The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Trilocan Ghat and Trilocaneshvara Temple
25º 19.160’ North and 83º 01.364’ East (Trilocaneshvara Temple, A 2/ 80). -- 25º 19.162’ North and 83º 01.368’ East (Trilocana Ghat, centre). 3.Exact location on a map: near Trilocana Ghat ==== Area ==== 0.02ha (three separate properties)
The name of the ghat derives after famous linga of Shiva, Trilocana (“Three-Eyed”), called Trilocaneshvara. The KKh (75.12, 18-20, 72-74) and other contemporary digests have composed many metres in glory of this ghat and its associated water tirtha, Pilpippala Tirtha. In the Gahadavala rule, ca CE 1100, this was a famous site for sacred bath and rituals. The ghat was made stone stepped in ca 1740 by Narayana Dikshit with the support of Peshava kings. Repairing was also done partly in 1772, however in 1795 Nathu Bala Peshava has made the whole ghat stone stepped and also get repaired the temple of Trilocaneshvara.
=== Description and History ===: -- The image of Trilocaneshvara refers to the “Third Eye” of Shiva. The temple’s glory goes back in history to 9th-12th century as eulogised in the puranic literature. However, together with other important temples of Banaras this was also demolished in 1669 by the order of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb. In 1795 Nathu Bala Peshava of Pune has re-constructed it and get the old images set in the sacred structure. The recent structure was built by Rama Devi in 1965. The temple main entrance is facing to the south. Based on a rectangular platform, in both side east and west there are arcades where pilgrims can take rest. The top of the sanctum contains a pyramidal tower consisting of 140 miniature pedestals rise in the six steps to support a large kalasha. The design and details of this tower indicate that there would have been Kala Bhirava. The central part consists of two chambers, the first in which Trilocaneshvara linga exists in the vessel and there at the western corner is the image of Annapurna. This room is attached with another room where exists Valmikeshvara, and nearby to this is a vessel containing 11 lingas that together represent the Ekadasha Rudras. Nearby are Hanuman and Nandi. In the northern wall, following the circumambulatory path, are images of Sarasvati, Hanuman together with Lakshamana and Rama, Vishnu, Hanuman, and disc of Aruna Aditya (Sun god). In the southeast room there are images of Varanasi Devi, Moda Vinayaka and Surya. Here the city herself is anthropomorphised as goddess. In the southern pavilion are Pancamukhi Naksatreshvara (5-headed lord of constellation) and a 12th century Vishnu image. At the northwest corner there is a narrow well, replicating the Padodakakupa. In the month of Vaishakha (April-May) there is a tradition of special sacred bath and glancing to Trilocaneshvara. The annual celebration at this temple takes place on 3rd day of light-half fortnight in this month.
Present state of conservation
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
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 temple is owned by their Temple Trusts; the ghat area by the Municipal Corporation.
- Maps: 50. Trilocana Temple: Detailed Site Plan
51. Trilocana Temple: Cross Section