|Lord Shiva in the form of a pillar of fire (Agni)The Hindu FAQ|
|Shiva as a pillar of fire. Jai Shiva Shankar - Tumblr|
Believed to be one of the most ancient towns of India, Kashi, a revered place, is the most popular pilgrimage center in India. It is at the confluence of the Varuna and Asi rivulets with the holy river Ganges. This place is so sacred, it is mentioned in the Skanda Purana, an ancient Hindu scripture. The famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is steeped in history and has been around for centuries. The presiding deity is in the form of ''Linga'' and is enshrined in the Garbagraha / sanctum. This city is visited by Hindus in thousands on any given day and they never fail to do Thithi or Shardham for their fore-fathers (pithroos).
It was in this place Jyotirlinga is said to have appeared out of the earth's crust here and flared towards heavens in the form of a huge column of Agni (fire) as Shiva manifested his supremacy. So, among the Jyotirlinga shrines Kasi Visvanath temple is the foremost one. This temple's consecration was done on 5 July 2018 for the first time ever after a gap of more than two centuries. Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780 built this temple. This popular temple was destroyed by some fanatic Muslim rulers originally from NW of India. Tradition has it that here Lord Shiva is all pervasive and benevolent and free the humans, who spend the last part of their lives here, from the cycles of birth and death. They can attain Moksha (heaven) or Mukti (salvation) by staying in Khasi. It means there will be no rebirth on this earth, free from Samsara Bandham (family ties / Commitments) and sinful people on this earth.
There is no Hindu temple that does not have a sthala purana - a legend closely linked to the temple. This place has an interesting legend: According to Śiva Mahāpurāṇa one fine day Lord Brahma, the Trinity God in the Hindu pantheon in charge of 'Creation' and Lord Vishnu, another Trinity God in charge of protection and sustenance on earth had a heated argument over their supremacy and creative powers. Both of them, after a long session of debate, decided to approach Lord Shiva for his council and judgement to decide which one of them was superior in terms of divine and mystical powers. Having heard their unending debate, Lord Shiva took the form of a huge infinite column of fire - Agni covering the three worlds - Akash (sky), Boomi (earth) and Pathal (nether world). He appeared in Jyotisorupam - an endless pillar of light, shining and resplendent.
|Thazhampoo ( screw pine)Madraasi - a tamilian tales|
Upon hearing this whooping lie from God Brahma, Lord Shiva could not contain his rage and cursed Brahma for uttering falsehood. He said there would be a few temples on earth dedicated to lord Brahma. People will never worship him. Being a god Brahma failed to uphold the truth and was not worthy of worship. As for the flower Tazhampoo that gave a false witness for Brahma,
|Location of Jyotirlinga Temples with name of City as labelen.wikipedia.org|
|12-jyotirlingas,india-map. Shree Hindu Mandir Photo by:Templr|
|gold-plated tower. Old Kashi Vishwanath TempleTripAdvisor|
The other shrines include: Somnath (Gujarat), Mallikarjuna (Andhra Pradesh), Mahakaleswar (Madhya Pradesh), Omkareshwar (Madhya Pradesh), Kedarnath (Uttarakhand), Bhimashankar (Maharashtra), Triambakeshwar (Maharashtra), Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga, Deogarh (Jharkhand), Nageswar (Gujarat), Rameshwar (Tamil Nadu) and Grishneshwar (Maharashtra).
Among the 12 temples mentioned above, Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi is the most significant one.