lordess visalakshi devi

Visalakshi is one of the eighteen Shakti peethas. The Karna kundala(Ear ring) of Devi fell here. She is the Shakti of Lord Vishwanath (Vishwanatha).

Vishalakshiti vikhyata varanashyam shivaparshve /
Niratannapradatri cha nirbhagyajanatoshini //

The temple of Visalakshi is present near the temple of Annapurna. The temple is very small. An idol of Gauri is present in front of Visalakshi. The word Visalakshi means the one who has big eyes. She is described as the one who rules the world. Tantras tell that she will be in the form of Mahakali. She will break the Karma bandhas after the ďeath. Lord Vishwanath, in the form of Mahakala will give Moksha.

The Tantric work Rudrayamala, mentions 10 principal Shakti Peethas, which includes Varanasi as the fifth one. The Kularnava Tantra mentions 18 Pithas and mentions Varanasi as the sixth one. The Ashadashapitha (18 Peethas) ascribed to Adi Shankara enumerates 18 names along with their presiding deities or Pitha-devis including Vishalakshi of Varanasi as the fifth Pitha. In the Kubjika Tantra, Varanasi is third in 42 names. There are the two lists of Pithas in the Jnanarnava, one with 8 names and the other with fifty names. The 8-name list does not mention Varanasi, but the other list names Varanasi in the second spot. Vishalakshi of Varanasi is mentioned as first of 108 Shakti Pithas in the list in the Devi Bhagavata Purana. The face of Sati is described to have fallen here. This is the only instance where a body part is related to the Shakti Pitha in the text. The Devi Gita within the same text gives a long list of Pithas, where Vishalakshi is mentioned as dwelling in Avimukta (Varanasi). No body part is related to the Pitha in this list. In the non-scripture 16th century Bengali work Chandimangal, Mukundaram lists nine Pithas in the Daksha-yajna-bhanga section. Varanasi is the last Peetha described to be the place where Sati's chest fell and the presiding goddess being Vishalakshi. Lakshmidhara also includes Vishalakshi in his 12th-century list.

The Pithanirnaya or Mahapithanirupana section from the Tantrachudamani originally listed 43 names, but names were added over time making it 51 Peethas. It details the Pitha-devata or Devi (name of goddess at the Pitha), the Kshastradishas (Bhairava) and the anga-pratyanga (limbs including ornaments of Sati). Manikarnika at Varanasi with Vishalakshi as the presiding goddess comes in at number 23. A kundala (earring) is the anga-pratyanga and Kala-Bhairava (Kala) is the Bhairava. In some later versions of the text, Varanasi is not included in the chief 51/52 Pithas. In one of the versions, it is demoted from a Pitha to an upa-Pitha (subordinate Pitha). Here, the kundala is said to be anga-pratyanga, but two Pitha-devatas and Bhairavas are mentioned. First, Vishalakshi with Kalabhairava and secondary Annapurna with Vishweshvara. Vishweshvara is the presiding deity of Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the most important temple in Varanasi and the Annapurna temple is nearby.