offbeat places Archives - Varanasi Guru https://www.varanasiguru.com/tag/offbeat-places/ Unlock The Secrets of Kashi With Varanasi Guru! Wed, 17 Nov 2021 06:14:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://www.varanasiguru.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/cropped-favicon-32x32.png offbeat places Archives - Varanasi Guru https://www.varanasiguru.com/tag/offbeat-places/ 32 32 Karkotak Nageshwar – well of serpents or hidden treasure? https://www.varanasiguru.com/karkotak-nageshwar/ https://www.varanasiguru.com/karkotak-nageshwar/#respond Thu, 29 Mar 2018 08:55:36 +0000 https://varanasiguru.com/?p=256

Naag Koop/Naag Kund/ Karkotak Nageshwar which literally means “well of snakes” is situated in Jaitpura area of Varanasi, India. The step well is located on the backside of a small temple and holds religious significance for Hindus. Naag Koop is not much visited by travellers therefore very less to no righteous info is available on the internet. […]

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Naag Koop/Naag Kund/ Karkotak Nageshwar which literally means “well of snakes” is situated in Jaitpura area of Varanasi, India. The step well is located on the backside of a small temple and holds religious significance for Hindus. Naag Koop is not much visited by travellers therefore very less to no righteous info is available on the internet.

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kund, Naag koop, naag kuan Varanasi, Secret places in varanasi
Naag Kund containing the holy water

The well was built by the Patanjali and it is said that this is where he wrote the commentary on Panini’s Ashtadhyayi in ancient times. A king renovated the well in 1845, therefore, giving it the shape it holds today.

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kund, Naag koop, naag kuan Varanasi, Secret places in varanasi
Naap koop/Kuan in the center of the Naag Kund

The kund at Karkotak Nageshwar is only opened once in a year on Nag Panchami when a grand fair is organized in this area. People believe that taking a dip in this well on Nag Panchami immunes them from the snake bites and it also has astrological benefits.

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kund, Naag koop, naag kuan Varanasi, Secret places in varanasi

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kund, Naag koop, naag kuan Varanasi, Secret places in varanasi

It is said that 45 meters deep in this well lies a door to the world of serpents. One can often spot young people trespassing and diving into the well to reach the gate. However, the world of serpent might sound out of the fantasy but the door is real. A day before Naag Panchami Preist empties the well to worship the Shivling which remains submerged all over the year and one can see a metal sheet which covers the door.

According to an inscription near the well, the Karkotak Nageshwar well was renovated by a king in 1825 and later by James Prinsep. Which gives the birth to the theories of hidden treasure. India was repeatedly invaded by many dynasties and hiding the treasure was the only way to protect it. Ancient kings used many techniques to safeguard their treasury. It won’t be a surprise if the same was done by the king who staggeringly renovated it.

Karkotak Nageshwar, Naag Kuan, Well of snakes
People worshipping the stepwell on Nag Panchami
Shivling at the bottom of the stepwell near the iron door

However, In our opinion, both the door to serpent’s world and the theory of hidden treasure sound exaggerated and it seems like that iron door is just covering the well so that people can stand there to worship the Karkotak Nageshwar Shivling. But you never know, Especially when it’s about a city which is often called older than history!


What do you think? Please let us know in comments. Also, check out the secret temple of Varanasi

How to Reach Karkotak Nageshwar

The Karkotak Nageshwar is located near Jaitpura police station in Jaitpura area of Varanasi. The best way to reach Karkotak Nageshwar/ Naag Koop is by taking an auto rickshaw/tuk-tuk to the Jaitpura police station and then reaching the Naag Kuan on foot by asking locals.

 

What to See/Nearby Places

  • Ishwar Gangi Pokhra
  • Kabir Chaura Math
  • Azaad Park

 

Nearby Ghats

None

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Alamgir Mosque – Lost Vishnu Temple of Varanasi https://www.varanasiguru.com/alamgir-mosque/ https://www.varanasiguru.com/alamgir-mosque/#comments Tue, 27 Mar 2018 16:47:22 +0000 https://varanasiguru.com/?p=332 Alamgir Mosque, Beniya madhav ka dharera - Offbeat locations in Varanasi india

Located on the Panchganga Ghat, Alamgir mosque is one of the most picturesque locations in Varanasi. The mysterious architecture towering right above the Panchganga Ghat has attracted the attention of millions since the 17th century. It’s rustic look and gigantic domes stand out against all the contemporary architectures developed around it. Known by the name […]

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Alamgir Mosque, Beniya madhav ka dharera - Offbeat locations in Varanasi india

Located on the Panchganga Ghat, Alamgir mosque is one of the most picturesque locations in Varanasi. The mysterious architecture towering right above the Panchganga Ghat has attracted the attention of millions since the 17th century. It’s rustic look and gigantic domes stand out against all the contemporary architectures developed around it.

Alamgir Mosque, Beniya madhav ka dharera - Offbeat locations in Varanasi india
Alamgir Mosque, Panchganga Ghat

Known by the name of Beni Madhav Ka Darera or Aurangzeb’s Mosque this architecture holds significant importance in the books of history. Alamgir mosque is located at the place where once stood a temple of Lord Vishnu( Beni Madhav Ka Darera). The French merchant Jean Baptiste Tavernier who made many voyages to India was awestruck by the beauty of the temple. He mentioned the temple as “the great pagoda” in his travel account.

Jean Baptiste Tavernier on left and Aurangzeb on right

In 1663 Aurangzeb captured the Varanasi and demolished the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in 1669. Bindu Madhav Temple was also destroyed in 1673 and Aurangzeb built the Alamgir mosque on the ruins of the temple.

A document stating the demolition of the Viswanath Temple, Varanasi – August 1669 A.D (Source: National Archives)

The foundation of the temple was used for the construction of the mosque which is also believed to be as deep as the height of it. Aurangzeb also added 2 minarets and 3 domes to give the structure a striking look. Each minaret was 163 feet long and was equipped with a staircase and a balcony.

Alamgir mosque with its original minarets (1869, Photo by Bromochary, Brajo Gopal)

However, the minarets couldn’t withstand the test of time and in the 19th century, an English scholar James Prinsep had to restore them. In 1948 one of the minarets collapsed killing a few people around the time of the floods. Later the govt pulled down the other minaret due to  security reasons.

Aurangzeb mosque with its minaret covered with scaffolding for restoration (Source: National Archives)

Today, the Alamgir mosque stands atop the Panchganga Ghat. Its eye-catching minarets are gone but it still manages to steal the charm. The long narrow stairway next to Shri math leads to the mosque. The climb is exhausting but the view and feelings after reaching there are definitely worth every step.

Stairs leading to the Alamgir Mosque(centre)
Mosque as seen from outside (source: Pavan Kumar Raju)

Upon entering the vicinity you will confront the glorious structure with a tree on your right side and a small pond with a fountain in front of you. The pond has emerald green water and one can often spot pigeons bathing and drinking water from it. Move toward the left side and you will spot a small stair descending to the balcony. The view from here is often compared to the marine drive of Mumbai.

Mosque as seen from the gate
Alamgir mosque’s pond and entrance
Alamgir mosque’s pond
View of Ganges and Ghats from the balcony

Most of the traveller only watch it from a distance while they are riding the boat. We request you to get down at Panchgange ghat and take a climb. We bet you will love the sunrise/sunset from here! 🙂

How to Reach Alamgir Mosque

The Alamgir Mosque is located on Panchganga Ghat. The best way to reach Alamagir Mosque is by walking through the ghats. One can walk towards the Panchganga from Manikarnika Ghat or can take a boat from any ghat to the Panchganga Ghat.

What to See/Nearby Places

  • Shri Math
  • New Bindu Madhav temple
  • Shri Trailanga Swami Math

Nearby Ghats

Mangla Gori Ghat, Bindu Madhava Ghat

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