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Notable Temples of Varansi

Sankatmochan Temple

Rana P.B. Singh

In the late 16th century Tulasi established an idol of Hanuman under a holy fig tree (Ficus religiosa), known later as Sankatmochan (“liberator from troubles”) Hanuman. Presently, this temple is one of the three most important temples in the eyes of most of the dwellers of Varanasi, ranking behind Vishvanatha and Annapurna. Set in a secluded area, it provides the right atmosphere for religious sermons, recitations and other functions that are held in the spacious courtyard of the temple. On every Tuesday and Saturday, a large number of devotees visit the temple in the morning and evening. People apply ‘Sindur’ (vermilion) on the statue of Lord Hanuman and offer ‘laddus’ (sweel balls) together with flowers and leaves of holy basil (tulasi, sanctum basilica) in the offering. Devotees recite hymns of ‘Hanuman Chalisa’, ‘Kishkindha’ and ‘Sundar Kand’ as a due part of their prayers. There are many shops along both sides of the entrance lane. Everyone, irrespective of caste, creed and race, is welcome to perform rituals.  To celebrate the birth of Hanuman (Mahavira Jayanti), on the five following nights after Chaitra Shukla (full moon of March-April), grand music performances are held in the compound of this temple since the last three decades. Performers of eminence come from all parts of India to pay their homage to the sacred land of Kashi.


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