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5 Popular Temples in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh (UP), a state in North India, has thousands of religious places. There are not many states more quintessentially Indian than UP. Here is a brief overview of five prominent temples in Uttar Pradesh.
Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi
Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, gave Bhagavad Gita to the world. Located in Mathura (near the Mathura Junction railway station), Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple is built around the prison cell where Lord Krishna was born. A stone slab in the temple symbolizes the place where Lord Krishna was born.
This frequently visited temple was first constructed by King Vajra, the great grandson of Lord Krishna, more than 5,000 years ago. Since then it has been destroyed and rebuilt at least 17 times.
The temple that you see now was built in 1965. It is open on all days from 05.00 am to 12:00 pm; and from 02.00 pm to 08.00 pm.
Agra Airport, which is around 49 kilometers, is the nearest airport. Buses, trains and cabs are available from the airport to the temple. Mathura is well-connected by rail and road. The temple is around 16 kilometers from the Mathura Junction railway station. Buses, tempos, cabs and auto rickshaws are available at the railway station.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Vishwanath means ruler of the universe. Located in Varanasi (also known as Kashi and Banaras), on the western bank of River Ganga, Kashi Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The temple is open from 3.00 am to 11.00 pm and is the most popular tourist attraction in Varanasi. It is the living embodinent of India's timeless cultural traditions and high spiritual values. Devotees visit this temple seeking peace and benediction.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple was built in 1780 by the Maratha monarch, Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore. It is also known as the Golden temple. The gold used to cover the two domes of the temple was donated by the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The temple houses the 12th Jyothirlinga and is adorned with intricate carvings. The black stone Linga in the sanctum sanctorum is 60 centimeters tall and 90 centimeters in circumference. It is enshrined in a silver altar.
This holy temple is constructed in the form of a quadrangle and is surrounded by shrines dedicated to various deities, including Kaalbhairav, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Sanishwara, Virupaksha and Virupaksh Gauri.
Varanasi is the oldest surviving city in the world. It is the cultural capital of India. It has more than 100 names. Its legends go back some 10,000 years, to old epics of Hindu literature, including the Puranas, the Vedas and the Mahabharata.
Around 2.5 million people come each year to Varanasi, which is well-connected by rail and road. The temple is around 4 kilometers from Maduadih Railway Station. Cabs and auto rickshaws are available at the station.
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Babatpur, which is around 26 kilometers, is the nearest airport. Buses and cabs are available from the airport to the temple.
Even though any time is good time to visit this temple, I suggest you visit during winter months, between October and March. During summer months, one some days, temperature soars above 40°C.
JK temple is in Kanpur. It was built in 1960 by JK Trust. It is a unique blend of ancient and modern architecture. This architectural wonder has five shrines, dedicated to:
- Radha and Krishna
- Lakshmi and Narayana
The temple is around 8 kilometers from Ganesh Shanker Vidhyarthi Airport and around 3 kilometers from Kanpur Central railway station. It is open from 8.00 am to 12.00 pm, and from 4.30 pm to 10.00 pm. It witnesses a large influx of tourists throughout the year. Pets and footwear are not allowed inside the temple.
Peaceful place of worship.— Rizwanuddin Rafiq
Gola Gokaran Nath Temple
This Shiva temple is located in Gola Gokaran Nath, which is also known as Choti Kashi. It is here that Lord Ganesh (disguised as a shepherd) placed the Jyothirlinga on the ground despite Ravan's request not to do so. He did it to prevent Lord Shiva from going to Lanka with Ravan.
Gola Gokaran Nath Temple, which is open from 5.00 am to 11.00 pm, is well-connected by rail and road. Pantnagar Airport, which is around 142 kilometers, is the nearest airport. Best time to visit this temple is between October and March.
Alopi Devi Mandir
Located in Allahabad near Sangam, this astounding temple does not have any statue. People worship a wooden carriage. Legend has it that when Lord Shiva's wife Sati was burnt, he became sad. He started moving around the sky with her burnt body.
Lord Vishnu saw this and felt bad for his friend. In an endeavor to remove his sadness, he threw the Sudarshana chakra at the corpse. Locations where Sati's body parts fell are considered sacred; they are known as Shaktipeeths.
Alopi Devi Temple is the place where the last part fell, after which the body disintegrated. In fact Alopi means disappeared. This temple is the holiest of all the 18 shaktipeeths.
Pets and footwear are not allowed inside the temple. Allahabad is well-connected by air, rail and road. The temple is open from 4.00 am to 10.00 pm. Best time to visit is between August and March.