Ancient and widely regarded as holy due to the presence of River Ganga, Varanasi is peppered with many famous temples. But none comes close to the glory of Kashi Vishwanath Temple as it holds great spiritual and religious significance among Hindus. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country. The main deity here is also known as Shri Vishwanatha and Vishweshwara, which literally means ‘Lord of the Universe’.

This revered Hindu temple also finds mention in the Puranas. The aura of the shrine is such that it attracts devotees of Lord Shiva from around the world. If you are planning to visit this well-known Hindu temple in future, information about Kashi Vishwanath Temple location, timings, entry fee and more will help you plan your trip.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple Information, Varanasi


Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh



Also Known as

Golden Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva

Built in

1780 (present structure)

Commissioned by

Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar

Distance from Major Transportation Hubs

Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi (25 km);

Varanasi Junction (4 km)


4:00 AM to 11:00 PM; every day

Darshan and Aarti Timings and Ticket Price (per person)

Sugam Darshan: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM (INR 300)


Mangala Aarti: 3:00 AM to 4:00 AM (INR 350 onwards)

Bhog/Aarti: 11:15 AM to 12:20 PM (INR 180)

Saptirishi Aarti: 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM (INR 180)

Night Shringar/Bhog Aarti: 9:00 PM to 10:15 PM (INR 180)

Night Shayan Aarti: 10:30 PM to 11:00 PM (Free)


Rudrabhishek: 4:00 AM to 6:00 PM (INR 450 onwards)

Time Required

1-3 hours

Entry Fee

Free Entry

Extra charges for devotees wanting to participate in different aartis

Architectural Style

Nagara style of architecture

Other small temples here

Kaalbhairav, Virupaksh Gauri, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Avimukteshwara

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi: History

The first mention of the temple is found in the Puranas, such as the Kashi Khanda section of Skanda Purana. Hence, it is believed that the temple’s history goes back to more than 1000 years. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries before the existing structure was rebuilt in 1780.

The initial structure of the temple was demolished in 1194 CE by Mohammad Ghori and his commander Qutb-al-Din Aibak when they defeated the Raja of Kannauj. It was reportedly rebuilt by a Gujarati merchant in 1230 during the reign of Delhi’s Sultan Iltutmish but demolished again during the rule of Sikandar Lodhi.

The temple was rebuilt in 1585 CE by Raja Man Singh I during the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar. However, Emperor Aurangzeb demolished the temple in 1669 CE and constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque in its place.

In 1780, the temple was rebuilt by Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar, daughter-in-law of the Maratha ruler Malhar Rao Holkar, and the hereditary queen of the Maratha empire. This is the structure that is standing proudly to date. In 1785, a Naubatkhana (drum house) was built in front of the temple by Mohammad Ibrahim Khan. A low-roof colonnade with 40 pillars and the boundary of Gyanvapi Well was also built between 1828-1840 CE.

In 1835, the temple received a ton of gold from Punjab Kesari Maharaja Ranjit Singh and this was used for plating a dome and a spire of the shrine. Later, in 1841, Raja Bhosle III of Nagpur donated some silver to the temple. The temple received many such generous contributions from the noble families of different kingdoms.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi: Architecture

Located in Vishwanatha Gali or Vishwanatha Lane near the holy Ganga, Kashi Vishwanath Temple Complex consists of many small shrines of different deities. The temples here exhibit the Nagara style of architecture with spires converging on the top. The structure of the temple has three parts. The first part is a spire, the second is a gold dome, and the third one is a gold spire on top of the sanctum with a flag and a trident.

The main temple is shaped like a quadrangle and is surrounded by many smaller shrines dedicated to other gods, including Kaalbhairav, Vishnu, Sanishwara, Avimukteshwara, Dhandapani, Virupaksha, Vinayaka and Virupaksh Gauri. On entering the main temple, you can see a 60 cm tall and 90 cm wide Shivalinga, beautifully enshrined in a silver altar.

The temple complex also has a holy well called Gyan Vapi or the wisdom well. Legend has it that the Jyotirlinga was hidden in this well to keep it protected from foreign invaders.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi: Today

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is now managed by the Uttar Pradesh government and is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus. Devotees from around the world visit this holy sanctum of Lord Shiva to pay their respects and perform different pujas and Rudrabhishek. The temple is thronged by thousands of devotees during Shravan and Mahashivratri when special pujas are performed here. There’s also an online live darshan facility of the Jyotirlinga for those who are not able to visit the temple physically.

Suggested read: A handy guide for a trip to Varanasi

Things to See in Kashi Vishwanath Temple Complex

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple Complex has many shrines and structures within. Some important things to see in the temple complex are:

  • The main shrine with the Shivalinga
  • Small temples around the main shrine
  • A 7-feet-high statue of Nandi Bull in the east of the colonnade
  • A small well called Gyan Vapi or the wisdom well
  • The Sabha Griha or Congregation Hall, which leads to the inner Garbha Griha
  • The 15.5-metre-high gold spire and gold dome of the temple

Suggested read: Things to do in Varanasi

Lesser-Known Facts About Kashi Vishwanath Temple

  • This revered temple was reportedly visited by many renowned saints, including Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Bamakhyapa, Sathya Sai Baba, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Guru Nanak.
  • The temple is locally known as the Monkey temple as many monkeys are found in and around the temple complex.
  • The stone statue of Nandi Bull was gifted to the temple by the Rana of Nepal in the 1860s.
  • The temple was earlier managed by a group of pandits or mahants.
  • In the past, people from lower castes or Dalits were not allowed in the temple. However, untouchability was abolished in 1955 and Dalits were allowed entry from 1957.
  • Thanks to the 2019 Kashi Vishwanath Corridor Project, more than 40 ancient temples were found and rebuilt here, including Manokameshwar Mahadev Temple, Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple, Jauvinayak Temple and Shri Kumbha Mahadev Temple.

Attractions Near Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi

Some prominent religious sites and historical places in Varanasi near Kashi Vishwanath Temple are:

  • Nepali Temple of Lord Shiva (300 m)
  • Dashashwamedh Ghat (500 m)
  • Ganga Aarti (500 m)
  • Manikarnika Ghat (650 m)
  • Kaal Bhairav Mandir (1 km)
  • Assi Ghat (3 km)
  • Shri Durga Temple (3 km)
  • Shri Satyanarayan Tulsi Manas Mandir (4 km)
  • Bharat Mata Temple (4 km)
  • Sankatmochan Temple (4 km)
  • Ramnagar Fort (7 km)

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the main attractions in Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India. And if you are a devotee of Lord Shiva, you must plan a trip to Varanasi and experience the unmatched charm and grandeur of this Jyotirlinga as well as other holy places around the city. There are many hotels in Varanasi near the temple, so you can book one in the vicinity for easy accessibility. Apart from paying your respect at the temples, remember to shop for a few famous Banarasi silk sarees and relish the lip-smacking street foods here.