the city is devoted to shiva the hindu god of destruction, but destruction also means recreation, a lot of temples can be found devoted to several gods in hindu mythology, hanuman, ganesha, brahma, vishnu, parvati, all can be found here within a minutes walk.
but the main pilgrimage temple is “Kashi Vishwanath”, if you wanna know more about it’s history and some images click the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashi_Vishwanath_Temple
i went with the son of the guesthouse owners as he knew the way and comes here almost every day, i heared about the door policies, the bouncer are police men though 🙂 lot of people told me when they ask you if you believe in hindu religion just say yes and your in.
my friend was asking me on our way if i’m muslim because of the beard but i explained…soon after we saw a lane of people and they already got in cue to enter the temple, we went further along the cue, hundreds of people pushing their bodies either one or the other way, it’s not that easy to follow my young friends steps. when we arrived at the door we went further, removed our shoes and put them aside in a locker of his friends shop – no money as the guys knew each other.
no passport, no cell phone not even a lighter is allowed inside, as if you were going to an airport security check the police standing in front of the gate is checking the people, we just went in cue as i’m a tourist and my indian friend did the talking, bam, inside – that was easy 🙂
another cue of people, we went further again, most of them already prepared with small pots or flowers and candles and other devotions. then we went 5 steps up in that open room, and old man was sitting on a chair, his back facing the long cue or people, another man inside telling me to sit down, my friend was talking to them, then the old man was asking me “You coming from?” i replied smiling “Germany” a questioned look in the face and also in the face of my friend. the man asked again and now i understood correctly “Believe hindu religion”, i said “Yes I do like Shiva and now I came to see his place and speak to the lord”. He did something with his hands looked at the other guy, suddenly a young guy appeared with a loud voice and my friend started the talking, sound as if they were arguing but after 5 min with my passport in the hand of the older guy he wrote down my details and handed it back to me. so that was not that easy anymore, on my own i would have to leave now…
so we went again to the cue but it was a matter of minutes until we entered the famous compound and finally saw the roof with 800 kg pure gold on it. another 2 min in line we entered the main hall where i had 5 sec to speak to the lord, then i was pushed away from the others behind me, of course it’s mass processing over here.
we then went to a quieter temple in the compound with beautiful decorations and just a few people, you could actually see shrines of different gods displayed at one side and people praying, we took our time and let go. after a certain while we pushed ours against the new arriving bodies to get out of the temple complex, what a powerful experience.
i again stepped in cow shit on the way back, a clear sign that i have to do what i had originally planned, i’ll go to the ganga to wash – just my feet up to the calves but still i felt the stream.
My spirit rose again!
p.s. I didn’t mention my friends name as he told me so, usually tourists are not allowed to enter and nobody should know that he was the one taking me in.
Thanks again my friend! OM 🙂
p.p.s. if you want to know more about the symbol next to the cow in the header image of the article check that link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingam