Legend of Temple of Briddhkal
According to the legend of the temple in the Krita Yug, an old king visited Varanasi. He was not in good health. Here he diligently performed ascetic rites, and religious ceremonies. Lord Shiva was so gratified with the piety of the old man, that he not only healed his sickness, but also granted him the boon to become young again. The king erected the present temple I\in honour of this deity and named as Briddhkal. It is a corruption of two Sanskrit words, ' briddha', or more properly, 'vriddha,' and 'kala,' the former meaning old, and the latter meaning fate.
Architecture of Temple of Briddhkal
The Temple of Briddhkal dates back to the ancient times and is now in almost ruined state. A figure of Lord Hanuman can be seen upon ascending the steps and going through the passage to the inner part of the edifice. The figure has been installed at the corner of a court. On the right side a small temple can be seen that is dedicated to the goddess Kali. It is a small black deity that has been cut out of stone, dressed in a red garment, with a garland of flowers hanging from the neck. Outside the shrine there is an image of a bull and a hollow space for the idol of Lord Shiva. Towards the right hand side there are images of Lord Ganesh and Parvati and to the left the idols of Bhairo, Lord Surya, Lord Hanuman, and Lord Vishnu, and his wife Lakshmi have been installed. There are two wells opposite to the temple of Kali. There are many other deities installed near the wall of the court. These idols are of ancient origin. Two stone figures of satis have also been placed here, to in commemorate old custom of self-immolation of widows on this spot in former times.
There is a small square towards the right of the court with a temple. It dedicated to Lord Shiva. An image of a snake can seen entwined around the idol of the Lord. The central deity is surrounded by many others minor idols. A quadrangle can be seen in the vicinity of the temple that houses the idol of Briddhkal. The shrine within contains two compartments, one of it is occupied by the idol of Briddhkal. He is seen sitting on a cistern. Over his head, hangs a small brass vessel, filled with water, which drops through a hole upon him, without any interruption. Another image of Lord Ganesha can be seen in a niche in the verandah. There is another shrine in the area of this quadrangle, flat-roofed, and having the image of Lord Hanuman.
Passing through a corridor in the north direction, one can see a small enclosure. Here the walls are in dilapidated condition. There are two shrines here that are worth visiting. These are associated with legends. On the right side is the temple called Markandeswar. Markanda was a Rishi, whom Lord Shiva, has blessed with the boon of immortality. The sage thus built the temple in the honour of the Lord. The other temple on the left side is known as Dakshesvar. He was the father of Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva.
The ancient Temple of Briddhkal thus houses many shines with idols of several deities. It is deeply revered and worshipped by devotees who visit the temple from different places.
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