The Kashi Vishwanath Temple management in the holy city of Varanasi has decided to implement a dress code for sparsh darshan of Baba Vishwanath (Lord Shiva). To visit Baba Vishwanath, it will now be compulsory for men to wear dhoti-kurta and women to be in saris.
Along with this, the duration of the tactile vision has been increased. Baba can be ‘touched’ until 11 AM before the bhog ārati.
The decision was taken in a meeting of members of the temple administration and Kashi Vidvat Parishad chaired by Charitable Affairs Minister Neelkanth Tiwari on Sunday.
In this meeting, it was decided that men would have to be in dhoti-kurta and women have to be in saris during their visit to the sanctum sanctorum. The devotees in trousers, shirts, denim, suits, etc will not be allowed to touch the linga. Such a system is in vogue in many temples of southern India and also in the Mahakal of Ujjain.
After the meeting, Tiwari said that there was a plan to open a priestly training centre in Vishwanath Dham. This centre will run, along with rituals, a three-month course of English and computers.
About Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples.
The main deity is known by the name Shri Vishwanath and also by the ancient name of deity Vishweshwara. Varanasi city used to be called Kashi in ancient India and it continues to be referred to by that name although there are separate railway stations of Varanasi and Kashi. The temple is popularly called the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
The temple has been referred to in Hindu scriptures for a very long time as a central part of worship in the Shaiva philosophy. It has been destroyed and re-constructed a number of times in history. The last structure was demolished by Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal emperor who constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque on its site. The current structure was built on an adjacent site by Maratha ruler Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780.
A temple structure can be seen at the mosque’s rear wall, long believed to be a remnant of the original Kashi Vishwanath temple. In 1822, James Prinsep captioned an illustration of the rear wall as “temple of Vishveshvur” in his Benares Illustrated.
Since 1983, the temple has been managed by the government of Uttar Pradesh. During the religious occasion of Shivaratri, Kashi Naresh (King of Kashi) is the chief officiating priest. It is the fifth richest temple in India.