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Holy Temples of Kāśī.

DSC_0186 Veni_Madhav_Temple_Benaras

Kāśī is another name for Vārāṇasī (Benares). It has been a place of pilgrimage since time immemorial. Two rivers named Asiḥ and Varuṇā merge there. Maṇikarṇikā is famous because, according to the opinion of great personalities, a bejeweled earring fell there from the ear of Lord Viṣṇu. According to some, it fell from the ear of Lord Śiva. The word maṇi means “jewel,” and karṇika means “from the ear.” According to some, Lord Viśvanātha is the great physician who cures the disease of material existence by delivering a person through the ear, which receives the vibration of the holy name of Lord Rāma. Because of this, this holy place is called Maṇi-karṇikā. It is said that there is no better place than where the River Ganges flows, and the bathing ghat known as Maṇikarṇikā is especially sanctified because it is very dear to Lord Viśvanātha.

Bindu Mādhava is the oldest Viṣṇu temple in Vārāṇasī. Presently this temple is known as Veṇī Mādhava, and it is situated on the banks of the Ganges. Formerly five rivers converged there, and they were named Dhūtapāpā, Kiraṇā, Sarasvatī, Gaṅgā and Yamunā. Now only the River Ganges is visible. The old temple of Bindu Mādhava was later dismantled by Aurangzeb, the great Hindu-hating emperor of the Mogul dynasty. In the place of this temple, he constructed a big majīda, or mosque. Later, another temple was constructed by the side of the mosque, and this temple is still existing. In the temple of Bindu Mādhava there are Deities of four-handed Nārāyaṇa and the goddess Lakṣmī. In front of these Deities is a column of Śrī Garuḍa, and along the side are deities of Lord Rāma, Sītā, Lakṣmaṇa and Śrī Hanumānjī.

Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.

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