The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Siddheshvari and other temples
1.Name : Siddheshvari Temple
25º 18.732’ North and 83º 00.918’ East (Siddheshvari Temple). 25º 18.738’ North and 83º 00.938’ East (Vindhyavasini Temple). 3.Exact location on a map: Siddheshvari, near Sankatha Ghat
0.023ha (Siddheshvari), and 0.015 (Vindhyavasini)
Coming from the lane linking the Sankatha Ghat close to the corner of Sankatha Devi temple is the temple of Vindhyavasini (CK 2/ 33), a spatial manifestation of the goddess of the Vindhya Mountain (Vindhya-vasini), the original place of which is 78km southwest of Varanasi city. The legends refer that in mythic period goddess Durga was residing in the Vindhyan Mountain, so the name Vindhyavasini. The annual celebration is held on the 3rd day of dark fortnight of Bhadrapada (August-September) which is known as her birthday. This is one of the popular temples among the devotees of Kashi, especially for the tonsure (mundana) ritual of children. After a short walk along the lane towards the left, one reaches the compound of Siddheshvari Devi (CK 7/ 124). The Kashi Khanda (79.105) says that by living here for six months one can attain great spiritual power. The compound is divided into two parts. Close to the entrance on the left is a stone image of Koka Varaha in the open space, and on the right is the shrine of Satynarayana Vishnu. Beside this on the open porch is Varaheshvara linga, a symbolic image of interrelatedness between Shiva (linga) and Vishnu (Varaha). In the corner below the surface is Kaliyugeshvara linga, and in the adjacent wall is Candreshvara Yantra, a cosmic design to please the Moon god (Candra) who represents fertility, coolness and beauty. In the courtyard is Candreshvara Kupa (well), in the water of which devotees see their auspicious reflection with a view to having long life. Passing through a narrow gate one enters into second part of the compound. In the left corner first one meets the lingas of Candreshvara and Siddheshvara. Attached to them on the altar along the wall is the image of Siddheshvari Devi. On the opposite side of this hall is the Vidyeshvara linga.
Present state of conservation
Except by the two temple trusts 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
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.
The temples are owned by their Temple Trusts; the ghat area by the Municipal Corporation.