Sri Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
The 12th Jyotirlinga is located in Ellora (also called Verul), less than a kilometre from Ellora Caves – about 30km from Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is also known as Ghrneshwar or Gushmeshwar, meaning “Lord of Compassion”.
The Grishneshwar temple, built of red rocks, is composed of a five-tier spire on shikara. You can see the Dashavatars (ten avatars) of Lord Vishnu carved in red stone.
There is a court hall built on 24 pillars on which you will find carvings of various legends and mythologies of Lord Shiva. The sanctum houses the east-facing linga and a statue of Lord Shiva’s mount, Nandi, the bull in the court hall.
- Grishneshwar is also called Ghushmeshwar and Kusumeshwar.
- Men are required to go bare-chested into the temple.
- This is the smallest Jyotirlinga temple in India.
- Visiting this ancient and divine Jyotirlinga during Mahashivratri would be an ultimate treat for any devotee!.
Grishneshwar Temple is nearly 3000 years old and the Linga is faces east.
Darshan : 05.30 am – 09.30 pm
Darshan during Shravan Maas : 03.00 am – 11.00 pm
Afternoon Pooja : 01.00 pm – 01.30 pm
Evening Pooja : 04.30 pm – 05.30 pm
Other Poojas at Grishneshwar Temple
Mangal Aarti : 4 am
Jalhari Sanghan : 8 am
Maha Prashad : 12 pm
Jalhari Sagan : 4 pm
Evening Aarti : 07.30 pm
Night Aarti : 10 pm
Festivals Celebrated at Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga
- Mahashivaratri : Maha Shivaratri is a grand event at Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple, which falls in February / March every year.
- Ganesh Chaturthi : Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in August / September, dedicated to Lord Ganesh.
- Navratri or Durga Puja : This famous festival celebrated as a symbol of victory of Good over Evil. As per the legend, Goddess Durga defeated a demon king Mahishasura to save the world and restore Dharma. Navratri is celebrated in all parts of India for Nine days. This Navaratri celebration include stage decorations, recital of legend, enacting of the story and chanting of the scriptures of Hinduism.
Other temples near Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga
- Ellora Caves : Ellora Caves is just 1 km from Grishneshwar Temple and a collection of Hindu Caves, Buddhist Caves and Jain Caves and an excellent example of religious harmony during the ancient period.
- Bhadra Maruti Temple, Khuldabad : This temple is dedicated to the monkey god Hanuman and the only Hanuman Temple with the deity in reclining or sleeping position. This Hanuman Temple is just 6 km away from Grishneshwar Temple.
- Aundha Nagnath Jyotirlinga Temple : This temple is 227km from Grishneshwar Temple in the village of Aundha Nagnath in Maharashtra and is the first Jyotirlinga temple. According to beliefs, the eldest of the Pandava brothers Yudhistra built this temple during their exile.
- Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple : This Jyotirlinga temple is near Pune and is about 201km from Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga.
- Parli Vaijnath Jyotirlinga Temple : This Jyotirlinga is located in Parli, Beed district of Maharashtra. Its about 246km from Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga. Devotees believe that health conditions improve by praying in this Temple.
- Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga Temple : This Jyotirlinga is just 214km from Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga in town Trimbak, Nashik District of Maharashtra. The Shiva Linga has three faces symbolising Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma.
Significance of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
Devotees of Lord Shiva believe that by visiting Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, one can reap the benefits of worshipping all 12 jyotirlingas.
Grishneshwar Temple is a classic example of Pre-historic style of architect and has beautiful carvings. Devotees can see the marriage scene of Lord Shiva and his consort in the temple murals and carving. A well that springs holy water in Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga.
An ardent devotee and chief of the Verul village Maloji Bhasle built Grishneshwar Temple in 16th century after he found a treasure hidden inside an anthill. Rani Ahilyabai Holkar, queen of Maratha Malwa Kingdom, renovated Grihneshwar temple in 17th century.
This temple has been mentioned in the Shiva Purana and Padma Purana and several legends are associated with this ancient place of worship.
There are couple of legends associated with this Jyotirlinga.
Legend of Shivalaya
The kind of Verul, during his hunting expeditions, killed animals living in the hermitage of Rishis. The Rishi cursed the king and insects swarmed over his body. The king wandered in the forest and came across a hole with water flowing from it.
The moment king started drinking this water, the insects miraculously vanished from his body. The overwhelmed king did severe penance in that place. Lord Brahma, pleased with the penance, blessed the king and created a lake that came to be known as Shivalaya.
Legend of Kumkumeshwar
Brahmavetta Sudharm, a great Brahmin scholar, and his wife Sudeha, lived in the southern mountain of Devagiri (known as Daulatabad). There were childless and an agonised persuaded her sister Ghushma to marry Sudharm so that they could have a child together.
Eventually, Ghushma and Brahmavetta Sudharm had a son much to the envy of Sudeha. Time passed and the boy grew up to be a handsome young man and eventually got married. Sudeha killed the boy, with jealous feeling, when he was asleep and threw the body into a lake.
A deeply grieving Gushma continued with her routine and during her morning ritual of visiting the lake where she usually made and worshipped a hundred lingers, she saw her son emerging from the lake. Lord Shiva appeared before her and said that Sudeha had killed her son.
Pleased with the devotion of Gushma, Lord Shiva gave back her son and also granted her a boon. Then Gushma requested Lord Shiva to forgive her sister and also to remain in the place. Lord Shiva accepted her request and continued to reside there in the form of a Jyotirlinga and took the name Ghushmeswar in Gushma’s honour.
The site was destroyed by Delhi Sultanate in the 13th-14th century AD. The temple was reconstructed by Maratha ruler Shivaji’s grandfather, Maloju Bhisale of Verul, in the 16th century AD.
The current structure was built by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 18th century AD after the fall of the Mughal Empire