Ghrushneshwar / Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
At a distance of 1 km from Ellora Caves and 29 km from Aurangabad Railway Station, Grishneshwar or Ghrushneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is a famous Hindu temple located at Verul village in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana and also one of the famous places of pilgrimage in Maharashtra. This is one of the top places to visit in Aurangabad City and also one of the popular places to visit near Mumbai.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Grishneshwar Temple is believed to be the last or 12th Jyotirlinga on the earth. The presiding deity, in the form of Jyotirlinga, is known by several names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Ghrushmeswara and Grishneswara. The Grishneshwar temple was re-constructed by Maloji Raje Bhosale, the grandfather of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in the 16th century. Later, the temple was again reconstructed in the 18th century by Rani Ahilyabhai Holkar, a Maratha princess who ruled Indore from 1765 CE to 1795 CE.
According to the legend, In the Devagiri Mountain, there lived a Brahmin couple named Brahmavetta Sudharm and Sudeha. They had no children and according to the wish of Sudeha, Brahmavetta married her sister Ghushma. On the advice of Sudeha, Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and discharge them in the nearby lake. With the blessing of Lord Shiva, she gave birth to a son. Out of jealously, on night Sudeha killed the baby and threw him in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge the lingas. Mourning with pain Ghushma continued worshipping the Shivlinga. When she dipped the Linga in water Lord Shiva appeared in front of her and gave life to her son. Since then Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of Jyotirlinga Ghushmeshwar.
This 240 x 185 feet tall cubicle shaped shrine, built of red volcanic rock is a fine example of medieval architecture with beautiful carvings, attractive friezes and sculptures of Indian Gods and Goddess. The temple consists of a garbhagriha, an antarala and a sabha mandapa. Grishneshwar Temple is noted for its 5 tier shikara and carvings on the pillar. A golden spire or a kalasha tops the temple. Another specialty is the holy water, which flows from inside the temple.
Maha Shivaratri is a very important religious festival celebrated here. This could be the best time to pay a visit to visit this temple.
Timings: 5.30 AM to 9.30 PM.