Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

An important pilgrimage site for Hindus, this ancient temple is located in a quaint village about 30 km from Aurangabad and within the confines of the historic Ellora Caves. A prominent name in the list of places to visit near Aurangabad, this temple is considered a religious site for Hindu devotees. It is also said to be the last or 12th ‘Jyotirlinga’ on earth.

Built in a pre-historic architectural style and featuring carvings of several Hindu deities on the walls in red bricks, the temple was later renovated in the 18th century. According to mythology, holy water springs from inside the temple and purifies one’s heart and soul.

About 1 km from Ellora Caves and 29 km from Aurangabad, Ghrineshwar or Ghushmeshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in Verul village in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It is one of the famous pilgrimage sites in Maharashtra, a must visit as part of Ellora tour package.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Ghrishneshwar Temple is considered to be the last or 12th Jyotirlinga on earth. It is one of the major places to visit in Ellora and one of the major pilgrimage sites near Aurangabad. The presiding deity, in the form of Jyotirlinga, is known by many names such as Kusumeshwar, Ghushmeswar, Ghrishmeswar and Ghrishneswar. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s grandfather Maloji Raje Bhosale rebuilt the Ghrishneshwar temple in the 16th century. Later, the temple was rebuilt in the 18th century by Rani Ahilyabhai Holkar, a Maratha princess who ruled Indore from 1765 to 1795.

According to the legend, there lived a Brahmin couple named Sudharma and Sudha, a Brahmavetta on Mount Devagiri. They had no children and Brahmavetta married her sister Ghushma as per Sudheha’s wishes. At the behest of Sudheha, Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and immerse them in a nearby lake. With the blessings of Lord Shankara, she got a son. Out of jealousy, one night Sudheha killed the baby and the pond where Ghushma used to release the linga. Mourning in pain, Ghushma continued to worship the Shivalinga. As she immersed the linga in water, Lord Shiva appeared before her and gave life to her son. Since then Lord Shankara is worshiped as Jyotirlinga Ghushmeswara.

Made of red volcanic rock, this 240 x 185 feet tall cubicle-shaped temple is a fine example of medieval architecture with beautiful carvings, fascinating friezes and sculptures of Indian gods and goddesses. The temple has a sanctum sanctorum, sanctum sanctorum and assembly hall. Ghrishneshwar Temple is famous for its 5 levels of Shikar and pillar carvings. At the top of the temple is a gold vein or Kalash. Another feature is the holy water flowing from inside the temple. Aurangabad can also be visited with a tour package.

Mahashivratri is a very important religious festival celebrated here. This can be the best time to visit this temple.

  • Location: Ghrishneshwar, Ellora, Aurangabad.
  • Time: 5 am to 9 pm
  • Entry Fee: None.

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