Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple, Varanasi
Ratneshwar Mahadev Mandir (रत्नेश्वर महादेव मंदिर) in Varanasi that was built in about 1825. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is unique in more than one way. The temple is located near Manikarnika Ghat on the banks of the Ganga River. The temple is also known as ‘Kashi Karvat’ because it leans to an angle of about 9 degrees.
Two Stories connected with Ratneshwar Mahadev Mandir
There are two stories connected with the building of this temple. One story says the temple was built by a servant of Raja Man Singh in honour of his mother. As the tale goes, after building the temple he boasted about having repaid a mother’s debt. The temple began to lean due to the mother’s curse. (As a mother’s debt can never be repaid). The temple is also known as ‘Matri Rin’.
The second story is that it was built by a maid of Devi Ahilyabai Holkar who was named Ratna. She was cursed for having named it after herself and the temple started leaning.
About Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple
The temple is an elegant structure designed in the classical style. For some reason it has been built at a very low spot on the river bank. Most of the time the sanctum is underwater. At times the water even reaches up to the Shikhara. When the temple entrance is below the water, the priest dives into the water to perform the puja.
The temple leans at an angle of 9 degrees. Some experts say the temple has been designed in this way, but the findings are not conclusive. Photos taken in about 1860 do not show any lean.
Enshrined in the sanctum of the temple is a Shivling made of stone. This Shivling is surrounded by one Shivling in each corner – making a total of five Shivlings.
The Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple is located opposite Tarkeshwar Mandir on Manikarnika Ghat. It is believed the spot between the two temples is the place where Lord Shiva chanted the Taraka Mantra (The Mantra of Salvation). This is considered to be the holiest spot in Varanasi.
Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple is one of the temples that should not be missed when on a trip to Varanasi.
Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple is open for all the 24 hours.
How to reach Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple
Varanasi Junction Railway Station is 4.5 km from the temple.
Varanasi Cant. Railway Station is 1.2 km from the temple.
Varanasi Airport is 25 km from the temple.
Where to Stay
There are a number of Dharamshalas that provide a comfortable and economical stay in Varanasi. Click on the link below to know more and book rooms –