Grishneshwar Temple is an ancient pilgrimage site revered as the abode of one of the 12 Jyotirling manifestation of Lord Shiv. The Grishneshwar Jyotirling shrine is located at a village called Verul, which lies 20 km from Daulatabad (near Aurangabad in Maharashtra) and approximately 100 kms from Manmad station. Located close to Daulatabad (once known as Devagiri) is the popular tourist attractions Ajanta - Ellora. On this holy pilgrimage of the JyotirLings of Lord Shankar, the last one, with out which the pilgrimage will not be considered as complete, is the twelfth JyotirLing, of Grishneshwar.

The Grishneswar Temple was constructed by Ahilyabhai Holkar who also re-constructed the Kashi Viswanatha Temple at Varanasi and the Vishnu Paada Temple at Gaya. The Grishneshwar Temple is also known by several other names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswar, Grushmeswar and Grishneswar.

“Blessed by VerulNagar, there is no other place like it on this earth, where Lord Grishneswara resides, the best palce on this earth.” – Madhwamunishwar.

This was originally a settlement of the Naga tribes. The place of the Nagas is Bambi, which is known as “Varul” in Marathi “Varul” gradually changed into “Verul” and is known by this name only. River Yelaganga flows here. The name “Verul” is derived from Yelaganga, on whose banks the village is located. There was a king by the name “Yela” here. The capital of his kingdom was Yelapar, or Yelur or Verul.

Legend Behind Shri Grishneshwar Temple

According to Shivapuran, in the southern direction, on a mountain named Devagiri lived a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm along with his wife Sudeha. The couple did not have a child because of which Sudeha was sad. Sudeha prayed and tried all possible remedies but in vain. Frustrated of being childless, Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. On the advice of her sister, Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and discharge them in the near by lake.

With the blessings of Lord Shiv, Ghushma gave birth to a baby boy. Because of this, Ghushma became proud and Sudeha started feeling jealous towards her sister. Out of jealously, one night she killed Ghushma’s son and threw him in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge the lingas.

Next morning, Ghushmas and Sudharm got involved in daily prayers and ablutions. Sudeha too, got up and started performing her daily choirs. Ghushma’s daughter-in-law, however, saw stains of blood on her husband’s bed and parts of the body drenched in blood. Horrified, she narrated everything to mother-in-law Ghushma who was absorbed in worshipping Shiv. Ghushma did not deter. Even her husband Sudharma did not move an inch. Even when Ghushma saw the bed drenched in blood she did not break down and said he who has given me this child shall protect him and started reciting ‘Shiv-Shiv’. Later, when she went to discharge the Shivalingas after prayers she saw her son coming. Seeing her son Ghushma was neither happy nor sad. At that time Lord Shiv appeared before her and said - I am pleased with your devotion. Your sister had killed your son. Ghushma told Lord to forgive Sudeh and emancipate her. Pleased with her generosity, Lord Shiv asked her another boon. Ghushma said that if he was really happy with her devotion then he should reside here eternally for the benefit of the multitudes in form of a Jyotirling and may you be known by my name. On her request, Lord Shiv manifested himself in the form of a Jyotirling and assumed the name Ghushmeshwar and the lake was named as Shivalaya thereafter.
History of the Grishneshvar Temple

The very devout Shiv devotee, Bhosale (The Patel or chief of Verul) once found a treasure hidden in the snake pit (ant hill) by the grace of Lord Grishneshwar. He spent that money to renovate the temple and built a lake in Shikharshinganapur.

Later on, Goutamibal (Bayajabai) and Ahilyadevi Holkar renovated the Grishneshwar temple. This 240ft x 185 ft temple is still there strong and beautiful as ever. Halfway up the temple, Dashavataras are carved in red stone. These are beautiful to look at. There are also other beautiful statutes carved out. A court hall is built on 24 pillars. On these pillars there are wonderful carvings.

The scenes and paintings are beautiful. The Garbhagriha measures 17ft x 17 ft. The Lingamurty faces eastward. There is a gorgeous Nandikeshwara in the court hall.


 
 
 
 
 
 
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