Sankat Mochan Temple
Sankat Mochan Temple in Varanasi is situated 3 kilometres from BHU (Banaras Hindu University). It is built in reverence of Lord Hanuman. It is believed that Lord Hanuman saves His devotees from all the troubles caused by the evil spirits, or due to the disturbance in the planetary house of Shani. Hence, the name Sankat Mochan Temple, where ‘Sankat’ is referred to trouble and ‘Mochan’ to the reliever. Though the architecture of the temple is nothing to talk about, yet the number of footfalls on every Tuesday, Saturday, and on ‘Hanuman Jayanti’ is overwhelming. This shows that for devotees, the look of the temple is not of any importance. All they need is a deity to pray and seek blessings to be free from all kinds of troubles.
The temple that is standing at present was built by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya at the start of the 1900s. It is said that the temple is built on the same place where the Saint-poet Tulsidas saw Lord Hanuman in person. Several religious and cultural activities are held at this temple during auspicious occasions. The vibrancy of the temple is worth experiencing during Hanuman Jayanti. A massive Shoba Yatra or a parade is taken out that starts from the Durga Temple, passes through a couple of prominent places, and culminates at the Sankat Mochan Temple. Devotees also refer to it as Hanuman Temple since it is short to utter and easy to relate with.
A trust to administer the functions of the temple was established in 1982 by the main priest, Veer Bhadra Mishra. It is named as ‘Sankat Mochan Foundation.’ Besides handling the administration of the temple, it also works for the Ganga cleaning project. The temple opens early in the morning at 5:00 a.m. and closes at 10 in the night. Aaarti is performed twice a day – 4.00 am and 9:00 p.m.