Part 17: Jejuri Khandoba Temple; 108 Famous Hindu Shrines in Maharashtra (Post No.12,026)


Post No. 12,026

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Let us visit some Khandoba and Mhasoba temples now.

Part 17

79. Khandoba Temple at Jejuri

The Khandoba temple of Jejuri is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Khandoba, located on a hill in the town of Jejuri.           Jejuri is at Purandar taluka, Pune districtit .It is about 50 kilometers away from Puna city.

Khandoba (or Martanda Bhairava, Malhari, Malhar)  is a deity worshipped as a manifestation of Lord Shiva mainly in the Deccan plateau — especially in Maharashtra and North Karnataka.

More than 40 to 50 lakh people visit Jejuri every year while around two lakh visit during the annual Jatra.

He is the family deity of many Maharashtrians. There are two temples in Jejuri that are sacred to Lord Khandoba – one is Kadepathaara, and Gad-kot temple.

The temple Gad kot is situated on a hill and one has to climb 200 steps to reach the temple. The climb is steep and one requires good stamina. The temple is made of black stone and one can see turmeric all around giving it the name as Sonyachi Jejuri (Jejuri made of Gold).

The shrine of Khandoba also known as Marthanda Bhairava. The Lord a warrior king adorned with Sword (Khand) and turban looks magnificent. The pooja is done to two swayambhu Lingas representing Shiva & Parvathy. There are two huge stone horses inside the shrine at the gate.

Established by the princely king of Maharashtra on a small hill in a fort, Khandoba Temples are sacred to Hindu god, Khandoba. Set against the backdrop of lush green hills, Khandoba Temples are a must visit on a pilgrimage tour to Maharashtra.


Kadepathaara, the older one amongst the two, looks ancient from its structure. The temple is situated at an elevation of 133 meters and is spread over an area of 11 acres. To reach the temple, devotees will have to climb steep stairs and go through several arches.


This temple has about 450 steps, 18 Kamani (arches) and 350 Dipmalas (lamp-pillars). Although the temple appears small in size, but it has two divisions – Mandap and Gabhara (Garbagraha). Inside the main sanctum of the temple, there is a huge statue of Lord Khandoba with a big ‘Khanda’ (literal meaning swords). In garbhagriha, there are two swayambhu lingams.

Jatra (Yatra), an annual fair that takes place in the month of November is a good time to visit the temple. On an average, approximately 40, 000 people visit the temple to attend the festival. Another important festival that is celebrated with pomp and show is Somvati Amavasya; during which a palanquin procession is organized from the Gad-kot temple to the Karha river.


80.Karmala Bhavani temple

The most important pilgrim spot of Karmala is the beautiful Kamala Bhavani Temple. The temple is dedicated to Kamaladevi, who is considered as the incarnation of Tulja Bhavani Mata (Tuljapur).

It is at a distance of 95 kilometres from Ahmednagar and 140 kilometres from Pune

Rao Raje Nimbalkar built Kamala Bhavani Temple in 1727. The temple attracts numerous visitors with its unique and wonderful architecture. Kamala Bhavani Temple is built in Hemandpathi style of architecture. It is surrounded by a wall and the fort has twenty one bastions with a distance of 115 feet between two bastions.

The temple homes an artistic spire in front of the homakund and three lamp posts (Dipmals) in the back of the homakund.

it has entrance doors in all three sides. Among the gopuras, the one over the west gate is more impressive. You can see a bell in the sabhamandap of the temple, which is nearly 150 years old. There is an inscription over the bell, which mentions that it has been hung there since Sake 1740. Idol of Mahadeo and Ganapati is situated one side of the Goddess and the other side homes idols of Vishnu and Lakshmi.

Magic number ‘96’
Another important attraction of this temple is its magic number ‘96’.  The number ‘96’ has a significant relation with the architecture of Kamala Bhavani Temple. The temple possesses 96 pillars, 96 windows and 96 steps that lead you to the gates of the temple. It also has 96 staircases that reach to the big well called as Barav. The temple top also consists of 96 pictures.

81.Aryadurga devi, Devihasol

Aryadurga devi, Devihasol आर्यादुर्गा देवी देवीहसोळ, is a Hindu temple situated in Devihasol village in Rajapur taluka, Maharashtra.  It is 18 km (11 mi) from Rajapur, 52 km (32 mi) from Ratnagiri and 380 km (240 mi) from Mumbai.[1]

The fair of Aryadurga devi and Navadurga devi (bhalavli) is also famous, occurring annually in October on the eighth day of the Hindu Navratri festival. Goddess Aryadurga is the family deity of many Karahde Brahmin.

Several other temples, including in the towns of Mahakali, Adivare, Marleshwar, and Ganpatipule are located nearby.

There was a cruel demon named Vratsaru, who was very strong. There was a bitter battle between the demon and Bhavani. At last, the mother killed the demon.


82 Sitala devi temple at Kelve

The Township of Kelwa is situated on the Western Railway, nearly 75 Kilometers from Mumbai Central Railway Station, about 12 Kilometers from Palghar.

A very ancient temple of the Goddess Shitala-Mata is located here. This temple, built in very distant past, underwent a complete renewal and restoration at the hands of Hindu queen of Indore Ahilyabai Holkar about three hundred years ago.

In 1986 restoration of Shri Shitala Devi Temple, Hanuman Temple, Valekeshwar Temple and Ramkund, in the neighbourhood was carried out.

Goddess made a divine appearance before a farmer in his dream. Then the villagers dug out her idol t from a farm land. They brought the idol of the Goddess to the township in procession and installed the image quite ceremoniously at the place where it remains to-day.

Sitala means cool and peaceful .The idol of Siddhi-Vinayak, carved in unbroken stone with Riddhi and Siddhi in his lap is installed nearby.

Shri Valukeshvar

There is a temple on the north side of Shitala Devi of Lord Shiva called Bhavani Shankar Valukeshwar’ Lord Rama worshipped this emblem quite in according to the rules and after drinking the holy water of the Ganga which oozed out the emblem. The Ganga spotlessly clean and cool keeps on flouring from this idol.

In times of famine and drought, the people of Kelwa,  after devout worship to God Valukeshwara and keep the emblem of God drowned or submerged in the water of the Ramkund which is just opposite the Shitala-Mata Temple. It has been the experience of the people of Kelwa that within a couple of days from the worship there is a torrential downpour which dispels the famine and drought.

On the north side of the God Valukeshwar, there is the image of the Goddess Parvati carved in marble.

There is a small Hanuman Mandir (Temple) just near the Shitala Devi Temple on the South. The idol faces the east

Shri Govla (Kovala = Gopala)

Just outside the entrance of the Shitala Devi Temple, there is the idol of Govala towards South. The word Govala means a milkman. He is the only brother of Shitala Devi and her six sisters. Devotees trust pay a visit here, offer coconut to Govale after which, they enter the Temple.


Mhasoba temples

The word Mhasoba comprises two words, viz. “Mhas” and “Baa”. The word “Mhas” means a buffalo, and “Baa” is a vocative word generally meaning chief/father. Therefore, the word Mhasoba means “the chief of buffaloes”.

Most of the Masoba temples are smaller in size. They are found under trees, on farm borders, on village borders, near water, or at the main spots in villages. There are a few big Mhasoba temples across Maharashtra.

Unlike other Hindu gods, Mhasoba is worshipped in a shapeless form. It is generally a round or a vertical stone coated in red lead with facial features etched on it. Some idols do not have facial features etched on them. In some temples, you would find a silver mask (male-faced) put on the idol. Most of the idols are depicted without horns, but some idols have horns.

Most of the Maharashtrians believe that Mhasoba is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Surprisingly, you won’t find a Brahmin priest in a Mhasoba temple. The temple is managed by local non-Brahmin priests called Gurav. Animals are sacrificed in these temples

Goddess Jogubai is the wife of Masoba. She is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga.

It is believed that the worship of Mhasoba is in practice since the 13th century. His worship is more prevalent in the Maratha caste. Mhasoba controls ghosts and is believed to be as powerful as Vetala. He is also the guardian of farms, villages, and animals. He is also believed to control diseases, especially pandemics. Annual fairs are organized at many places, and people offer he-goats, lambs, roosters, milk, red lead, coconuts, alcohol, etc., to Mhasoba. Idols are coated with red lead on this occasion

83. Mhasoba Devasthan Kharawade:

It is located in Kharawade village in the Pune district. It is very famous in the Pune district. This temple is also notorious for black magic. The temple trust has taken appropriate steps to curb black magic activities, but the ill practice is still going on. Most of the black magic victims living in the Pune district are either affected by Kharawade Mhasoba or Kalubai.

84. Shreenath Mhaskoba Temple:

This temple is located in Veer village near Purandar. A big fair is organized on Magha Purnima every year.

85. Mhasoba Temple in Mhase, Thane.

Although the origin of Mhasoba is unknown, people worship him as an incarnation of Lord Shiva.


86.Kolwadi Mhaosba temple

Kolwadi village is located in Haveli tehsil of Pune district in Maharashtra. It is situated 10km away from sub-district headquarter Pune (tehsildar office) and 24km away from district headquarter Pune.

Brahmin saint jnaneshvar taught the vedas to the buffalo in order to confound orthodox Brahmins who opposed him. A fair is held in Chaitra Sukla Ekadasi.


87. Amandhradevi Kalubhai Temple

Amandhardev is a Village in Wai Taluka in Satara District of Maharashtra State, It belongs to Pune Division .

Located on a hill 4,650 feet above sea level, the temple, some 20 km from Wai, overlooks the picturesque Pandavgad Fort and Purandar fort. Devotees attribute miraculous properties to a grove around the shrine. Local lore has it that the temple is more than 400 years old and was built during Chatrapati Shivaji’s Maratha rule.

The idol of Kalubai sports two silver masks and silk finery. The masks are carried in a procession by members of the Gurav family, seen as the hereditary custodians of the shrine

Kalubai Jatra pilgrimage

The temple is popular among Hindus who undertake the annual Kalubai Jatra pilgrimage over a ten-day period every January. The main event is a 24-hour-long festival on the day of the full moon that includes animal sacrifices to the demons of goddess whom she killed. The goddess is offered puran poli (a sweet) and curd rice. The religious event usually draws more than 300,000 devotees. The annual fair is in honour of Kaleshwari Devi, fondly called Kalubai by the faithful.


88. Matobha Temples in Naitale, Niphad

This is “Mhatoba” mandir in the heart of Rajiv Gandhi IT Park (aka Hinjawadi IT park) in Pune. The God Mhatoba is the gram-daivat (village diety) of Hinjawadi and nearing villages.

A fair is held from from Pausha sukla Chaturthi for a week.


To be continued……………………………………….

Tags : temples, Khandoba, Mashobha, Matobha, Jejuri, Kalubhai,

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