Aundha Nagnath Temple is an ancient Shiva temple, a Jyotirlinga, located at Aundha Nagnath in Hingoli district of Maharashtra. 25 km from Hingoli, 61 km from Nanded and 204 km from Aurangabad, Aundha Nagnath Temple is located at Aundha Nagnath in Hingoli district of Maharashtra. There is an ancient Hindu temple. It is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Maharashtra and one of the best places to visit near Aurangabad.
Aundha Nagnath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered one of the 12 sacred Jyotirlingas in India. Other Jyotirlinga shrines in Maharashtra are Vaidyanath near Parli, Trimbakeshwar near Nashik, Ghrishneshwar near Aurangabad and Bhimshankar. Also, the temple is closely associated with the lives of saints like Visoba Khechara, Namdev and Dnyaneshwar. Namdev went to the Dnyaneshwar temple where he was instructed to go to the Aundha Nagnath temple to find a suitable guru.
Aundha Nagnath (Nageswaram) is a temple in the Hingoli district of the Indian state of Maharashtra, an important pilgrimage site. The present temple was built by the Seuna (Yadava) dynasty and is said to date back to the 13th century. The first temple is said to date back to the Mahabharata period and is believed to have been built by Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, when he was banished from Hastinapur for 14 years. It is mentioned that the temple building was seven storeyed before it was demolished by Aurangzeb.
The area of the temple is 669.60 sq m (7200 sq ft) and the height is 18.29 m (60 ft) The total area spread over the temple premises is about 60,000 sq. ft. Apart from the religious significance, the temple itself is worth seeing for its beautiful carvings. The foundation of the present temple is of Hemadpanti architecture, though its upper part was repaired later and is in the style prevalent during the Peshwa rule.
The Jyotirlinga is located below the ground level which has to be accessed by two deep steps. There are 12 small temples of 12 Jyotirlingas in Aundha Nagnath area. There are also 108 temples and 68 shrines within the premises, all of them belonging to Lord Shiva.
This temple was destroyed during Aurangzeb’s victory. The present standing temple was rebuilt by Ahilyabai Holkar.
A famous story is told about Namdev and Aundha Nagnath temple. Once he was chanting bhajans in front of the temple along with Dnyaneshwar, Visoba Khechara and some other devotees, the temple priests told him that his singing in front of the temple was disturbing his regular pooja and prayers and asked him to leave the temple. The priest of the temple insulted Bhagat Namdev and told him why he came to the temple because he was of low caste. Then Bhagat Namdev went to the back side of the temple and started chanting hymns there. But God moved around the temple to be in the sight of the sad devotee and listen to the bhajans. Why Nandi is at the back of the temple is a testimony to that miracle.
Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, is said to have visited the Aundha Nagnath temple during his travels in the area and also visited Narasi Bamni, the birthplace of Namdev. It has to be mentioned here that Namdev is worshiped as Bhagat Namdev in Sikhism.
The best time to visit the temple is during the festivals of Ekadashi, Vijayadashami and Mahashivratri when a large number of devotees come to visit the temple.