Part 13, Four Temples in Mahabaleshwar:108 Famous Shrines in Maharashtra (Post No.11,998)


WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 11,998

Date uploaded in London – –  13 May , 2023                  

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

https://www.pustaka.co.in/home/author/london-swaminathan

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Mahabaleshwar is in the beautiful Sahyadri Mountain Range known as Western Ghat. There are four Shiva temples in this area. 1.Mahabaleshwar 2.Krishnabhai Temple, 3.Panchaganga Temple and 4. Atibaleshwar temple

Part 13

57.Mahabaleshwar Temple, Mahabaleshwar

The name of city Mahabaleshwar came from the Lord Shiva (Mahabali), the temple situated in old Mahabaleshwar, popularly known as Kshetra Mahableshwar. It is situated 5 Km from M’shwar city. Where there are different temples, one Krishnabai Temple, the oldest one built in 13th Century. The 5 holy rivers Krishna, Venna, Koyana, Savitri and Gayatri starts from here called as “Panchganga Temple”.

Mahabaleshwar is 124 kms away from Pune Railway Station and 61 kms far from Satara Railway Station and 178 Kms from Kolhapur Railway Station.

Located at a distance of 6 km from the city of Mahabaleshwar; Mahabaleshwar temple is an ancient shrine and an ideal example of the Maratha heritage

It was built by Chanda Rao More dynasty in the 16th century. The magnificent temple is guarded by a five feet wall and has two sections- the inner area and the outer area. The inner part, known as the sanctum sanctorum, has Shiva as the presiding deity.


The main and central attraction of this temple is the 6 feet long Shiva lingam of which only the tip is visible, depicting the stone incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Mahabaleshwar Temple has a very serene and spiritual environment.

The word ‘Mahabaleshwar’ comes from the word ‘Mamleshwar’ which stands for Lord Shiva (God of Mavalas). The first historical mention of Mahabaleshwar goes back to 1215 when the King Singhan of Deogiri visited the Old Mahabaleshwar. He contributed in the infrastructure by building a small temple and water tank at the source of the river Krishna.

The inner section of the temple houses the 500-year old self-originated lingam that is also known as the Mahalingam. The temple also showcases a 300-year old Trishul, rudraksha, damru and a bad of Lord Shiva, which supposedly shows the presence of Lord Shiva with crumbled bed sheet every morning.

The temple building is divided into the central hall and the sanctum sanctorum, which houses a 1.8 m long Swayambhu linga, which is believed to be around 500 years old and is shaped like a Rudraksha.

Inside the shrine, there is a square platform made of gold that is believed to have been donated by the great Maratha warrior, Chhatrapati Shivaji. It is said that the platform has the weight equal to that of his mother, Jijabai.

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58.Krishnabai Temple

Krishnabai Temple is one of the oldest shrines in the region, located close to Panchganga Temple. This age-old temple is believed to be the origin of the Krishna River. Another belief is that this shrine belongs to the age of Pandavas. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this place of worship also has a Shiva lingam on its premises.

The Temple is built in 1888, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Overlooking the picturesque Krishna Valley, it is believed that the location of this temple is the origin of the Krishna River. While the temple hosts a Shiva lingam and an exquisite statue of Lord Krishna, it also boasts of stone-carved columns and ceilings that showcase the ancient Hemadpanti architectural style.

Housing the Swayambhi Shiva Linga, Shree Shankar Temple is a very holy site for Hindus near Mahabaleshwar. Also known as the Trigunatmaka – trio of the deities Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara, the Shiva Linga here is unique for its shape as that of Rudraksha. Carvings of the Panchganga rivers can be seen on the top of the Shiva Linga.

Today, this temple may be in a ruined state but history lovers come here to witness the beautiful carvings on its walls and also the green moss that has almost covered the structure. After exploring the temple, you can also enjoy trekking on the trail leading into the forest, located close to the temple.

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The site has two more temples nearby, namely the Atibaleshwar temple and the Panchganga temple. Mahabaleshwar Temple is quintessential of the authentic Hemadant architectural style of South India.

59.Panch Ganga Temple, Mahabaleshwar

Located at the confluence of five rivers – River Krishna, Koyna, Gayatri, Savitri and Veena, the Panch Ganga Temple is a stunning ancient religious monument which was built by Singhandeo, a Yadava King in the 13th century. It has a stone waterspout called Gaumukhi (Face of a Cow) from where, it is believed, that the five rivers originate.

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60.Atibaleshwar Mandir

Atibaleshwar madir is positioned in Mahabaleshwar the temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. It is  near Mahabaleshwar Temple and more than 400 years old. One can say twin Shivalaya particularly-Mahabaleshwar and Atibaleshwar.

A beautiful Nandi may be witnessed here. Athma linga and Uthsava linga are there.

There is a mythological story behind Mahabaleshwar as well as Atibaleshwar temple. It is said that there were two demons namely Mahabal and Atibal. They were very wicked  and Vishnu killed Atibal and Mahamaya, killed Mahabal  . Shiv stayed there in the form of Mahabaleshwar, Vishnu as Atibaleshwar and Brahma as Koteshwar..

It’s a small temple. The height of doors are low and there is full darkness inside the temple. You have to keep your torch on to see. Temple management should lit a bulb here for the convenience of devotees.

To be continued……………………………………….

Tags – Mahabaleshwar, Krishnabai, Pancha Ganga, temples, Source, River Krishna

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