Vishvanath Temple, Benares
   The Vishvanath Temple to Lord SHIVA in BENARES (Varanasi) replaced a temple destroyed in the 17th century by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who built a mosque on the same site. The temple was rebuilt beside that mosque in 1776 by Rani Vishvanath Temple, Benares 493 J
   Ahalyabai of Indore. Its magnificent 70-foot spire is totally covered with over a ton of gold plate, giving it its popular name of the Golden Temple. It enshrines a Shiva LINGAM that is considered one of the 12 jyotirlingas, or lingams of divine light, in India.
   Further reading: Diana L. Eck, Banaras, City of Light (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999); Stella Kramrisch and Raymond Burnier, The Hindu Temple (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1976); K. K. Moorthy, The Lord Shiva to Be Adored: A Mini-Compendium of 300 Saivite Shrines, Inclusive of the Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Kshetras, Pancabhutashtas, Pancharamas Plus Those Situated in Nepal Srilanka and Vietnam and Indonesia (Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh: Message, 1995).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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