Varanasi is one of India’s oldest and holiest cities in India. It is known for its spiritual importance and long-standing customs. From the graceful ghats, the transcendent temples, the fabulous festivals, or the scrummy street foods, everything will make you feel like heaven. The spirituality of this place can’t be explained in words. The Panchkoshi Parikrama is one of the most important sacred practices in this area. Panchkoshi Parikrama is a walk around the city that is about 88 kilometres long. It is thought to cleanse the mind and bring divine blessings to the people who do it. It serves as a reminder of the ancient traditions and beliefs deeply rooted in the culture of Varanasi, making it a truly special and unique experience for all those who undertake it.
Panchkoshi Parikrama is a religious practice that involves walking around the city of Varanasi on a path that is about 88 kilometers long. Hindus who believe in God do this sacred trip as an act of devotion and purification. During the Panchkoshi Parikrama, devotees embark on a journey covering five sacred spots, or kos, representing different manifestations of Lord Shiva. The parikrama is usually completed within five days. The Panchkoshi Parikrama is not just a religious activity; it is also a way for devotees to soak in the rich cultural heritage and spiritual aura of Varanasi. People from all walks of life participate in this pilgrimage, seeking spiritual enlightenment and connecting with their inner selves. Participating in this Parikrama is an experience that takes one on a sacred pilgrimage, bestowing blessings and spiritual growth.
Discover the Mystical Journey of Panchkoshi Parikrama
Panch Koshi means five places that are each one kosh away. It is said that Panch Koshi Parikrama can only be finished if a person sees all 5 sites chosen by Hindu religious priests. Kardameshwar, Bhimchandi, Rameshwar, Shivpur, and Kapildhara are the five places. It is done every year in the Hindi month of Sawan, which is mid-July to mid-August on the English calendar. While completing the Panchkoshi Parikrama, devotees come across various other significant landmarks of Varanasi, such as renowned temples, ashrams, and ghats. These sites hold historical and mythological importance, adding to the overall experience of the pilgrimage. The entire journey is accompanied by chanting of hymns, offering of prayers, and recitation of holy scriptures. Varanasi’s Panchkoshi Parikrama is a significant spiritual journey that allows devotees to connect with their faith and experience the divine essence of the city.
Spiritual Significance of Panchkoshi Parikrama
Panchkoshi Parikrama has been a long-standing tradition in Varanasi and holds immense historical and cultural importance.In Hindu mythology, Panchkoshi Parikrama is very important and is thought to clean the mind, body, and soul of the people who do it. People think that it will give them spiritual merit, bring them benefits, and wash away their sins.
According to Hindu mythology, it is said that Lord Ram did the Panch Kroshi Yatra with his three brothers and his wife Sita in the Treta Yug. At the Rameshwaram temple, you can see the Shivalingas made by them. Lord Rama did this yatra to break the curse that Shravan Kumar’s parents had put on his father Dashrath. Also, it is said that in the Dwapar Yug, the Pandavas and Draupadi went on this trip. Draupadi Kund is the name of the tank next to this temple. During their Agyaat Vaas, or time in hiding, the Pandavas went on this trip. Panchkoshi Parikrama offers a unique opportunity to cleanse and purify not just the body but also the mind and soul.
Panchkoshi Parikrama Marg Varanasi
Manikarnika Kund is where the Panch Kroshi Yatra starts. Close to the famous Manikarnika Ghat is this small water tank, Manikarnika Kund. People take dip in this kund. Then, they take some water in their hands and do a Sankalp for the yatra. After the Sankalp, worshippers take a boat to the southernmost ghat on the Ganga in Varanasi, which is called Assi ghat. This is where the journey starts. After this, there are five Padavs, or stops, along the roughly 80 km (50 miles) path. The five Padavs starts from Kardameshwar, following Bhimchandi, Rameshwar, Shivpur, ends at Kapildhara.
Panchkoshi Marg Varanasi Distance
Panch Koshi Parikramas are thought of as spiritual walks that followers do all around the holy places. They need to end right where they begin. Here is the distance of Panchkoshi Marg:
From Manikarnika to Kardameshwar, it is 3 Kos. Total 27 shrines are covered in this route.
From Kardameshwar to Bhim Chandi, it is 5 Kos covering 25 shrines.
From Bhim Chandi to Rameshwar, it is 7 Kos covering total 28 shrines.
From Rameshwar to Shivpur, it is 4 Kos which covers a total of 3 shrines.
From Shivpur to Kapildhara it is 3 kos, and the route cover 5 shrines.
From Kapildhara to Manikarnika it is 3 Kos, covering 10 shrines.
However, 1 Kos is equal to 3.2 Km and the whole trip covered is 25 Kos and 108 shrines. In miles the distance is 55.2 miles and 88.5 km.
How to Perform Panchkoshi Parikrama
The journey of the Panch Koshi Parikrama begins and finishes at the Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi. The people of Varanasi wake up very early in the morning to start their parikrama. The journey begins after taking a bath in the holy water of the Ganges River at the Manikarnika Ghat. During the parikrama of the five places, they wear new clothes. Also during parikrama, they don’t eat anything until they’re done with their journey. Pilgrims bring five beetle leaves and five beetle nuts (called “Paan” and “Supari”) to each of these Padavs as an offering. At each temple along the way, raw rice, or akshat, is given as a gift.
Five Places of Panchkoshi Parikrama to complete Parikrama/ Navigating the Five Spiritual Circles of Panchkoshi Parikrama
The five places covered under the Panchkoshi Parikrama are:
Manikarnika ghat: This ghat is the starting point of the Parikrama. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy Ganges river here purifies the soul and grants salvation. At the present time, both pilgrims and people who want to be cremated come to this ghat in Kashi.
Kardmeshwar: Kardmeshwar Mahadev Mandir is a very old Shiva temple that is near Kandwa pokhra in the southern part of the city. It is part of the sacred Panchkroshi Yatra and visited after Manikarnika Ghat.
Bhim Chandi: Bhimchandi Devi is a strong form of Shakti, the Mother Goddess. It is one of the five places that followers must visit in order to finish the Panch Koshi Parikrama.
Rameshwara: Many people think that the most important kshetra or tirthasthala on the Panchkroshi Yatra is this very old temple. Lord Rama built this Shiva Linga to get forgiveness for killing the Brahman-demon Ravana of Lanka.
Shivpur: Shivpur is about 16 km from Rameshwara. This place looks like a crowded city and has a less pleasant atmosphere. The fourth stop on the Kashi Panchkoshi Parikrama is the Pancha Pandava Mandir. All of the five idols in this temple complex are named after the five Pandavas.