Temple : The Vishwanath temple, or Golden Temple, is the most
sacred temple in Varanasi and is dedicated to Vishveswara-Shiva
as lord of the universe. The original temple was destroyed by
the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, and the present temple was built
in 1776 by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore . 800kg of gold plating on
the towers, which gives the temple its colloquial name, was provided
by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore some 50 years later.
Hindu University : Varanasi has long been a centre of learning
and that tradition is continued today at the Benaras Hindu University
(BHU) built in 1917. It is considered to be the largest residential
university in Asia. It was founded by the great nationalist Pandit
Malaviya as a centre for education in Indian art, music, culture
and philosophy, and for the study of Sanskrit. The five sq km
campus houses the Bharat Kala Bhavan which has a fine collection
of miniature paintings, sculptures from 1st to 15th centuries.
Tulsi Manas Temple : Only 150m south of Durga Temple is
the modern marble shikhara-style Tulsi Manas Temple, built in
1964. Its two tier walls are engraved with verves and scenes from
the Ram Charit Manas, the Hindi version of the Ramayana. Its author
, poet Tulsi Das, lived here while writting it.This Temple is
on the spot where Saint Tulsidas composed the Ramayana in Hindi
Temple : The Durga temple is one of the most important temples
in Varanasi and is built in the 18th century, by Bengali maharani
and is stained red with ochre . This temple is built in north
Indian Nagara style with a multi-tiered shikhara (spire). The
shikhara of the temple is formed by many small spires which are
built one on top of the other. Durga is the 'terrible' form of
Shiva's consort Parvati, so at festivals there are often sacrifices
of goats. It is commonly known as Monkey Temple due to many frisky
monkey that have made it their home.
Ram Nagar Fort & Museum : On the opposite bank of river,
this 17th century fort is the home of the former maharaja of Benaras.
It looks most impressive from the river, though the decrepit planking
of the pantoon bridge you cross to reach it is somewhat of a distraction.
During the mansoon access is by ferry. The intresting museum here
contains old silver & brocade palanquins for the ladies of
the court, gold-plated elephant howdahs, an astrological clock,
marcabre elephant traps and an armoury of swords and old guns.
Mata Temple : Dedicated to 'Mother India', this temple has
a marble relief map of India instead of usual images of gods &
goddesses. The map is said to be perfectly in scale, both vertically
and horizentally.the temple was opened by Mahatma Gandhi.