Gyan Kup WellGyan Kup Well is the holy site in Varanasi. Many stories and incidents are attached to this amazing well. Its a well-known place in Varanasi where people from all across the country come to take blessing. Gyan Kup well is also known as Gyan Vapi Well. As the name suggest Gyan stands for knowledge and the people of Varanasi consider this well as source of providing wisdom and the spiritual enlightenment. Those who comes to Varanasi definitely visit this spiritual and religious place.
Gyan Kup Well, an imposing pavilion, is located at the entrance to the famous and magnificent holy Kashi Vishwanath temple. It is presently covered by a fabric, stone screen and canopy except a small portion . The water of this well is filthy and decomposed due to offering of flowers in this well by pilgrims who visit this place. Generally people go here before visiting Viswanath temple which is at back. Every pilgrims drink a little water from this well which is offered by attendant priests here. This well offers support to the central dome and two peaks of Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Legend Behind Gyan Kup Well in Varanasi
There is very interesting story and legend behind this great Gyan Vapi Well or “Well of Knowledge”. This great well was built by Rani Baiza Bai, widow of Raja Daulat Rao Sindhia of Gwalior in 1828. She was a true devotee and great believer in god. Other reason is to provide a natural source of water to natives and later these natives started believing that this well provides spiritual enlightenment after drinking the water. One very old legend behind this Well is that once the rains were withheld for 12 years in Varanasi and so the people of that place were in distress and felt helpless. Then one great Rishi pierced the earth with Shiva's trident, where he issued a copious stream of holy water. When Lord Shiva heard this, he promised that he will remain there in this Well forever.
There is another story which is famous of this Gyan Kup Well. In the Mughal era, when Alamgir (famously known as Aurangzeb) ordered for demolishing the original Shiva temple to make a mosque, the priests who were present at that time took the old and spirited Shiva idol and threw it down this well for safety. Right now at the same place where there was Shiva temple, can find Gyanvapi mosque built by Aurangzeb. Later, Viswanath temple was built by monarch of Indore Ahilyabai Holkar.
This great place is surrounded by a high roofed colonnade of about 40 magnificent pillars which is built in 1828 by Rani Baiza Bai. Pilgims consider this place more pious than present Shiva Temple. People visit this well and take blessing in order to get rid of their sins. To visit this place, you do not have to pay any money. Only at time of prayer, you can pay as per your choice. But please be alert at the time of visit as many fake priests can lure you in the name of god and can charge hefty money in return.
How to Reach Gyan Kup Well in Varanasi
To reach this place from Varanasi Railway station, you can hire auto or rickshaw as per your budget and choice again. It won't cost you more than Rs 50. If you are planning to walk then from Varanasi Junction Railway Station head towards NH 29, then take 1st turn on left and then right onto Vidyapeeth Rd, then again left onto Station Road. At the roundabout at St. Kabir road, take the 2nd exit and again at the roundabout onto Bulanala Maidagin Road, take the 3rd exit. Kindly continue onto Chowk Godoulia Rd, the turn left followed by right, again left at Vishwanath Gali Chowck and you will find Gyan Kup Well on your left.
If you are heading from Banaras Hindu University, then again you can avail any public transport. A walk definitely will provide immense joy. So from Banaras Hindu University, you can head toward north and Turn left onto Ramnagar Rd. Just at the roundabout, take the 3rd exit which will be followed by another roundabout from there take the 2nd exit, then right, then left onto Sonarpura Road, Continue onto Chowk Godoulia Rd and at your right, you will find Gyan Kup Well.