Tulsi Manas Mandir, VaranasiVaranasi is a city beyond time. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, existing for more than a millennium. While touring Varanasi, you will come across numerous small and big temples, maze-like constricted alleys, and a mixture of various smells. The Tulsi Manas Mandir in Varanasi is one of the abundant temples found in the area. Built with a marble edifice and equally delightful garden area, this sacred space is dedicated to Sri Ram (the incarnation of Vishnu – an important god in the Hindu Pantheon). According to nearby Hindu communities, this is the place where Tulsidas translated the Sanskrit Ramayan into Awadhi, renaming it as Ramcharitamanasa.
Exploring the temple is a pleasurable experience, helping you familiarize yourself with the different stories of Ramayan. Here is a brief overview of the temple and its nearby areas.
Keynotes about Varanasi Tulsi Manas Mandir
Address: Sankat Mochan Rd, Durgakund Rd, Near Jalan, Varanasi, 221005
Opening time: 5:30 am to 12:00 pm, 3:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Entry Fee: Free
Famous for: Stunning temple marble edifice and green landscape
Presiding Deity: Ram
Visit Duration: 1 hour
Best Visited With Solo, Group, Couple, or Family
How to reach: Buses, autos, or rickshaws are available
Overview of the Tulsi Manas Mandir, VaranasiThe Tulsi Manas Mandir in Varanasi is dedicated to Lord Ram, an important deity in Hinduism and is considered as the incarnation of Vishnu (an important god in the Hindu pantheon). The shikhara-style temple, built-in 1964, decorated with verses and scenes from Ramayan makes this place different from other religious centers of the city. The marble-clad architecture of the temple and surrounding garden area makes this place a peaceful abode – suitable for meditation and praying.
According to many scholars, the temple was built at the exact spot where the Goswami Tulsidas translated the Ramayana written by Valmiki in Sanskrit, making the book accessible to commoners. A Vaishnava saint and poet, Tulsidas broke the class and societal barrier prevalent during the times by translating the religious epic into the common language.
Temple Architecture – A GlimpseThe two-floor temple complex is located very close to the Durgakund of Varanasi, making it accessible to several corners of the city. As you enter the temple complex, you will cross a huge gate with Tulsi Manas Mandir, Varanasi engraved on it. The enclosed gate opens up to a charming garden named after the poet. In the garden area, you will find the status of Tulsidas and the following engraved lines ‘Tulsi Das Chandan Ragane, Tilak Det Raghuvir’ meaning Raghuvir (Sri Rama) blesses the poet Tulsi Das.
As you pass the garden area, you come could see the bright temple edifice constructed in marble and the nearby pond. Inside the temple premise, the primary deity – Rama along with his wife Sita and Lakshmana – is worshiped daily. Along with them, the sanctuary has separate temples dedicated to Shiva and his consort Paravati.
The walls of the temple are adorned with images of several gods in Hindu mythology. Apart from that, the second-floor walls are adorned important scenes from Ramayana.
Tulsidas’ and the Associated LegendsTulsidas was a 16th-century scholar and poets born and raised on the Ghats of Varanasi. The saint translated the Sanskrit version of the Indian epic as a mode of breaking the class barrier. During those times, Sanskrit was the language of the scholars and study of the language was reserved for only a few. After the epic was translated to Awadhi, people became aware of this mythical figure and came to know about his adventures.
According to popular legends, the elites of the society were not pleased by Tulsidasa’s endeavor and denounced Ramcharitmanas. People in the upper tiers of society regarded the work as crass and wanted to ban the book. However, the story gets interesting here. To demean the book, the Brahmins of Varanasi ordered to test the sanctity of the manuscript. They ordered to keep the book under a pile of Sanskrit scriptures. The entire stack of books was locked in the inner sanctum of the Kashi Vishvanath Temple at night, and the main doors of the Sanctorum were locked from the outside.
In the morning, it was found that the manuscript of Ramcharitmanas was sitting on the top of the Sanskrit scriptures, with the words Satyam Shivam Sundaram written on the cover of the book. It might be just a story, but it is surely an interesting one.
Temple EtiquettesIf you are planning to visit the Tulsi Manas Mandir, Varanasi, then here are some of the etiquettes that could help you:
1. Cover up the head before entering the templeAlthough it is not a hard and fast rule, covering the head, neck, and shoulder is always appreciated. If you do not have anything to cover your head, then you can always bank on the spare shawl, scarf or sarong for the matter.
2. Keeping the footwear outsideYou have to open your shoes or slippers before entering the complex. Most temples have designated areas for keeping their footwear. However, the locals prefer to keep their shoes inside their cars, or with flower vendors selling their wares close to the temple.
3. Accept the Prashad with both handsPrashad is a sacred offering, which must be accepted with both hands – left below the right. It is important temple decorum and must be followed.
The Tulsi Manas Mandir, Varanasi showcases how a simple poet revolutionized Indian society, broken down into different classes and sections.