The Golden Temple, known locally as Kashi Vishwanath, is situated in Varanasi on the west banks of the River Ganges. It’s dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 jyotirlinga sites – the holiest and most sacred of Shiva shrines.
This important temple was built in 1780 by the Maratha monarch and is a fine example of ancient Hindu architecture. It has a huge golden spire and its domes are said to be made from pure gold. Inside the complex there are a series of smaller shrines situated along a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli. To the north of the main temple, there is a small well called the Jnana Vapi (Wisdom Well), where it’s believed that the jyotirlinga was hidden at times of invasion.
Kashi Vishwanath is a main pilgrimage site for Hindus visiting Varanasi and can become incredibly busy as it welcomes thousands of people every day. A visit to the temple and a bath in the River Ganges is believed to lead devotees to moksha (liberation), meaning Hindus from all over the world aim to visit the holy site at least once in their lifetimes.
The Golden Temple is located along the banks of the River Ganges in Varanasi. The easiest way to reach it from around the city is via taxi or auto-rickshaw.