|Golden Temple (Kashi Vishwanath) (Varanasi, India)www.tripadvisor.in|
The Kasi Viswanatha temple, heavily damaged several times in the past by the Muslim invaders from NW, was again destroyed in 1669 by Aurangzeb, the most treacherous Mogul ruler of Delhi (who killed his own brothers, imprisoned his sick father) and remnants of it can be seen behind the Gyanvapi mosque. During the reign of Mogul ruler Akbar, the present temple was built by Ahalya Bai of Indore in 1776. The consecration was done in 1780 in a simple manner.The Indore rulers were great patrons of this temple and is situated on the premises of Banaras Hindu University and managed by the Birlas. The unique Sivalinga, 60 cm tall and 90 cm in circumference, is made of black stone and is housed in an altar made of silver. The unique feature is gold plated sanctum and 15.5 meter high gold spire and gold dome. There are three domes each made up of pure gold!! The temple (Shri Vishwanath Mandir) was finally completed in 1966.
Recently, I read an interesting article in The Hindu of 27 July 2018 by Geetha Venkatramanan on the recent Maha-kumbabishekam of Sri Vishvanath Temple at Varanasi. That it
was done after 238 long years was a surprise news to me. In
most South Indian Hindu temples and around the world, Kumbhabhishekam or the temple's consecration ceremony is done once every 12 years. It is usually done to purify the temple after a renovation or simply done to renew the purity of the temple. Hindus celebrate this event on the consecration day as the witnessing gives a thousand "punya" or good karma. Normally, in all temples of Tamil Nadu, on completion of every twelve years or more, consecration is done at any cost with a view to re-energizing the presiding deity and to maintain the sanctity of the holy shrine. Consecration of the temple is normally done along with white-washing, repair works, etc.
What has puzzled me is that since the very first consecration of Visvanath temple, all these years why is consecration of this very important Hindu temple not done so far? Yet another unbelievable fact is in this part of Varanasi how come no person associated with the temple management has any idea about Kumbabishekam that has to be done periodically? It seems that Why is it done? and how is it done? are not clearly understood here. Does it mean temple priests and pundits associated with this popular temple have no knowledge of Hindu temple traditions and Agama Sastras?
|Kasi Visvanath temple, varanasi Shiva lingam in the sanctum.Jyotirlinga Temples|
|gold-plated tower. Old Kashi Vishwanath TempleTripAdvisor|
|Kasi Visvanath temple, Shiva lingam in the sanctum, twitter.com|
|1910 sketch of Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Vishveshvara, Varanasi, UP Wikimedia Commons|