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©2018 by Dwivedi Hotels, Varanasi.

Nov 20, 2018

Nepali Temple




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  • Coming from the lane linking the Sankatha Ghat close to the corner of Sankatha Devi temple is the temple of Vindhyavasini (CK 2/ 33), a spatial manifestation of the goddess of the Vindhya Mountain (Vindhya-vasini), the original place of which is 78km southwest of Varanasi city. The legends refer that in mythic period goddess Durga was residing in the Vindhyan Mountain, so the name Vindhyavasini. The annual celebration is held on the 3rd day of dark fortnight of Bhadrapada (August-September) which is known as her birthday. This is one of the popular temples among the devotees of Kashi, especially for the tonsure (mundana) ritual of children. After a short walk along the lane towards the left, one reaches the compound of Siddheshvari Devi (CK 7/ 124). The Kashi Khanda (79.105) says that by living here for six months one can attain great spiritual power. The compound is divided into two parts. Close to the entrance on the left is a stone image of Koka Varaha in the open space, and on the right is the shrine of Satynarayana Vishnu. Beside this on the open porch is Varaheshvara linga, a symbolic image of interrelatedness between Shiva (linga) and Vishnu (Varaha). In the corner below the surface is Kaliyugeshvara linga, and in the adjacent wall is Candreshvara Yantra, a cosmic design to please the Moon god (Candra) who represents fertility, coolness and beauty. In the courtyard is Candreshvara Kupa (well), in the water of which devotees see their auspicious reflection with a view to having long life. Passing through a narrow gate one enters into second part of the compound. In the left corner first one meets the lingas of Candreshvara and Siddheshvara. Attached to them on the altar along the wall is the image of Siddheshvari Devi. On the opposite side of this hall is the Vidyeshvara linga.
  • The area of the temple complex symbolises the Puri Kshetra of Orissa. With the support of Beni Ram and Vishambhar Ram, the two prominent and rich citizens of the Bhonshala estate of Nagpur living in Banaras, the Svami built a temple honouring Jagannatha in 1802. This is the replica of the famous Jagannatha temple of Puri, Orissa. Beni Ram and Vishambhar Ram started the Ratha Yatra festival in 1806 they. Every year during the month of Ashadha (June-July) the wooden idol of Jagannath from this temple is brought to the garden of Pandit Beni Ram in the Rathyatra area for celebrating the famous chariot festival, of course in abbreviated form compared to what takes place in Puri. On the 7th day of light fortnight of Ashadha (June-July), a chariot procession festival (Ratha Yatra) that lasts for 3 days attracts a huge mass of visitors. This festival presents an abbreviated form of the world-famous Ratha Yatra of Puri (Orissa), started by the chief priest of Puri, Svami Brahamachari, who came to Varanasi in exile in 1790, and later died here in 1815. The procession is taken out of Jagannathaa Temple (near Asi Ghat) by carrying the images of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra to Ratha Yatra Crossing on the Godaulia-Mahmoorganj Road. For the 3-day period, the road is crowded with the people gathering from the neighbouring countryside. Many temporary shops adorn both sides of road and are known for special cookies like nan-khatai, a crisp and very soft biscuit. The images in the temple are of Jagannath, his brother Balarama and their sister Subhadra. In the backside chamber, attached to the wall is the 4m high image of Pracanda Narasimha, a huge image on the wooden plate; nearby to it is the image of devotee Prahalada. The compound is divided into three sections linked by gates. The main temple is in the southern part, the last section. The frontal boundary is decorated by the networking of red sandstone. Outside of the main temple, in the open space is Garuda facing the Jagannatha. In all the four corners of the inner compound there are images of Vaishnavite divinities, like Rama Pancayatana, Lakshminarayana, Krishna and Kaliyamardan form of Krishna. On the square base-platform the temple plan is in rectangular shape. The main spire is 16m high.
  • Lolarka (“Trembling Sun”) is one among the two oldest sites mentioned in the Mahabharata (ca 1500 BCE), and is one among the twelve Solar deities. According to the Skanda Purana, the water of Asi river (now no more) and the fire power of the Sun god Lolarka work together to destroy any sin. Lolarka Kunda (sacred water pool), together with steps, is triangular in shape, measuring 23m from north to south and 15m from east to west. Three long staircases descend into the Kunda on the west, north and south. After 35 steep steps one reaches to the pool 17m below. The eastern side is a wall, which is bifurcated by a wide cut that allows water to flow from the Kunda into the adjacent well to the east and eventually into the Ganga River. The buff-red stone architecture of the well was the work of Rani Ahilyabai, King of Cooch Bihar and Amrit Rao who made repairs and extensions in different periods during mid to late 18th century. In the niche on the stairs is disc of the Sun. On the nearby platform in the northwest corner there is a standing form of Ganesha. On the upper part of the space under the holy fig tree there are images of the Sun god, the one new and other an old replica In the southern part stands the shrine of Bhadreshvara Shiva, also known as Lolarkeshvara, a large linga like the Svayambhu (“Self-manifested”). During the month of Bhadrapada (August-September), in the light fortnight, a great celebration is held here. Would-be mothers perform a sacred bath and worship Lolarka to obtain the blessing of the birth of male child, and later follow up with a visit for the well being of their children. Passing 150m along a narrow lane in the northwest, is a shrine of two folk goddesses, protecting the city from the south, named Carmamunda, ‘leather-headed goddess’, and Maharunda, ‘mutilated goddess’ (attached to the house of Munnar Panda, No. B 2 / 62). About 21m east is a shine of Svapaneshvari (locally called Mahisasuramardini), which attracts a good number of devotees every day and during navaratris (March/April, and September/October) a huge crowd. In the puranic text, She is called Camunda, one among the eight mother goddesses (matrikas), who bear skull-necklace and was eulogised as the killer of the two brother demons named Canda and Munda. 8.History and development (as under Col. 5)