Grishneshwar – A Must Visit Place for Shiva Devotees
Situated in the village of Verul in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, the Grishneshwar temple houses one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. The temple is in close proximity to the Ellora Caves and is one of the oldest in the region.
The existing temple was reconstructed by Ahilyabai Holkar and is known by several names such as Grushmeswara, Ghusmeswara, and Kusumeswarar.
Some of the interesting facts related to the temple are mentioned below-
According to legend, Shiva had two passionate devotees, Sudharma and Sudeha, a pious Brahmin couple who stayed in the Devagiri mountain. They were distressed as they had no child and performed severe austerities to please Shiva.
Later, Sudeha willingly agreed to the idea of Sudharma marrying her sister Ghushma who was also an ardent devotee of Shiva. Ghushma created a linga from raw sand and prayed to it sincerely on a regular basis.
After veneration, the linga was immersed in a pond. Shiva was pleased with Ghushma’s devotion. Soon Ghushma was blessed with a son. The birth of a child brought immense joy to all family members.
Years went by and Sudharma and Ghushma found a perfect girl for their son and got him married to her. Sudeha now became envious of her younger sister since she was really happy in her married life.
Sudeha now looked for ways to ruin Ghushma’s life and murdered her foster son while the newly married couple was asleep.
The next day, Ghushma’s daughter-in-law woke up and was shocked to find her husband. There was no one at home since her in-laws were at the river bank to worship Shiva.
The villagers brought the dead body of their beloved son to the river bank and informed the couple.
Ghushma was engrossed in worshipping Shiva though Sudharma was shocked to see his son’s dead body.
He continued the worship of Shiva with complete devotion. There was no sign of grief on her face despite the tragedy.
Grishneshwar named after Ghushma
Ghushma completed the ritual and looked towards the dead body of her son in an impassive manner. Shiva was deeply impressed with her devotion and appeared before the couple and narrated how Sudeha had murdered her son.
Sudeha was forgiven because of her austerities in the past and because of the kind-hearted nature of Ghushma. Ghushma’s son was restored to life.
As a boon, she requested Shiva to remain at the place permanently to bless his devotees. So, Shiva got the name of ‘Grishneshwar’.
Bhosale, a devotee of Shiva who was the chief of Verul once came across a hidden treasure inside a snake pit by the grace of the God. He spent the money on renovating the temple and constructed a lake at Shikharshinganapur.
Later, Ahilyabai Holkar and Goutamibai renovated it, Halfway down, there are exquisite figure of Dashavataras which are carved from red stone. A court hall consisting of 24 pillars is all there within the temple apart from beautiful paintings.
The linga faces towards the eastern direction. There is a statue of Nandikeshwara inside the court hall.
Best time to visit Grishaneshwar
The best time to visit Grishaneshwar is between October to March when the weather remains pleasant.
Grishneshwar means lord of compassion and the temple is in Verul ( Ellora) and is 30 Km from Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.