The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Agastyeshvara (Agastakunda)

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Detailed description of each heritage Site - Ranamahal Ghat to Tripurabhairavi Ghat


Agastyeshvara Temple

Location[edit]

25º 18.511’ North and 83º 00.418’ East (Agastyeshvara Temple).

Exact location on a map[edit]

Agastakunda, near Godaulia (Agastakunda, D 36 / 11).

Area[edit]

0.02ha (three separate properties)

Historical/cultural/natural significance[edit]

The Agastyeshvara linga is said to have been established by the Vedic sage Agastya. In the early puranic literature Agastya is represented to have humbled the Vindhya mountains by making them prostrate themselves before him when they tried to rise higher and higher till they well-nigh occupied the sun’s disc and obstructed his path. This myth refers to typify the progress of the Aryans towards the south in their conquest and civilisation of India, the humbling of the mountain standing metaphorically for the removal of physical obstacles in their way. His wife was Lopamudra, who in most cases represented as an image near Agastya. This temple presents the important lingas of Varanasi, representing the microcosm of the city. The inner sanctum is surrounded by a wider circumambulatory path, which is of course blocked in the south by a holy fig (Ficus religiosa) whose lower stamen and roots spread in a way that it destroys the main building. The central figure in the inner sanctum is Agastyeshvara, south of which in the stone slab is the image of Lopamudra, his wife. In the east are Kedareshvara, Visveshvara and Dattatreya. In the western veranda is one-mouth linga, Sutikshana, named after one of the students of Agastya. The other images present in the temple are Narasimha, Parvati, Hanuman, Ganesha, Nava Grahas (nine planets) and Kali, and about seventy votive lingas established by the devotees who took a vow that after completion of their pilgrimage and wish would install a linga. In the eastern wall towards the circulatory path is a big size sun disc. The presence of Dattatreya at two places indicates influence of Trantrism. This is obviously noted by the predominance of votive lingas that in the past this was a very popular temple among the devout Hindus of the south, especially from Maharashtra and Gujarat.

=== Description and History ===:

Present state of conservation[edit]

Except by the temple trust and the local public organisations, those work on their own ways, there are no specific action plans, programmes and strategies for conservation and preservation of the ghats.

Specific measures being taken for conserving the specific property[edit]

It is expected that by the support of active people participation, awareness to save the age-old rich heritage, and development under the Master Plan (and its judiciary control) the ghat heritage will be protected and conserved for the better befit to the society.

Ownership[edit]

The Temple Trust owns the temple.