The Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple, which is situated by the Asi River, is one of the sacred temples of the Hanuman.] According to historical legend the temple was built on the spot where the saint Tulsidas had a vision of Hanuman. Tulsidas & Sankatmochan Temple. The story in short of how Tulsidas came to Varanasi and Got Hanumanji darshan is given below –
Tulsidas the great Indian poet is well renowned for his literary genius not in India alone but world over. He was born in Rajapur, Chitrakoot in year 1532. Tulsidas was left as an orphan since birth .In his early young age, he was taken by his Guru Narharidas a Vaishnava ascetic. Like any other student of his Guru he was given the diksha of Virakta sect. One interesting event of his life comes at the juncture of youth after his marriage to Ratnavali. Once he was worshiping in temple and his wife left to her parents.when Tulsidas knew it he left immediately to meet her in night. He crossed swelled Yamuna & ascended the balcony of his wife by using a snake as a rope to meet her. His wife chided Tulsidas & said you seem to be a saint & a follower of Ram worship but just half of worship you do of my flesh body can yield more results if you do same to your Ram. Hearing this ,Tulsidas underwent transformation and left at once for Prayag & renounced the household life. After renouncing ,Tulsidas travelled lot all over India like Dwarka, Puri, Badrinath & Rameshwaram & many other places to discuss with saints & find the truth. He travelled to Mansarovar Lake where he met Kak Bhushundi (Saint crow) – one of the well known speaker of Ramayan. Having heard Ramayan directly from Kak Bhusandi, Tulsidas returned back. After this he started to live in Varanasi permanently & started to recite Rama story for commoners. He used to visit near by forest in morning & used to throw his remaining water from his pot in the night at an old tree. On that tree a Ghost stayed who being always thirsty was happy with this daily supply of water. Being pleased by Tulsidas, hespoke to him and asked him for a boon, at this Tulsidas said that his only desire was that He would like to see his LORD Rama. The ghost told him that its beyond his strength but that he can at least helphim to reach and locate Lord Rama’s devotee Hanuman. He told him that Hanumanji visited everyday him disguise to hear his Ramayan recitation and that for identifying hanuman ji he should look for the person in the audience who comes first & is last to leave. Next morning when he was reciting story he noticed a leper who was first to come & last to leave. He followed leper to the same forest near about the place where today stands Sankatmochana temple. Tulsidas fell to the leper’s feet & said he knew who he was and that he should kindly not forsake him. Hanuman manifested his real form & told him that he should go Chitrakut and that he can see his Rama in Chitrakoot. On his request, Tulsidas went to chitrakut and stayed on banks of Mandakini and finally at last got the Darshan of Lord Rama in Chitrakoot.
After this Tulsidas came back and made the figure of Hanuman in Sankatmochan area by mud. In this temple area he used to worship daily this deity & wrote his famous Hanuman Chalisa. He also began his lifes masterpiece Ramcharitamanas in Varanasi. When he completed the Ramcharitramans, the Pandits of Varanasi disrespected his work & to prove its worth they put the Ramcharitramans at the base of Four Vedas in Vishwanath temple in night and locked the door. The condition was if it will appear at the top in the morning it will be proved of worth. The next morning when the doors opened Ramcharitramans was laying at the top of all the Vedas. Thus Tulsidas ji glory spread far and wide. Finally Tulsidas died in 1632 at Assi Ghat in Varanasi.