The new Vishwanath temple of Varanasi is located within the premises of the Benaras Hindu University or BHU. It is also known as the Birla temple as the famous industrialist family of India, the Birla’s, constructed it. The New Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a replica of the original Vishwanath temple. Built in white marble the temple was planned by Madan Mohan Malviya, founder of BHU. This temple is open to people from all castes and religions. The presiding idol is a Shivalingam and verses from Hindu scriptures are inscribed on the walls.
Although primarily a Shiva temple, there are nine other temples within the precincts. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir was repeatedly destroyed and subsequently reconstructed by several of the then reigning Mughal emperors. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya thus decided to replicate this Mandir in the campus of Benaras Hindu University. The Birla family graciously undertook the mammoth task of replicating the enormous temple and laid down the foundation in 1931. It took 35 long but fruitful years to finally declare its completion in 1966.
Dense trees line the path leading to the New Vishwanath temple which speaks eloquently of the ancient architecture. Each part of the magnificent temple is designed intricately including the balconies, pavilions and spires. Several sculptures of animals such as the bull, crocodile, lion and many others are to be seen all around the temple.
Standing 77 metres high this spectacular marble edifice invites one and all. Its tower, Shikhara, is believed to be the tallest in the world. The entire Bhagavad Gita, as well as other scriptures are engraved in the walls of the temple as are various other illustrations of the Holy Scriptures.
Sarnath - A Quest Within - Buddham Sharnam Gacchami