Kashi Raj Kali – Secret Temple of Varanasi

The Kashi Raj Kali temple is located on the busy Bansphatak road near Godowlia chowk. It is probably the most easily accessible and yet the toughest to be located place in Varanasi. Most of the people who have been to this place have had no idea about it as they just entered it out of curiosity. Those who have been here, described this place as an oasis of peace in the heart of chaos. This is the king’s very own property- Kashi Raj Kali temple or the secret temple of Varanasi.

The entrance gate of the temple

The 200 hundred years old property, which was built by the Kashi Naresh, served as a private temple for the royal family. The extensively carved gate of the complex is a clear example of the architectural mastery of that time. At the first glance, it looks like an old house but once you enter the vicinity you will realize that it is much more than that.

As you walk in, a hippie café welcomes you with subtle plantation and comfy seating, It is Phulwari restaurant and Sami Café. It was started by two Jordanian brothers and now a local family manages it.

secret temple of Varanasi
Phulwari restaurant and Sami Cafe

Turn to the left from the cafe and you will see a temple, it is Kashiraj Kali. The vicinity of the temple has now been turned into a cow ranch by caretakers where they milk their cows. You can often spot foreigners spending time here with the cattles.

Kashi Raj Kali Temple

The closer you go and the more you look at it you will keep finding intriguing things. From symmetrical designs to details of the carving. Everything looks so perfect and royal that it gets hard to imagine how they made it without the modern tools. This temple is a specimen of the developed stonework in India.

Mandap of Kashi Raj Kali Temple
Shivling inside Kashi Raj Kali Temple
Beautiful Nandi behind Kashi Raj Kali Temple

However, according to the locals, the temple you see is a fake temple hiding the real one beside it. There are many legends related to it but very few to no historical records. It is said that whenever masons tried to add a floor/dome to the original temple, the walls sunk in the ground. They tried to add a dome many times but failed so they decided to leave it as it is and build another one right in front of it.

The last Kashi Naresh (Last king of the Varanasi)
The last Kashi Naresh (Last king of the Varanasi, not the one who built it)

Another theory says that the king wanted to hide the real temple from the invaders to secure the Shivling. So, he decided to keep the real Shivling in a small room and built an extensive piece of art right in front of it. Anyone who visits the vicinity hardly pays any attention to the other temple as they are too occupied in checking out the aesthetics of the design. The small white temple behind it is called Gautameshwar temple.

Gautameshwar Mahadev Shivling behind the Kashi Raj Kali temple

If it is true that the king wanted to keep the temple secretive then we guess he did it so well that even after being on the busiest road of Varanasi nobody gets the clue of its existence. As a result, it sees very less to no crowd and remains peaceful all year round.

Kashiraj Kali temple, secret temple of varanasi
Artistic representation of Kashi Raj Kali Temple

How to Reach Kashi Raj Kali/ Secret Temple of Varanasi

The Kashi Raj Kali temple is located on Bansphatak road near Godowlia Chowk. It is well connected to all the Railways stations, Airport and the bus stand via road. You can reach here by shared auto-rickshaws/Tuk-Tuks which are available throughout the city. One can also take a boat ride from any ghat to the Dr Rajendra Prasad Ghat, the temple is only 7-minute walk away from the ghat.

What to See/Nearby Places

Nearby Ghats

Meer Ghat, Rajendra Prasad Ghat, Dashaswamedh Ghat

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