord Vishnu. They are considered some of the most powerful religious sites in India and can be found all over its subcontinent.

As told in the myths, Devi Sati sacrificed her life to the flames of a Havan ritual initiated by her father King Daksheshwara. Consequently, Lord Shiva was left grief-stricken and ran around with Sati’s body in his arms. It is then that Lord Vishnu intervened and used his Sudarshan chakra to divide it into 51 pieces; one of which – an earring belonging to Sati – descended upon Manikarnika Ghat, forevermore known as ‘Manikarnika’.

According to one version of the story, Mother Annapurna is said to be Vishalakshi and her blessings are credited with providing food for all creatures in the world. Legend has it that Visalakshi took on a housewife-like form when sage Vyas was not being offered any food in Varanasi, thus fulfilling his hunger and giving life to what would become known as Annapurna’s role today.

The divine Shri Vishalakshi Temple is renowned for its grandly celebrated festivities, such as Kajali Teej, Durga Puja and Navaratri. On these days of celebration the temple transforms into a beautiful place with flowers and twinkling lights that bring peace to all who visit. Here devotees find solace in the calming spiritual atmosphere that envelops them with serene energy.

By flight
Varanasi International Airport receives regular domestic flights from Jet Airways, Air India and Spice Jet. With the majority of international carriers not flying directly to Varanasi, these airlines provide a reliable option for travel into this city.

By road
Touring Uttar Pradesh has never been easier with the well-kept roads leading to Varanasi and its nearby cities, such as Allahabad, Kanpur and Gorakhpur – all within driving distance! National Highway 19 serves as a primary connection between them. Thus allowing for two or three places to be visited without too much effort.

By train
Varanasi is a well-known railway junction, with most trains travelling through northern India having Varanasi as its destination. Moreover, the Mughal Sarai Junction is an extra major station located just 18 km away from the city center; countless Indian cities are connected by rail to this station.

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