This place is nondifferent from Kashi (Varanasi). In Kashi there is a place called Manikarnika-ghat. They say that if a person leaves the body in this place, Lord Siva himself comes to him at the time of death and repeats the name of Rama in his ear. As a result, the dying man gains liberation. And here, in Harihara-ksetra, Lord Siva always dances and sings the name of Gaura, asking his followers to accept gaura-bhakti. After spending a thousand years in Kashi, sannyasis are liberated by jnana, but here devotees do not aspire to this and simply dance and sing the name of Gauranga.
He who leaves the body in this place, by the grace of Lord Siva, attains salvation, for Siva repeats the name Gauranga in his ear. Therefore, this place is called Maha-Varanasi - a place where there is no fear of death.
Once upon a time, the Lord revealed Himself in this temple as Harihara.
Bhaktivinoda Thakur writes that the Deity was found in the forest, on the eastern bank of Alakananda. Hari means Krishna, Hara means Lord Sankara.
Darshan of the Deity can be obtained during the day, but not all the time. The temple is supported by one of the local families, and if it is closed, you can ask local residents where to find pujari.
The main deity of Maha Varanasi is Harihara. It is half dark (Vishnu, Hari), half white (Shiva, Hara). Next to Him are the eternal spouses of Lord Visnu and Lord Siva - Lakshmi and Parvati. In addition, the deities of Burkho Shiva (meaning "Old Shiva") and Gopala are installed in the temple, as well as the footprint of Lord Vishnu-Gadadhara (similar to the one worshiped in Gaya).
There are few Harihara temples in India. One of them is located in Bihar, on the Padma River, in a place called Gajendra Moksha. The other is in Rajasthan, in Osian. One more - in Anegudd, in South Karnataka.
Once Lord Shiva, hearing about the wonderful activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the guise of a charming woman (Mohini-murti), sat on his bull and went to see Lord Visnu.
Together with his wife Uma and a retinue of spirits, Lord Siva approached the lotus feet of Lord Visnu. He expressed reverence to the Supreme Lord, glorifying Him in prayers, and then spoke about his desire.
Invariably merciful to His servants, the Lord fulfilled the desire of Shiva. Summoning His energy, He appeared before him in the form of a captivating woman. Lord Shiva, whom even the personified material energy, Parvati-devi cannot unbalance, was in the grip of the enchantment of Mohini-murti, barely seeing Her. Overwhelmed by lust, he pursued Her, forgetting about everything in the world. Only after some time, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he managed to control himself. This story is described in detail in the eighth song of Srimad Bhagavatam.
After it was all over, Shiva felt very awkward. Then Lord Vishnu appeared before him in his original form and said: “You have nothing to worry about. You and I are indistinguishable from each other. You are My manifestation. ” And in order to confirm His words, the Lord revealed this unusual form - semi-Shiva, semi-Vishnu.
Translated from dhama.dayalnitay.ru