Golden Temple with the Gyan Bafi or Well of Wisdom, Benares.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Vishvanatha Temple from the 'Earl of Jersey Collection' was taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s. The Vishwanatha or Visheshwara, ‘The Lord of All’ is popularly known as the Golden Temple, due to the gold plating on its shikhara (spire) by Ranjit Singh in 1839. Thought the current temple was built only in 1777 by Queen Ahalya Bai Holkar of Indore this was the principal Shiva sanctuary for over thousand years. The linga, or image dedicated to the god Shiva, has been worshipped in this temple for at least a thousand years. Nandi is the sacred bull upon which Shiva rides and symbolises single-minded devotion and the peaceful strength of faith.