Krittivaseshwar Temple is one of the 14 most important Shiva temples located in Varanasi. It was a prominent place of worship as per the Kashi Khand of Skand Puran but gradually it lost its charm and today only a few devotees from locality & south India visit this place. Just like every temple of Varanasi, Krittivaseshwar has also got an interesting story which makes it different from all the places.
In the vast blue sky of Anand Kanan, two crows were fighting & fell into a pond, after some time they emerged as a swan, and the pond became famous as Hansa Tirtha (Har Tirath now).
But how The Hans Tirth came into reality?
Once upon a time, Lord Shiva was explaining the importance of Ratneshwara to Uma, suddenly he heard the voices for help. Shiva saw a huge daitya – Gajasura, the son of Mahisasura. Who was destroying everything that came his way. His footsteps were trembling earth putting every creature in panic. Shiva threw his trident on him and hanged Gajasura on it. After seeing Lord Shiva, Gajasura got humbled & provided a large shelter to the shiva from his body, and requested Shiva to adorn his skin as cloth so that he (Gajasura) can get liberated. Pleased Shiva accepted his request and promised him that he along with Gajasura will be famous and will be worshipped as Kriti Vasheswara Mahadev – one of the five sacred most (Panch Linga) of Shiva temple – Vishweshawara/ Avimukteshwara, Omkareshwara, Madhyameshwra, Kapardeeshwara.
The crater created while lifting Gajasura in the air became Hanstirath.
Importance of Kritivashwar Shiva Linga
Kritivasheswara Mahadev has been described as the most sacred of Shiv Temple as per Kashi Khand of Skanda Puran & Linga Puran mentions it as Fore Head of Shiva.
The temple was situated in its grandeur, north of Kal Bhairav & south of Kaleshwara (Maha-Mritunjaya, Virdh Kaleshwara) in the vicinity of Madhyameshwar (Dara Nagar at the present time). Temple was one of the grand & magnificent apart from Vishweswara Temple (Kashi-Vishwanath) and Bindu Madhav Temple.
In the year 1659, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb sacked the temple and erected a mosque at the site. Till 200 years after the incident, there is no mention of another temple of Kritivasheswara.
In the courtyard of the mosque, a fountain was made, which was worshipped as Kritivasheswar Mahadev by local devotees on specific occasions.
Later King of Patnimal established another small temple adjacent to the original site as Kriti Vasheswara Mahadev although it didn’t register much to the Devotees’ minds.
Hans Tirth – commonly known as Har Tirath among locals is still fighting for its survival and revival, much of the pond has been captured and destroyed due to encroachment.
The Kritivasheswar Temple
The temple made by the King of Patnimal is well preserved and maintained, and gives a complete devotional ambiance.
The site of the mosque was destroyed in heavy rain in recent years and local devotees replaced the damaged structure with the new shiv linga.
Festivals at the temple
Maha Shivratri, the Month of Savan are the most celebrated events, on these occasions special Srinagar & puja of Mahadev are organized.
How to Reach
Devotees can easily reach the temple by walking toward Maha Mritunjaya temple from Maidagin/ Vishweswar Ganj. Temple is located at house number K-46/23, west of the Har Tirath Pond.
Near By Temple
Mrityunjaya Mahadev temple
Madhyamedshwar Mahadev Temple