Where the Varana and Asi rivers joint the Ganges, a beautiful city was built there in the ancient times. It was named Varanasi. Varanasi, a place of pilgrimage, a tribe called kasha used to live. Therefore, Varanasi was also known as kashi. Near Kashi, Ganga flows in the shape of a bow. Hence it acquired special importance. A king called Deivodas expanded this area.
Nirvikar chaitanya and Sanatan Brahma have assumed the form of Saguna Vishwarupa from the initial Nirgun Roopa or form. The Shiva Shakti Roopa became the Purusha (man) and Stree (The Woman) again. Prakriti and Purusha (Nature and Man) (Shiva-Shakti) were once ordained by Shiva to do Tapas in the universe in order to create the best being. He specified the best place for this purpose. When a prayer was held, Nirgun Shiva, with his own powers and aura, created a wonderful city called Panchakoshi. Vishnu, who resided there, spent a lot of time praying to Shiva after which several watersprings originated there.Vishnu was amazed at this wonderous event, and even as he tilled his head, a gemstone felt from his ear. Because of this place, it was also called Manikarnika. The entire Panch Koshi area of Manikarnika waters were then gathered into his Trident by Shiva. Here Vishnu slapt with his wife. Then from the navel of Vishnu was born a lotus flower with Brahma in it. Brahma was ordained by Shiva to create a world, at which Brahma created this wonderful world. It had fifty crore Yojanas of area and
fourteen Lokas. In order to rave the lives of those who are bound by their own actions or Karma, Shiva kept Panchakoshi city away from the entire universe. In this city, Shiva himself established the saviour Muktidayak Jyotir Linga, which he can never leave. Shiva removod this very Kashi from his Trident and set it in this mortal world. It was not to bo destroyed when Brahma’s day ends, but during Pralay i.e., final destruction of the world, Shiva saved it by keeping it safe in his trident. In kashi, the Avlmuktoshwar Linga is there forever. Those who can never hope for salvation, attain Moksha here.
This holiest city of Panchakoshi, with its capacity to destroy every conceivable sin, is the vechicle of a special Moksha by tho name “Samyugna”. That is the reason why this city which is ruled by Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha, is the place, where even gods want to die. Sarwaguna from inside and Tamoguna from outside, are the qualities of Rudra here. When prayed to, Vishwanatha Bhagavan Sri Shankar made this above and resided there with Parvati.
Kashi city is the place for Moksha and Ganga. Those who live her attain Mukti or Salvation, even without having to travel to any place of pilgrimage. Any one, be it a man, woman, young, old, Sadhava, Pavitra, Apavitra, Prasuta, Aprasuta, Swadesh, Andaja, Udibhaja, Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra, all attain Moksha. There is not an iota of doubt in this. Whatever a person may be doing, eat, sleep or anything else, if he departs from this world from Avimukteshwar, he definitely attains Moksha. Any small act of goodness or Punyakarya, takes away all the sins. Good as well as bad people are born on this earth. But by living in Kashi, both attain Moksha. Later, several people came forward to build this temple. A king by the name Banar developed this city of pilgrimage. About one and half thousand beautiful temples were built here, The tower of the Vishweshwara temple is a hundred feet high.
KashiNagar is so great that even if the universe is tobe destroyed in Pralaya, it would remain intact. Dandapani and Kalabhairan guard this city. They stay there forever. On the Ganga banks here there are eight four bathing ghats are located. There are also several Teerthkundas. They have been there right from the times of Vedas. Varanasi, which was a pious place of pilgrimage for the Hindus, soon became an eyesore and source of jealousy for the Muslims. From 1033 to 1669 AD Kashi came under several destructive attacks, Temples were demolished and Masjids built there instead. But due to the dedication of the Hindu devotees, the JyoterLinga pilgrimage place continued to develop. During the reign of the British and the Marathas, this place really developed well. Even the Jaina and Boudha monks helped to keep the picity of the place intact.
The Kashi Vishweshwar temple as we see it now was built by Ahalya Devi Holkar in 1777 AD. In 1785 AD, the then King of Kashi, Mansaram and his son belvant Singh built many more temples near Varanasi. In 1755 AD the Avadh pant pratinidhi (representative) got the old temple of Binlumadhava repaired and renovated it beautifully The kalab hairava Temple as built by Srimant Baji Rao Peshwa in 1852 A.D.
King Ranjit Singh had the kashivishwanath Temple towers covered i gold. A huge bell hangs in the Temple. It was donated by the King of Nepal.Surrounding Saranath, there are many Buddhist stupas, Viharas and Chaitra grihas. In 1931 A.D., the mahabodhi society had built a very beautiful Baddha Temple in Saranath.
The Hindu devotees visit Kashi to make offering. Here they perform many rituals and consider themselves blessed. Along side, several foreign tourists visit this place regularly. Places worth seeing included, Ghats, Temples, Tapobhoomi and the scenic beauty of the surroundings. Kashi Kshetra and Sri Vlshweswara JyotirLinga are considered as the holiest shrines in the world.The Ganga water here is considered as the nectar of the earth. Dying in Kashi or performing the final rites is considered as the way to the Heavens i.e., Moksha.
Jaya Gange, Jaya Vishwanath, Om Namah Shivaya. The entire area echoes with there chanfigs. The Gods in Varanasi are described in Sanscrit in the following way: