Vishwanath Khanda


The old city is the heart of Varanasi, between Dashashwamedha Ghat and Godaulia to the south and west and Manikarnika Ghat on the river to the north. It is sometimes referred to as Vishwanatha Khanda. Walk through a maze of narrow alleys and the Vishwanatha Gali (or lane) to reach the temple complex of Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara, the “Lord of the world”. It is also known as the Golden Temple, due to the massive gold plating on its shikhara (spire). Inside the compound - which is hidden behind a wall, and entered through an unassuming doorway - is one of India's most important Shiva lingams, made of smooth black stone and seated in a solid silver plinth, as well as shrines to the wrathful protectors Mahakala and Dandapani. There's also the lingam of Avimukteshvara, the Lord of the unforsaken, predating Vishwanatha.