Mahadev Khola Dham
#20 of 29 Places to Visit in Shillong
Distance (From Shillong Bus Stand): 5 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): 1-2 Hours
Transportation Options: + Walk/Trek
Travel Tips: None
At a distance of 5 km from Shillong Bus Stand, Mahadev Khola Dham is an ancient Hindu temple located in Shillong, Meghalaya. It is one of the oldest temples in Meghalaya and among the famous places of pilgrimage in Shillong.
Believed to be about 150 years old, the Mahadev Khola Dham is a cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to legend, the temple is built at the spot where Lakhiya Baba, a sage was decided to stay and meditate. A subedar-major of 8th Gorkha Regiment dreamt of the sage mediating with a trishul (trident) in his hand and a rudraksh' necklace around his neck. The very next day, the man searched for the sage and found him at the place where the mandir' stands today. During the course of excavation for construction of the temple, the subedar-major found a huge shivling and thus the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The present temple was built by several persons after independence, but the earlier one was built with the permission of the then British government. There is a small opening in the cave that leads to another cave. A small statue of Lord Shiva guards the entrance. It is believed that the opening leads to the ancient Kamakhya temple atop the Nilachal Hills in Kamrup, Assam directly. Apart from the main temple, there are many small temples in the complex, which are believed to have been built by devotees of Mahadev Khola Dham.
A grand mela of Lord Shiva is held for three days every year on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri at this temple. During the mela, more than 25,000 people visit the temple for the lord's blessings.
Timings: 6 AM - 12 PM & 4.30 PM - 6 PM