amidst the crowded lanes of Varanasi, the temple of Vishwanatha can be
approached from a lane called Vishwanatha lane. Inside the courtyard is
the temple of Vishwanatha surrounded by many subsidiary shrines. There
is a well, called Jnana Vapi i.e. ‘wisdom well’ located to the north of
the main temple. As one enters the temple from the southern side the first
temple to the left of the pilgrim are three temples in a row one behind
the other – Vishnu, Virupakshi Gauri and Avimukta Vinayaka. A cluster of
five lingas enclosed in a temple is called Nilakantheshvar temple. Just
above the Avimukteshvara Vinayaka are temples of Shanishchara and Virupaksha.
To the right just near the entrance is the temple enshrining a linga called
Avimukteshvara. There is a controversy regarding the original Jyotirlinga
at the place, which suggests that not the Vishwanatha but the Avimukteshvara
is the original Jyotirlinga.
According to some scholars
the other lingas like the Mahakala, Nikumbheshvara, Dandapanisvara, Vaikuntheshvara,
kala Bhairava, kapileshvara, Kubereshvara bear the names of Yakshas. There
are also images of Saubhagya Gauri, Shringar Gauri, Savitri, Vighneshvara
Ganesha, Vyaseshvara etc. along with a cluster of small lingas to the north
is called the court of Vishwanatha.