The Kashi Khanda of the Skanda Purana narrates a fascinating tale about the origin of the ‘Well of Wisdom’—Gyānavāpī (Jñānavāpī). According to the Puranic texts, dating back to the 5th-13th centuries CE, Ishan—a form of Shiva—had himself dug the well to cool the lingam of Vishveshvara (Vishwanath) with water. This event is said to have taken place at a time when there was no water on earth. The water that bursts out from the well is said to be the liquid form of gyana (wisdom); enlightening wisdom, to be precise. Hence the name Gyanavapi, now commonly referred to as Gyanvapi. The ancient text tells us that the sacred well was dug in Kashi long before the river Ganga came to Earth. Considered to be the most sacred water pool on Earth, the Gyanvapi well is also called the Shivatirtha, Gyanodatirtha, Tarakatirtha and Mokshatirtha. Two chapters of the Kashi Khanda are dedicated entirely to eulogise Gyanvapi and its power to drive away evil spirits and cleanse the sins of devotees.