More Jyotirlinga Shrines : 108 Famous Hindu Shrines in Maharashtra- Part 10 (Post No.11,976)

Nagnath Temple


Post No. 11,976

Date uploaded in London – –  May 6 2023                  

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 Part 10

Lord Shiva or Mahadeva – The Great God , The God of Yogis , is responsible for change in the form of death and destruction  and thus helping regeneration. Lord Shiva is conceived in his unborn , invisible form as the Shiva Lingam , the symbol is worshipped in every Hindu Temple and Home.


41.Aundha Nagnath Temple, Hingoli (औंढा नागनाथ मंदिर) 

One of the names of Shiva is Naaganaatha. (Snake God, one who wears snake as belt). We have a temple in Tamil Nadu with this name.

Considered to be one of the Jyotirlingas, Aundha Nagnath (Nageshwar) temple is at the village Aundha in Hingoli district. It is at a distance of 52 kms from Parbhani and 65 kms from Nanded.

Devotees believe that this temple was built by Yuthisthira, eldest of the Pandava brothers. It had 7 tier tower and Muslim fanatic Aurang zeb demolished it.

It is in the Marathwada region. Nearest International  airport is Aurnagabad, which is 210 kilometres away. Nanded airport is 70 kilometres away. Nearest railway station is Chondi which is situated 21 kilometres from Aundha.

This temple was built by Sena kings of Yadava dynasty in 13th  century. After Aurnag zeb’s detruction, Indore Maharani Ahalyabhai Holkar reconstructed it.

Among the 12 Jyotirlingas, 5 of them are situated in Maharashtra. And the devotees throng these holy places in large numbers every year.

Since it is one of the 12 Jyotir lingas, devotees give utmost importance to visit this temple. It has got beautiful carvings and sculptures. All the 12 Jyotirlinga temples are in miniature form here.


42.Kailasanatha Shiva Temple, Ellora Caves

The Ellora caves are situated  about 29 kilometres (18 miles) northwest of the city of Aurangabad, 300 kilometres (190 miles) east-northeast of Mumbai, 235 kilometres (146 miles) from Pune and about 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of the Ajanta Caves, 2.3 kilometres (1.42 miles) from Grishneshwar Temple .

Kailasanatha temple at Ellora is the largest monolithic rock-cut monument in the world. At 32 metres high and 78 metres long, it is widely considered remarkable for its size, architecture and sculptural treatment. It is a rock-hewn rendition of a structural Shaivite temple executed as a freestanding form in a large open court.

The temple’s uniform architectural programme, combined with more recent studies of sculpture and iconography, have led to a new consensus attributing it to around two decades of activity under the Rashtrakuta kings Dantidurga and Krishna I in the late eighth century CE.

Kailasa temple (Cave 16) is the largest of the 34 Hindu, Buddhist and Jain cave temples and monasteries known collectively as the Ellora Caves.

The temple has carvings of different forms of Shiva and other Hindu divinities. The Shiva sculptures can be broadly classified under Samharamurti or the aggressive form, Anugrahamurti or the benign form, Nrittamurti or Shiva’s dancer form, and Shiva as guru or the teaching form.

One can see ,

The carved panel of Gajalakshmi,flanked by two colossal dvarapalas;

carved elephants and lions ;

Sabhamandapa is carved with detailed narrative friezes depicting the Ramayana, while the northern lower exterior wall is carved with the Mahabharata narrative.

The upper storey of the Kailasanatha includes the temple proper, consisting of a Nandi mandapa; a sixteen-pillared sabhamandapa with porches on the north, west and south; the garbhagriha surmounted by a vimana with four talas; and five subsidiary shrines to the north, northeast, southeast and south of the vimana.

During the reign of Muslim fanatic Aurangzeb, an attempt was made to destroy the temple, apparently, 1000 workers were sent to dismantle it and after three years it sustained only negligible damage in the form of a few dented or defaced figurines. Ultimately with no hope to succeed Aurangzeb had to give up and the temple stood there resiliently.


Ambarnath Shiva Mandir, Ambarnath

Please see the description in earlier parts.


43.Kopeshwar Shiva Temple, Kolhapur District

Kopeshwar Temple is at Khidrapur, Kolhapur district, Maharashtra. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva.

Sangli is 36 km and Kolhapur is 60 km from the temple

The entire temple is divided into four parts Swargamandapa, Sabhamandapa,Antaral kaksha and Garbha gruha. The Swargamandapa has a vestibule with an open top. The sanctum is conical.

The exterior has stunning carvings of deities and secular figures. Elephant statues sustain the weight of the temple at the base. In the interior, we first see Vishnu (Dhopeshwar) & Shivaling facing north. But there is no Nandi who has a separate Mandir. The Garbhagriha or the sanctum has two Lingas .

Swarga Mandapa

The architecture of Swarga mandap is unique. This mandap is round in shape and is constructed with the support of 48 well carved rounded stone pillars which are placed in three circles. Each of the 48 pillars has been carved in different shapes -round, square, hexagon and octagon. Another unique feature of Swarga Mandap is that a part of the circular ceiling in the middle (with a radius of 13 feet) is open to the sky. The sanctum is conical. The exterior has stunning carvings of deities and secular figures.

Temple is situated on the banks of river Krishna  The temple was probably  built in 7th century AD, during the reign of the Chalukya Kings. It was patronized by the Shilahara Kings during the 12th and 13th century. The temple was built with basalt stone which was imported from South India.

Sati’s self-immolation at her father Daksha’s Yajna is a well known story in Hindu Puranas.  After Sati killed herself, Shiva became angry. Vishnu stepeds in to pacify his anger. Since Shiva was angry he got the name Kopeshwar. Kopa means anger in Sanskrit. Vishnu is present here as the second linga to pacify Shiva.

Net we will look at one more Jyotir linga at Parli Vaidhyanatham.

To be continued…………………………..

 Tags- Ellora, Kailasanatha, Kopeshwar, Swarga mandapa, Aundha, Naganath, Jyotir linga

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