Grishneswar Temple, popularly known as “Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga” is located amidst the village named Verul in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It is situated 30 km away from its district headquarters. It’s one of the most famous Shiva temples of India. The place is considered as the home of one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The presiding deity here is of Lord Shiva. The name ‘Grishneshwar’ means ‘Shiva generated by friction’. It is said that Parvati was born as a tribal here and then united with the Lord at this holy place. It is located in close proximity to very famous tourist spot, Ellora Caves.
According to a legend, there was a Brahmin couple named Brahmavetta Sudham and wife Sudeha who lived in the Devagiri Mountains many years ago. Sudeha was very deeply saddened by the fact that she cannot give a child. When all prayers went unanswered, she tells her sister Ghushma to marry her husband and give them a child. Ghushma used to make 101 lingams to please Lord Shiva and released them in a lake nearby every day. Due to his great devotion and penance, she was blessed with a child. When her elder sister started to know his husband closeness to her younger sister after the birth of child, due to jealousy, she killed the child and throws him off the cliff where Ghushma used to make holy lingams. When Ghushma came to know about it next morning, she was neither happy nor sad and remained calm. She then went to that cliff and started her penance. She was pretty sure that Lord Shiva, who blessed her, will also protect her child from any mishappening. And then the miracle occurs, she saw her child emerge out from the river.
When the Lord appeared before her, she asked mercy for her sister and also prayed him to remain at the place eternally for the benefit of others in the form of a Jyotirlinga. The wish was accepted and soon Lord Shiva acquired the Jyotirlinga form and took the name of Ghushmeshwara. The lake is called the Shivalaya after that incident.
The temple was built in the 16th century by a devotee Maloji Bhosle and renovated in the 17th century by the Queen of Indore, Ahilyabai Holkar. The structure of the temple is beautiful to look at, with Dashavataras (forms of Lord Vishnu) leading up to the temple in red stone. The architecture of the temple is of medieval style and it is built mostly of red sandstone. The temple is engraved with paintings, carvings and statues. The pillars of the main court hall too have exquisite carvings. The temple is constructed in ‘Shikara’ style with five tires.
You have to enter the temple complex through a small open way. The main structure itself houses the Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum), the Antarala and the Sabha Mandapa (24 pillared hall). The Garbha Griha of the temple measures 17 sq feet, and bears the Jyotirlinga, which is self-oriented. The Shiva ling in the sanctum has also a marble engraving of Goddess Parvati. There is also an idol of Nandikeshwari in the court hall. Devotees offer prayers to the Nandi as well.
Devotees can perform the ‘Abhishekham’ themselves, directly on the lingam. They are allowed to recite the ‘Rudram’. It is the only Jyotirlinga out of all the 12 Jyotirlingas where the devotees are permitted to touch the lingam and offer prayers, irrespective of any caste or religion. It is said that a glimpse of the Shiva lingam cleanses all sins of one’s life and brings happiness. People who wish to have children visit here to take blessings from the Lord. Devotees believe that visiting this Jyotirlinga is equivalent to visiting all the 12.
Maha Shivratri, Shravan Mela and Vaikuntha Chaturdashi are the major festivals celebrated here. During the month of “Shravana”, i.e. during months of August and September, the temple remains open from 3AM to 11PM every day.
Grishneshwar Road, Verul,
Dist. Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Taluka: Khultabad Area: Aurangabad
Timings: 5:30 AM- 9:30 Pm (Open on All Days)
State: Maharashtra District: Aurangabad
Languages: Marathi, Hindi Weather: 16°C to 41°C (Max.)
Best Time to Visit: August-March
STD Code: 02437 Pin Code: 431102
Aurangabad Airport is the nearest one and has direct flights to Delhi and Mumbai.
The nearest railway station is at Aurangabad and is well connected to major cities of India. It lies on Manmad-Secunderabad rail route. The major railway junction is at Manmad (100km).
Both the state owned and private buses are available to and from Aurangabad. You can hire a taxi or private vehicle to reach the temple from there. Local buses ply to Verul village from Aurangabad very frequently.
Aurangabad – 30 km
Pune – 257 km
Mumbai – 352 km
Hyderabad – 568 km