Vishalakshi Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Vishalakshi Temple is situated at Mir Ghat, near Manikarnika Ghat on the banks of the sacred Ganga River in Varanasi, not far from Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is one of the Shaktipeeths of India. Vishalakshi means ‘One with wide (or large) eyes’. Mata Sati’s earrings fell at this spot giving the name – Manikarnika Ghat. It is also believed Mata Sati’s face also fell at this spot. Vishalakshi Temple is also one of the Ashta-Dasha (Eighteen) Maha Shaktipeeths.
The story of Daksha Prajapati’s Yagya is well known. Mata Sati sacrificed Her body for the honour of Lord Shiva. In doing so, She created 51 Shaktipeeths all over India. These Shaktipeeths are storehouses of Divine energy and are a very significant part of our Sanatana Dharma.
The Three ‘Eyes’ Temples of India
Vishalakshi Temple in Varanasi is one of the group of three temples in India connected with the eyes of the Goddess. The first is Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. Meenakshi means – Fish Eyed. The second is Kamakshi Temple in Kanchipuram. Kamakshi means Love Eyed. The third is Vishalakshi Temple in Varanasi. Vishalakshi means Wide or large Eyed. All three temples are considered immensely important religious destinations.
In the sanctum of the Varanasi Vishalakshi Temple are enshrined two Murtis of Vishalakshi Devi. The first is the original ancient Murti known as Adi Vishalakshi. The second is a newer Murti that was enshrined when the temple was renovated by a group of Tamil devotees. Adi Shankaracharya visited this temple in the 8th century CE and enshrined a Shri Yantra. The beautifully decorated Gopuram over the main entrance depicts Mata Lakshmi sitting on a Lotus with elephants on both sides. The outer room of the temple has Shivlings along with Nandi, a Ganesh sculpture and a statue of Adi Shankaracharya. Another room of the temple has the Navagrahas (Nine Planets). In the verandah we can see depictions of the 12 zodiac signs and the marriage of Lord Shiva and Minakshi Devi.
Festivals of Vishalakshi Temple
The two Navratris are the main festivals in this temple. Along with Vishalakshi temple, devotees visit the Nav Durga temples during these periods. Another important festival is the Kajali Teej, celebrated on the third day of the Bhadon month (Krishna Paksha).
- 04:30 AM to 11:00 AM
- 05:00 PM to 10:00 PM
How to reach Vishlakshi Temple
- Varanasi Cant. railway station is about 1.5 km from the temple.
- Varanasi Junction railway station is about 4.5 km from the temple.
- Varanasi Airport is about 25 km from the temple.