People generally think of Kasi, Varanasi, Benares as the place mainly meant for performing the Obesequies/ Sraddha for the ancestors.
They perform Tharpana and Sraddha.
There is another important religious Karma to be performed in Kasi/Varanasi.
It it is the performance of Panchakrosha Yatra.
Panchakrosha are the palces where Ishwara,Shiva is present in His full Glory and He rules over the city, its people, beings both living and non living.
As a result people visiting these Kshetras are removed of their evil and negative thoughts and are ruled by Ishwara.
This is one of the reasons why people are advised to perform Sradhdha in Varanasi as the Mind will be pure.
The Panchakrosha Kshetras are,
There is also another list.
Visiting these temples is called the Panchakrosha yatra,Varanasi.
The trip starts after completing the initial prayers and doing the rituals at Kashi Vishvanath Mandir the journey starts. There are 108 temples along this path and the Dharmasalas adjacent to the temples offer minimal facilities to the tourists. The remains of the temples shows, the importance given by the kings and the former generations to this pilgrimage trip.
Kandava-Nilakandeshwara Temple-this temple is associated with the story of churning the oceans by gods and demons and the blue-poison came, which had a very dangerous effect. In order to avoid trouble the poison was drunken by the Lord Shiv. Parvathi, wife of the Lord attempted to keep the poison not going down and the blue colour poison caused to change the colour.
Kardameswara Temple is another point the pilgrims visit on their course of journey. It has many images on the wall like dancers, beasts and snakes. Shiv is also shown in the form of Natrajdancing figure. The images of Mahishasuramardini, Andhakasuramardini is also visible in the walls. The river tank is really attracts the attention of the visitors.
After crossing Rajatalab the next place is Bhimachandi. Believed to be the strongest Goddess this temple is devoted to the Goddess Bhimachandi.
Before reaching the next point Dehli Vinayaka is also covered by the pilgrims. This site is dates back to 6th 7th century. The guide told me that the original image is now in Bharat KalaBhavan Musuem.
Rameshwara: Easily misunderstand as Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu? This Rameshwaram is in the in Kashi and one of the most significant spots in your trip. It is said to be the Shivlinga was placed and worshipped by the Lord Rama after killing Ravana, in order to avoid the sin. This is a replica of the original temple in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. The full moon day of Karthika, large number of pilgrims flock to this temple. The Sadhus praying with their rudraksh, chanting mantras are a common scene here.
The walk through Shivpur takes you top the thickly populated route and the route leads to Kapiladhara. The temple and the pool are associated with the Grand Epic Mahabharata. The site is very near to the Ganges. Usually the pilgrims take a lounge from here to the Manikarnika Ghat and the journey ends at Jnanvapi temple where you have started the journey.
There are Panchakrosha Sthalams near Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, Thirunelveli, Tamil Nadu and Ujjain.
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