Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Maharashtra State
In Hinduism Goddess Ekvira also worshipped as Renuka in different parts of India and Nepal is mother of Chiranjivi or immortal sage Parashurama.
Ekvira Aai MandirThe Ekvira Aai Mandir is a Hindu temple located in the Karla Caves near Lonavala in Maharashtra, India. Here, the worship of the goddess Ekvira is mixed with Buddhism, of which the Caves were once a center.The temple is also referred as Koli Temple since the Koli People are believed to have close association with the temple.This temple-complex originally consisted of three alike shrines built in a row all facing west. Of these, the central and the southern shrines are preserved in full and rest of the structures are preserved only on plan and that too brought to light in the clearance work. Maha-mandapa, varsha-mandapa and gopura are situated in front of these three shrines and these three shrines are surrounded by sixteen shrines of additional parivara devatas. The Koli community populaces the temple to worship on all occasions of Navarathra and Chaitra to celebrate and perform Koli dances and folk music. Koli tribes offer animal sacrifices in this temple, they offer the sacrifice of goat or chickens and they believe that tribal Goddess has majestic powers.
LegendAccording to the legend, this temple was constructed by the Pandavas during their exile in the forest (araṇyavāsam). Once when Pandavas visited this holy place, Ekvīrā Mātā appeared before them. She instructed them to build a temple for her. To test the kārya diksha (work ethic) of the Pandavas, the Goddess laid a condition that the construction must be done overnight. The Pandavas then indeed built this beautiful temple in one night. Impressed by the bhakti (devotion) of the Pandavas, the Goddess blessed them and granted the boon that they will not be discovered by anybody during their ajñātavāsam (secret exile). The Goddess is an avatār of Renuka Devi.
LocationThe temple is located on a hill. One needs to ascend around 500 steps to reach the temple. It is surrounded by ancient caves known by the name Kārla caves, which are now protected by the Archeological deartment. While the main deity is Ekvīrā Mātā, to her left is Jogeśvarī Devi. One gets a excellent view of the surrounding from the hill top. Halfway down the hill, there is a temple for the holy feet of the Goddess.
Getting There8 KM from Lonavala. 5 KM from Central Point Lonavala (Shivneri Bus stop). 49 KM from Pune (Maharastra). 97 KM from Mumbai (Maharashtra).
Elephanta Caves, MaharashtraThe Elephanta Caves (Marathi: घारापुरीची लेणी, Gharapurichya Lenee) are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri (literally "the city of caves") in Mumbai Harbour, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to the east of the city of Mumbai in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The island, located on an arm of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves—the first is a large group of five Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves contain rock cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to the god Shiva.
The rock cut architecture of the caves has been dated to between the 5th and 8th centuries, although the identity of the original builders is still a subject of debate. The caves are hewn from solid basalt rock. All the caves were also originally painted in the past, but now only traces remain.
The island was called Gharapuri and was a Hindu place of worship until Portuguese rule began in 1534. The Portuguese called the island Elephanta on seeing its huge gigantic statue of an Elephant at the entrance. The Statue is now placed in the garden outside the Bhau Daji Lad (erstwhile Victoria & Albert) Museum at the Jijamata Udyan (erstwhile Victoria Gardens) at Byculla in Mumbai.
Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, is about 7 miles (11 km) east of the Apollo Bunder (Bunder in Marathi means a "pier for embarkation and disembarkation of passengers and goods") on the Mumbai Harbor and 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Pir Pal in Trombay. The island covers about 4 square miles (10 km2) at high tide and about 6 square miles (16 km2) at low tide. Gharapuri is small village on the south side of the island. The Elephanta Caves can be reached by a ferry from the Gateway of India, Mumbai, which has the nearest airport and train station. The cave is closed on Monday.
The island is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in length with two hills that rise to a height of about 500 feet (150 m). A deep ravine cuts through the heart of the island from north to south. On the west, the hill rises gently from the sea and stretches east across the ravine and rises gradually to the extreme east to a height of 568 feet (173 m). This hill is known as the Stupa hill. Forest growth with clusters of mango, tamarind, and karanj trees cover the hills with scattered palm trees. Rice fields are seen in the valley. The fore shore is made up of sand and mud with mangrove bushes on the fringe. Landing quays sit near three small hamlets known as Set Bunder in the north-west, Mora Bunder in the northeast, and Gharapuri or Raj Bunder in the south.
The two hills of the island, the western and the eastern, have five rock-cut caves in the western part and a brick stupa on the eastern hill on its top composed of two caves with a few rock-cut cisterns. One of the caves on the eastern hill is unfinished. It is a protected island with a buffer zone according to a Notification issued in 1985, which also includes “a prohibited area” that stretches 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the shoreline
HistorySince no inscriptions on any of the caves on the island have been discovered, the ancient history of the island is conjectural, at best. Pandava, the hero of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, and Banasura, the demon devotee of Shiva, are both credited with building temples or cut caves to live. Local tradition holds that the caves are not man-made.
The Elephanta caves are "of unknown date and attribution". Art historians have dated the caves in the range of late 5th to late 8th century AD. Archaeological excavations have unearthed a few Kshatrapa coins dated to 4th century AD. The known history is traced only to the defeat of Mauryan rulers of Konkan by the Badami Chalukyas emperor Pulakesi II (609–642) in a naval battle, in 635 AD. Elephanta was then called Puri or Purika, and served as the capital of the Konkan Mauryas. Some historians attribute the caves to the Konkan Mauryas, dating them to the mid 6th century, though others refute this claim saying a relatively small kingdom like the Konkan Mauryas could not undertake "an almost superhuman excavation effort," which was needed to carve the rock temples from solid rock and could not have the skilled labor to produce such "high quality" sculpture.Some other historians attribute the construction to the Kalacuris (late 5th to 6th century), who may have had a feudal relationship with the Konkan Mauryas. In an era where polytheism was prevalent, the Elephanta main cave dedicates the monotheism of the Pashupata Shaivism sect, a sect to which Kalacuris as well as Konkan Mauryas belonged
The Chalukyas, who defeated the Kalacuris as well as the Konkan Mauryas, are also believed by some to be creators of the main cave, in the mid 7th century. The Rashtrakutas are the last claimants to the creation of the main cave, approximated to the early 7th to late 8th century. The Elephanta Shiva cave resembles in some aspects the 8th century Rashtrakuta rock-temple Kailash at Ellora. The Trimurti of Elephanta showing the three faces of Shiva is akin to the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva), which was the royal insignia of the Rashtrakutas. The Nataraja and Ardhanarishvara sculptures are also attributed to the Rashtrakutas.
Portuguese rule saw a decline in the Hindu population on the island and the abandonment of the Shiva cave (main cave) as a regular Hindu place of worship, though worship on Mahashivratri, the festival of Shiva, continued and still does. The Portuguese did considerable damage to the sanctuaries. Portuguese soldiers used the reliefs of Shiva in the main cave for target practice, sparing only the Trimurti sculpture. They also removed an inscription related to the creation of the caves. While some historians solely blame the Portuguese for the destruction of the caves, others also cite water-logging and dripping rainwater as additional damaging factors. The Portuguese left in 1661 as per the marriage treaty of Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza, daughter of King John IV of Portugal. This marriage shifted possession of the islands to the British Empire, as part of Catherine's dowry to Charles
The island has two groups of caves in the rock cut architectural style. The caves are hewn from solid basalt rock. All caves were painted in the past, but only traces remain. The larger group of caves, which consists of five caves on the western hill of the island, is well known for its Hindu sculptures. The primary cave numbered as Cave 1, is situated about 1 mile (1.6 km) up a hillside, facing the ocean. It is a rock cut temple complex that covers an area of 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2), and consists of a main chamber, two lateral chambers, courtyards, and subsidiary shrines. It is 39 metres (128 ft) deep from the front entrance to the back. The temple complex is the abode of Shiva, depicted in widely celebrated carvings which reveal his several forms and acts.Main cave The main cave, also called the Shiva cave, Cave 1, or the Great Cave, is 27 metres (89 ft) square in plan with a hall (mandapa). At the entrance are four doors, with three open porticoes and an aisle at the back. Pillars, six in each row, divide the hall into a series of smaller chambers. The roof of the hall has concealed beams supported by stone columns joined together by capitals. The cave entrance is aligned with the north-south axis, unusual for a Shiva shrine (normally east-west). The northern entrance to the cave, which has 1,000 steep steps, is flanked by two panels of Shiva dated to the Gupta period. The left panel depicts Yogishvara (The Lord of Yoga) and the right shows Nataraja (Shiva as the Lord of Dance). The central Shiva shrine (see 16 in plan below) is a free-standing square cell with four entrances, located in the right section of the main hall. Smaller shrines are located at the east and west ends of the caves. The eastern sanctuary serves as a ceremonial entrance.
Each wall has large carvings of Shiva, each more than 5 metres (16 ft) in height. The central Shiva relief Trimurti is located on the south wall and is flanked by Ardhanarisvara (a half-man, half-woman representation of Shiva) on its left and Gangadhara to its right, which denotes river Ganges's descent from Shiva's matted locks. Other carvings related to the legend of Shiva are also seen in the main hall at strategic locations in exclusive cubicles; these include Kalyanasundaramurti, depicting Shiva’s marriage to the goddess Parvati, Andhakasuravadamurti or Andhakasuramardana, the slaying of the demon Andhaka by Shiva, Shiva-Parvati on Mount Kailash (the abode of Shiva), and Ravananugraha, depicting the demon-king Ravana shaking Kailash.
The main cave blends Chalukyan architectural features such as massive figures of the divinities, guardians, and square pillars with custom capitals with Gupta artistic characteristics, like the depiction of mountains and clouds and female hairstyles
1. Ravana lifting Kailash
2. Shiva-Parvati on Kailash
6. Wedding of Shiva
7. Shiva slaying Andhaka
East Wing Shrine
West Wing Shrine
The Great CaveThis beautiful cave temple (named also Cave 1, Shiva Cave, Mahesha-Murti Cave) is located in hillside and is facing the ocean. Floor area of this cave is 5.600 m2, it goes 39 m deep into the basalt cliff. This cave is extremely rich with enormous, beautiful sculptures, some of these sculptures serve as symbols to whole ancient India.
In some aspects the Great Cave resembles the 8th century Kailash Temple in Ellora Caves – often there is considered that artists in both sites could be the same. Cave was used as a Hindu worship place until the Portuguese rule.
Northern entrance to temple has 1000 steep steps starting from the quayside. Entry in the cave temple leads through impressive portal with massive columns. Entrance is aligned to north-south axis what is unusual – in general Shiva temples have east-west orientation.
This cave unites the elements of Chalukyan architecture – like the massive figures of the divinities and guardians and square pillars with custom capitals which in turn have Gupta architectural features – depictions of mountains and clouds, women’s hairstyles. Main chamber (mandapa) of the cave is supported by rows of impressive pillars, each side of mandapa is approximately 27 m long. Beautiful carvings with Shiva in several forms cover each wall in the mandapa, each carving is more than 5 m high.
Inside the mandapa, to the right from the entrance there is located the central Shiva shrine – free-standing square cell with four entrances and linga in the centre. Each of the four entrances in Shiva shrine is guarded by two dvarapalas – 4.5 – 4.7 m high gate keepers. Their task is to keep the ill-intentioned visitors away. Sadly these stone giants did not perform their duties during the Portuguese times. At the east and west end of the cave there are smaller shrines – the eastern one serves as a ceremonial entrance. Cave suffered serious damage during the Portuguese times, most of sculptures were damaged by shooting. Happily the enormous, unique Trimurti sculpture was spared.
TrimurtiThe most renowned sculpture in mandapa of the Great Cave is Trimurti (Trimurthy) – sculpture with three faces of Shiva. It is located on the south wall of mandapa and is 6.1 m high.
Trimurti resembles a Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva) – royal insignia of Rashtrakutas. The image depicts a three-headed Shiva – each of the heads represents one of essential aspects of Shiva – creation, protection and destruction. Creation (Vamadeva) looks to the right, it is shown as a young, lively, vital women (?) with sensuous lips, holding something like a rose bud in hands. Destruction (Rudra-Shiva, Aghora, Bhairava) to the left, to east is shown as a young, moustached man, displaying anger. Central face (Tatpurusha) is benign, meditative, praying for the preservation of humanity, he is master of positive and negative principles of existence.
Trimurti is one of symbols of Indian culture, a masterpiece of Gupta – Chalukyan art.
Ardhanarisvara, Gangadhara and other treasuresTrimurti is flanked by sculptural groups called Ardhanarisvara on its left and Gangadhara to its right. Gangadhara is 5.2 m high and 4 m wide. It shows divinities assembled around Shiva and Parvati. The 5.11 m high Ardhanarishvara depicts a four-armed Shiva. Shiva is shown as a half male – half female.
Cave contains several more carvings of general importance to world art history including a carving of Shiva and Parvati on Mount Kailash with numerous other characters and detailed landscape features. In total there are 15 enormous panels containing art values.
Portico of eastern part of cave is guarded by seated tigers – resembling later seated lions popular up to 19th century in European manor house designs. Eastern part of cave contains also a giant statue of four-armed gate keeper with two demons – attendants.
Western wing is in bad shape, but it is also rich with stone carvings. Contains a cistern with water – possibly created by Buddhists.
More caves and other monumentsOn the crest of the hill above the Great Cave there is a broken stone lion, tiger or griffin – possibly one of guards in the entrances of Great Cave. Some sources say that it was worshipped as Tiger Goddess Vaghesvari.
Hindu cave No 2. is located to the south-east from the Great Cave. It is facing east, with a chapel in its northern end. Portal of the cave is destroyed, interior has been damaged by water. The irregular chapel is supported by 4 eight-cornered columns and 2 demi-columns. Traces of sculptures remain but most of previously rich artwork has perished.
A little further to the south there is cave No 3. in even worse condition, damaged by stagnant water. Pillars in the front of rooms have been preserved, sculptures of door-keepers of shrine are partly preserved.
Near the caves in earlier times there have been found some sculptures – f.e. large sculpture of horse which disappeared in the middle of 18th century.
Across the top of the ravine from Cave 1 there is a large cave chamber – Sitabai’s Temple. Portico of this chamber has four pillars and two pilasters. Behind the hall there are three chambers, central chamber hosted shrine. Cave contained beautiful and impressive adornments up to the Portuguese rule but now rather little remains, although cave still contains valuable sculptures.
To the north from Sitabai’s cave there is small Hindu cave No 5. with verandah, it has been abandoned soon after the start of construction.
The 173 m high Stupa Hill is located in the eastern part of island. It contains two caves with Buddhist monuments and also cisterns from 3rd century AD or earlier. One of two caves is not complete. In the other cave there is stupa made in bricks.
Island contains also other remnants of buildings and artwork – after all this was a place for capital city in ancient times
Gajanan Maharaj Temple, Kanhor. MaharashtraShri Sant Gajanan Maharaj is known to most of the people in Maharashtra. He stayed most of his life at Shegaon, near Akola district in Maharashtra and has taken "Samadhi" there. Therefore Shegaon has got a special significance for Maharaj and his devotees. Shegaon hosts a magnificent temple. His devotees have constructed many Gajanan Maharaj Temples in different parts of Maharashtra, India. A small—but beautiful temple has also been constructed at Kanhor, Kulgaon, Badlapur, Dist. Thane.
The temple is situated just outside of Badlapur village on a small hillock surrounded by fields and greenery all around. The enchanting natural beauty around the temple is another attraction for the devotees who visit the temple.
About the TempleShri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Seva Samiti was established in 1981. Shri Vitthalrao Raut gave his land for the construction of the temple. Here is how it happened.
Shri Shripadrao Kulkarni was a committed devotee of Shri Gajanan Maharaj. Once in his dream he was told by Maharaj to construct a temple. Shri Kulkarni, could not think of anything else since that day. He was restless. He told this to his friend Shri Bapat. Both of them started searching for the place to construct a temple. They were told that Badlapur has some land up for sale. The land was under "ceiling" and hence could not be bought for this purpose. When Shri Vitthal Raut, Badlapur came to know about this, he decide to offer his own land for the construction of the temple free of cost. The place is situated on a small hillock just outside the village. On a backdrop of the temple, on a hill, Shri Khandoba blesses all the devotees who visit Maharaj.
The place was transferred to Seva Samiti and then the construction of the temple started. The Bhumipujan was done by Shri Ganapatrao Raut (Father of Shri Vitthalrao Raut) and his wife. Whole of Kanhor participate in this ceremony with zest and enthusiasm. A small miracle happened during these times. An "Audumbar" tree grew up beside the planned location of the temple. Prakat Din utsav was regularly celebrated under this same tree since 1981.This beautiful temple was realized on Vijaya Dashami - Dasara in 1981.
Please refer to the map for directions provided at WikiMapia.
Shree Gajanan Maharaj Prakat Din Utsav PicturesShree Gajanan Maharaj Prakat Din Utsav was held at Shree Gajanan Maharaj Kanhor Temple ( now in its 24th year ) from the 14th February 2009 to 19 February 2009. Some of the pictures are shown below
How to reach Kanhor (Badlapur)Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temple is reachable by State Transport Bus or Auto Rickshaws in 15 minutes from Badlapur (Central) Railway Station. This distance to the temple from Badlapur Railway Station is about 7 Kms.
One can reach Badlapur by local railway from Thane, Kalyan or Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Mumbai)
Gajanan Maharaj Temples, Maharashtra
The Gajanan Maharaj Temples were built to honor Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj, a late-nineteenth–, early-twentieth-century Indian holy man known to many people in Maharashtra, India. His birthdate is unknown; he lived most of his life at Shegaon, near Akola district in Maharashtra, where he died on 8 September 1910. Although Shegaon has special significance for Maharaj and his devotees and hosts a magnificent temple, in every city of Maharashtra one will find a Gajanan Maharaj temple.
Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temple in ShegaonShegaon has gained renown as a pilgrimage center, since Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj lived (and died) there. Hindus consider Gajanan Maharaj a saint, with miraculous powers. His origins are unknown. Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temple is built at his place of death. Sant Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan is the largest temple trust in the Vidarbha region and is known as the "Pandharpur of Vidarbha". It attracts pilgrims from all over Maharashtra.
The Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan (Institution) Temple Trust coordinates the day-to-day affairs of the temple; it is headed by the Managing Trustees, who normally come from the Patil family. The Trust coordinates services in the spiritual, religious, medical and educational fields; most notably, it runs Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj College of Engineering (SSGMCE), a well-known engineering college in the Vidarbha region. It is on Central Railway
Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj and Navi Temples in MumbaiMumbai (formerly known as Bombay) has a number of temples: Bandra East (Government Colony, near Y Quarters), Vile Parle East on Tejpal Scheme Road No. 3, Mahim Kapad Bazar, Goregaon West, Siddharth Nagar (this temple has a remarkable statue), Unnat Nagar, Borivali East, Ghatkopar, D. Y. Patil College in Nerul, Vashi and Dadar West.
As of 2011, a new temple is under construction near Manor in Bhopoli (on the way to Ahmedabad). Another temple of Gajanan Maharaj is located at Titwala East in Maanda (which is also known for Maha Ganapati Mandir); it was established by the late Shri Gurunath Mhetre. There are also temples in Dombivali, Ratnagiri, Palghar, Indore, Belgaum and Dahanu (outside Mumbai). A new temple is under construction in Madgaon, Goa.
Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temples in Kanhor and Ambernath
Main article: Gajanan Maharaj Temple - KanhorA small—but beautiful—temple has also been constructed at Kanhor, Kulgaon, Badlapur (in District Thane). The temple is located just outside of Badlapur village on a small hillock, surrounded by fields and greenery. The natural beauty around the temple is another attraction for devotees.
Another temple (with a large statue) is in Ambernath, near the railway station.
Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temple, Thane (Ram Maruti Road)Shri Vinay Joshi, an ardent devotee of Maharaj, has devoted his own property for the temple. Vinay Joshi conducted and participated in an 18-day padayatra (trip) to Shegaon from Thane with five other friends and devotees. He is an artist himself (with a screen-printing business), in addition to conducting pilgrimages to Shegaon and other religious shrines. Vinay Joshi himself has sculpted and painted the 2½-foot-tall plaster of Paris statue in "Kalpavruksha", his residence on Ram Maruti Road. Hundreds of devotees pay their respects at this shrine, and Joshi's selflessness is impressive.
Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj, Mandir, NagpurThe temple of Sant Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon is organised by Yogiraj Gajanan Seva Pratisthan in Nagpur. There are several other temples dedicated to Gajanan Maharaj, including Reshim Baug (Varhadpande Kaka), Zenda Chowk Dharampeth (the oldest temple, after Shegaon), Lakdi Pool, Mahal and Chikhali Layout.
Gajanan Maharaj Temple, IndoreThe temple of Sant Gajanan Maharaj of Indore is coordinated by Shri Sadguru Gajanan Maharaj Sevashram in Indore.
Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temple at AurangabadWonderful temple has been constructed at Aurangabad during 1989-1991. Click here for the image http://www.panoramio.com/photo/62136544 by Suresh Joshi
Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temple at PuneThere are three temples in and around Pune city. The first one is at Tulsi Baug, the second one at Sahakar Nagar and a huge one, third one is at a private property at Wakad.
Ganapati Temple, Redi, Maharashtra
Redi - Ganpati Temple is located approximately 30 km from Vengurla. The town in which this temple is situated contains manganese mines and the Ganpati Idol was found in one of the mines near Rewati port in 1976. The ganpati Idol is in a sitting position and approximately 15 meters in height. There is a small rocky beach behind the temple.
Vengurla is located at a latitude of 15°52 North and a longitude of 73°39 East. It is located 200 km from Ratnagiri and 522 km from Mumbai. Vengurla lie on the shores of the Arabian Sea . It is delimited by Dabholi, Math, Ubhadanda , Ansur and Tulas , in the Vengurla taluka, and is 66 km from Panjim, the capital of the state of Goa.
Vengurla is located at a latitude of 15°52 North and a longitude of 73°39 East. It is located 200 km from Ratnagiri and 522 km from Mumbai. Vengurla lie on the shores of the Arabian Sea . It is delimited by Dabholi, Math, Ubhadanda , Ansur and Tulas , in the Vengurla taluka, and is 66 km from Panjim, the capital of the state of Goa.
Distance from :-
Ratnagiri -- 200km
Belgaum -- 120km
Panjim -- 66 km
Sawantwadi -- 30km
kudal -- 22 km
Malwan -- 45 km
Temples in Vengurla (Maharashtra)
Vengurla is famous for its temples like Rameshwar, Purvas, Gawadeshwar, Rawalnath, Bhutnath, Vetoba, Sateri Mandir (Parabwada), Mansishwar, Sagareshwar, Sai mandir (Vengurla S.T. Stand), Maruti mandir (near bus stop), Maruti Mandir (khardekar road), Maruti Mandir (on the hill), Maruti Mandir (kubalwad), Ganesh Mandir (old S T stand), Dnyaeshwar Mandir, Pateshwar, Ekmukhi Dutt mandir (kubalwada), Dutt Mandir (vengurla bazzar), Vitthal Mandir (Bhujnakwadi), Vitthal Mandir (Dabhoswada), Vitthal Mandir (Nath pai road), Ram Mandir (Kubalwada), Ram Mandir (nath pai road), Ram Mandir (near Rameshwar), Swami Samarth Mandir (khyalgiri-Camp), Bharadi Mandir, Narayan Mandir.
Ganj Golai, MaharashtraGanj Golai is a construction located in the heart of Latur City, Maharashtra. The famous 'Ganjgolai' being the central place of the city. The town planner Shri Faiyajuddin prepared the plan for the 'Ganjgolai'. The main building of the Ganj Golai is a huge two-storeyed structure which was constructed in the year 1917. In the middle of the circular structure is the temple of Goddess Jagdamba. There are 16 roads connecting to this Ganj Golai and along these roads are separate markets selling all kinds of traditional localware such as gold ornaments to footwears and food items from chilli to jaggery.. Thus, the 'Ganjgolai' has become the main commercial and trade centre of this city.
Grishneshwar, also known as Ghushmeshwar, is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the sacred abodes of Shiva. The temple is located eleven km from Daulatabad, near Aurangabad in Maharashtra India. The temple is located near the famous Ellora Caves.
JyotirlingaAs per Shiv Mahapuran, once Brahma (the Hindu God of creation) and Vishnu (the Hindu God of saving) had an argument in terms of supremacy of creation To test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga. Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either directions. Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Shiva appeared as a second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped till the end of eternity. The jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The jyothirlinga shrines, thus are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. Originally there were believed to be 64 jyothirlingas while 12 of them are considered to be very auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve jyothirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity - each considered different manifestation of Shiva At all these sites, the primary image is lingam representing the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva. The twelve jyothirlinga are Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andra Pradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas, Bhimashankar in Maharastra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Triambakeshwar in Maharastra, Vaidyanath at Deogarh in Jharkand, Nageswar at Dwarka in Gujarat, Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Grishneshwar at Aurangabad in Maharastra.
The TempleThe Grishneswar temple was re-constructed by Maloji Bhosale of Verul, (grandfather of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) in the 16th century and later by Ahilyabai Holkar in 18th century, who also re-constructed the Kashi Vishwanath temple at Benares, and the Vishnupad Mandir at Gaya.
PilgrimageGrishneshwar is an ancient pilgrimage site revered as the abode of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. It is located at a distance of 11 km from Daulatabad near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Daulatabad was once known as Devagiri. Located nearby are the popular tourist attractions Ellora - featuring ancient rock cut monuments from the 1st millennium CE, and Ajanta known for its exquisite cave paintings again from the 1st millennium CE.
The Grishneswar temple was constructed by Ahilyabhai Holkar who also re-constructed the Kashi Viswanatha temple at Benares and the Vishnu Paada temple at Gaya. Grishneshwar is also known as Ghushmeshwar.
LegendLegend has it that a devout woman Kusuma offered worship to Shiva regularly by immersing a Shivalingam in a tank, as a part of her daily ritual worship. Her husband's first wife, envious of her piety and standing in society murdered Kusuma's son in cold blood. An aggrieved Kusuma continued her ritual worship, and when she immersed the Shivalingam again in the tank, her son was miraculously restored to life. Shiva is said to have appeared in front of her and the villagers, and then one is believed to have been worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlinga Ghusmeshwar and also known as Kusumeshwar Jyotirlinga.
Transport for Daulatabad
Road TransportDaulatabad is in the outskirts of Aurangabad, and is on the Aurangabad - Ellora road (National Highway 211). Aurangabad is well connected by road, rail and air.
Rail TransportDaulatabad rail station is located on the Kachiguda-Manmad section of the Nanded Division of South Central Railway. Until reorganisation in 2003, it was a part of the Hyderabad Division Aurangabad is a major station near to Daulatabad.
Hari Mandir (Mumbai)
Shree Sanatan Dharam Sabha (Regd.), Geeta Bhavan, Hari Mandir, commonly known as Hari Mandir (Devnagari: हरि मंदिर, मुंबई), is a Hindu temple (mandir) dedicated to Lord Ram and Krishna. It is located in Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar, Mumbai, India. Established in 1950 and rebuilt in 1980, it is one of the oldest and most famous temples in the locality from Sion–Chembur to Wadala–Matunga.
HistoryIn the year 1947 after the Partition of India, which was the worst massacre of the 20th century millions of refugees came to India. Among them around 1000 human beings moved to Mumbai (previously known as Bombay). They were barefooted,starving and in search of a place to live. They found a camp in the military barracks of Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar. After settling down,they felt the need to open a place of religious worship. In late 1947 people gathered and brought idols from their house and started praying. Mats-carpets were in the name of wall and tin-sheet for roof and established a raw temple(Mandir). On 13 April 1950 a proper structural temple created and was named as "Hari Mandir". In Year 1953 mandir received Land from Government of India and established a proper temple also registered a trust named as "Shree Sanatan Dharam Sabha (Regd.) Mumbai" In 1980 trust installed new moorti (idols) of Lord Shree Ram, Mata Sita, Laxmiji, Hanumanji, Shree Radhe-Krishna, Matarani, Mahadev Shivji and Mata Parvati which is present till date.
StructureThe present structure of Hari Mandir was a rebuild of year 2000, The temple has three spires on top of three main shrines adjacent to each other. On the left side shrine there are idols of Shiva–Parvati, center shrine has idols of Ram Darba (i.e. Rama–Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman) with Radhe–Krishna while shrine of right has idols of Durga and Santoshi Mata. Temple also has separate idols of deity Ganpati & Hanumanji on Left & Right side respectively with Mata Yamuna, Mata Ganga, Saraswati Mata, Bharat Mata and Gayatri Mata surrounded. The three main shrines is also surrounded by the Carving Structure of Story of Lord Shree Ram (Ramayan). Temple has a separate shrine dedicated to Lord Shiv in form of Shivling. There is an air-conditioned hall on the first floor for the purpose of religious & social discourses. The whole Temple is secured by CCTV cameras which were installed in year 2009
FestivalsEvery Hindu Festival is celebrated, but the main festivals are Ram Navmi, Krishna Janmashtami, Navratri and Hanuman Jayanti. Every year 7 days Shrimad Bhagwat Katha is organized before Shree Krishna Janmashtami which is very popular in locality. Also a huge crowd of devotees can been seen at the time of Shree Ram Navmi where bhandara(Community Fest) is organized. Nine Day Navratri is celebrated in a grand way where every evening there is a Mata Ki Chowki being performed by different artists.
Jyoti from VaishnodeviMany of the devotees of Hari Mandir are regular pilgrim of Mata vaishno devi(Jammu) so for their convenience Trust made a unique idea which is one of it kind in the whole City. On 13 September 2006 trust brought a flaming (Akhand) Jyoti from Divine Enclave of Mata Vaishnodevi (Jammu) and Established at Hari Mandir which is flaming intact till date.
Social workEvery year Temple Trust organized Mathura–Vrindavan Tour for devotees at the time of Holi festival, also organizes free tour to Mata Vaishnodevi (Jammu) for Poor's, Trust often organize free camp for eye checking, diabetes blood sugar, yoga training etc.
Jivdani Mata, MaharashtraJivdani Mata (Marathi: जिवदानी माता) is a Hindu Goddess. The main temple of the goddess is situated atop a hill, in Virar, Maharashtra, India.
LocationThe Goddess rests in a temple situated about 1460 steps above the ground on a hill that forms a part of the Satpura Range in Virar, a northern Mumbai suburb, about 60 km away from Mumbai. The hill offers a very picturesque view of Virar and its vicinity. During the nine days of the Navratri festival many followers visit the shrine, and devotees also tend to visit on Tuesdays and Sundays.
MythologyThe name Virar comes from Eka-viraa. Just as Tunga Parvat becomes “Tunga-ar”, similarly “Vira” becomes “Vira-ar”.There is a huge temple of Eka-vira Devi on the banks of Vaitarna River at the foot hills of Tunga Parvat, (this is now totally broken by the continuous raids of Mohamedeans and Portuguese in last 400 years), where people used to conclude their “Shurpaaraka Yatra”, as described in the Puranas and local legends. There is a huge tank here dedicated to Eka veera Devi called “Viraar Tirtha”, i.e. “Eka- Viraa Tirtha”. Even today, on the west banks of Viraar Tirtha, one finds a carved stone about three feet long and nine inches broad. Below that is a group of female figures of the Yoginis of Ekaveera Devi. Nearby one can find a stone with a roughly cut cow and calf (Savatsa Dhenu), a symbol of Govardhana Math which symbolizes eternity or Moksha.
Moving ahead near the foot of a knoll of rock are two cow’s feet (Go-Paad) roughly cut in rock. The legendary story of Jivdani Devi is as follows: During their forest journey, Pandavas came to Shurparaka. They visited the holy temple of Vimaleshwar consecrated by Lord Parashuram and on their journey to Prabhas halted on the banks of Vaitarni river. There they worshipped the Bhagavati Ekaveera on the banks of Viraar Tirtha and seeing the serenity and lofty nature decided to carve caves in the nearby mountains. They did so on the hills nearby and installed and worshipped the Yoga Linga of Ekaveera devi in one of the caves. They called her Bhagavati Jeevadhani (That is Goddess, who is the real wealth of life). Doing so Pandavas also made a set of small caves now known as “Pandav Dongri” about a mile from Shirgaon for the hermits. Many yogis used to stay in Pandav Dongri and have darshan of Jeevdhani Devi.
After the onset of Kali Yuga, and after the advent of the Buddhist faith, the number of Vaidik Yogis lessened and slowly people forget the hillock and the devi. During times of Jagadguru Shankaracharya’s advent, a Mahar or Mirashi used to stay in Viraar who used to graze the village cattle. He came to Nirmal Mandir for the darshan of Jagadguru Shankaracharya Padmanabha Swami and requested His Holiness to bless him so that he could have darshan of his beloved Kuladevata. Jagadguru was pleased with the devotion of Mahar and advised him to serve Go-Mata on the foothills of Jivadhani, and at appropriate time he would have darshan of his Goddess and attain Go-Loka. He literally for the rest of life followed the advice of Jagadguru Shankaracharya and herded the village cattle. While grazing the village cattle, he used to see a cow grazing along with, whose owner never paid him for herding her. By his virtue, he determined to find the owner of the cow. He followed the cow on the top of Jeevdhan Hill. A beautiful woman with divine features appeared. The Mahar remembered the words of Jagadguru Shankaracharya and understood that she is none other than his Kuladevi Jeevdhani, he was overjoyed and asked “Oh Mother ! I have grazed your cow, will you not pay me for her herding ?”. The Devi just smiled in delight and was on the point of putting some money in the Mahar’s hand, when he said “Do not touch me, I am Mahar. Give me something which cannot be spoilt by touch, words, smell, figure, and ether.” Knowing this Devi asked “Lo my child, whence from you learned this unique knowledge of Varnashram Dharma and Moksha Dharma?”. To this Mahar replied, “From none other than by the Grace of Jagadguru Shankaracharya”. Bhagavati was pleased by this and said “By your virtue (Punya), see this cow which is none other than Kaamadhenu has taken your forefathers to higher abodes by her tail, crossing the Vaitarini”. Thus saying the Mahar saw the cow lept from the hill top putting her two feet prints on hill foor and other two across Vaitarini River in heavens. Now Devi told, “I confer upon you the thing which you demanded that is Moksha.”
Saying so the Mahar attained Moksha (The real Jeeva Dhana, the real wealth of Life)and the Devi was about to disappear in the cave, when a barren woman saw all this divine incident screamed “Devi Devi, Amba Amba, will you leave this barren daughter of yours without our jeevan dhan a child in my laps?”. Devi was pleased by her prayers and said “ Great indeed are you who saw all three of us. I henceforth bless you with a child.” The lady was not satisfied by this, she said “Oh Mother of the three worlds, do not just bless me, but let all barren daughters of you who pray you be conferred with the child”. Devi was pleased at this and said “See henceforth, due to the advent of Kali Yuga, in order to maintain purity of rituals, I will stay into a hole in the niche of the cave. The barren women who offer me the beetlenuts in this hole, as is offered in my original place in Mahurgad, will be rewarded with a progeny”. Thus saying the Devi disappeared.
This lady spread out the incident and thus once again the Jeevdhan hill started to be visited by the pilgrims. The presently installed image is a very recent one, the original sanctum sanctorum is the hole in the niche of the cave, which is the central place of worship. A fair is held on the Dusherra day which is attended by thousands of people. The fort is visited by tourists frequently. The temple of the Devi is completely renovated and there is a beautiful idol of Devi in white marble. There is also a temple dedicated to Sri Krishna.
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )