Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
|Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple|
|Proper name||Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir|
|Primary deity||Hanuman, Rama|
|Architectural styles||Hindu architecture|
|History and governance|
|Date built||18th century|
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple is one of the sacred temples of Hindu god Hanuman in the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is situated by the Assi river, on the way to the Durga and New Vishwanath temples within the Banaras Hindu University campus. Sankat Mochan in Hindi means reliever from troubles. The current temple structure was built in early 1900s by the educationist and freedom fighter, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, the founder Banaras Hindu University. Hanuman Jayanti, the birthday of Hanuman, is celebrated in fanfare, during which a special shobha yatra, a procession starting from Durgakund adjacent to the historic Durga temple to Sankat Mochan, is carried out.
In the temple, offerings to Lord Hanuman (called Prasad) are sold like the special sweet "besan ke ladoo", which the devotees relish; and the idol is also decked with a pleasant marigold flower garland as well. This temple has the unique distinction of having Lord Hanuman facing his Lord, Rama, whom he worshiped with steadfast and selfless devotion.
It is believed that temple has been built on the very spot where Tulsidas had a vision of Hanuman. Sankat Mochan Temple was founded by Tulsidas who was the author of the Ramacharitamanasa, which is the Awadhi version of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana originally written by Valmiki. Tradition promises that regular visitors to the temple will gain special favor of Hanuman. Every Tuesday and Saturday thousands of people queue up in front of temple to offer prayers to Lord Hanuman. According to Vedic Astrology, Hanuman saves human beings from the anger of the planet Shani (Saturn), and people having an ill-placed Saturn in their horoscopes especially visit this temple for astrological remedies. This is supposed to be the most effective way for appeasing Shani. While it is suggested that Hanuman did not hesitate in engulfing in his mouth the sun, the lord of all planets, humbling all the gods and angel, making them worship him for Sun's release. Some astrologers believe that worshiping Hanuman can neutralize the ill-effect of Mangal (Mars) and practically any planet that has ill effect on human life.
On 7 March 2006, one of the three explosions hit the temple while the aarti was in progress in which numerous worshippers and wedding attendees participated. The crowd helped each other in rescue operation after the explosion. The next day a large number of devotees resumed their worship as usual.
The temple still continues to be attended by thousands of Rama and Hanuman devotees who chant Hanuman Chalisa and Sundarkand (also provided in the form of a booklet in the temple for free). After the terrorist incident of 2007, a permanent police post was set up inside the temple.
Sankat Mochan temple is near the Banaras Hindu University.
Sankat Mochan Foundation
The Sankat Mochan Foundation (SMF) was established in 1982 by Veer Bhadra Mishra, the Mahant (High priest) of the temple, and has been working for cleaning and protecting the Ganges river. Its projects are funded in part by aid from the U. S. and Swedish governments. Mishra was formerly former Head of the Civil Engineering Department at the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi [IIT(BHU)] and was awarded United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the "Global 500 Roll of Honour" in 1992, and later the TIME magazine's "Hero of the Planet" award in 1999.
The foundation has been working with Australia-based environmental group, Oz Greene, under a programme called “Swatcha Ganga Abhiyan” for over 25 years. It celebrated its silver jubilee on 3–4 November 2007, with two-day event which concluded at the Tulsi Ghat, on the Ganges.
Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh
Each year in the month of April, the temple organizes a classic music and dance concert festival titled, "Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh", in which musicians and performers from all over India take part. The first festival was organized 88 years ago, and since then it was attract numerous stalwarts of Indian classical music and dance world, including Odissi guru, Kelucharan Mahapatra, who was associated since its early days. In fact he was instrumental in starting women's participation in the festival with Sanjukta Panigrahi, Swapna Sundari and Kankana Banerjee.
- "Temples of Varnasi". Varanasi Official website.
- "Blasts in Sankatmochan temple and railway station kill dozen, several injured". Indian Express. Mar 8, 2006.
- "Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh from April 13". The Times of India. Apr 8, 2009.
- Callewaert, Winand M. (2000). Banaras: vision of a living ancient tradition. Hemkunt Press. p. 90. ISBN 81-7010-302-9.
- "Varanasi temple gets permanent police post". Indian Express. Mar 14, 2006.
- Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi
- "Adult Award Winner in 1992: Veer Bhadra Mishra". Global 500 Roll of Honour website.
- "Jai Ganga Maiyya...". May 26, 2009. The Times of India. Check date values in:
- "Holy War for "My Mother"". TIME. August 16, 1999.
- "‘Centre should take steps to clean Ganga river’". Indian Express. Nov 5, 2007.
- "Glimpses of eternity". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 7 April 2006.
- "Jasraj, Birju Maharaj enthral on first night". The Times of India. Apr 14, 2009.
- "Sankat Mochan music concert begins". The Times of India. Apr 4, 2010.
- Web India - Places of interest in Varanasi
- Sankat Mochan Foundation, Official website
- BBC - High priest horrified by blast BBC News