Tuesday, July 21, 2009


When Lord Shiva was being chased by the demon Bhasmasur he took refuge at various places in Satpura mountains. Wherever he is supposed to have taken respite stands a Shiv temple. Bada Mahadev is one of such places. The main shrine is inside a 70 ft deep cave that also harbours a pond fed by water seeping through the rocks. Walking distance from the Bada Mahadev is another temple called the Gupt Mahadev which again is inside a cave. The cave is wide enough to allow one person to walk in and the main chamber can hold not more than five people at a time excluding the purohit. The famous Bhimbetka caves, which is around 50 kms from Bhopal, is also on the way. The place is absolutely barren. They are also called the Shelter Caves. The rock formations, man made or natural are supposed to be more than 9000 yrs old.


A very interesting natural temple near Arki. Requires a 45 minute steep trek to reach this temple which was right on top of a hill. Very few people and very peaceful and calm. It is basically a cave into which light filters during the day. Most of the cave is in darkness. The people you see in this snap are having there food which is provided free to the devotees. The priest (baba) lives in the cave itself. Not more is know about this place but just that Arki is a place in Solan in Himachal Pradesh.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Situated in the town of Chanhani in the western part of the Jammu, the Sacred Temple of Sudhmahadev was constructed by Chaudhari Ramdas of Chanhani and his son Chaudhari Parag Mahajan about 80 years ago. Shri Masu Shahane of Sudhmahadev is said to have constructed the entrance door of the temple of Sudhmahadev. The holy spot near Patnitop, it is situated at an altitude of 1225 m above sea level. Pilgrims visit the shrine on the full moon night of the rainy season to worship the famous Trident and a mace, which is said to belong to Lord Shiva. The Devak stream originating at this place disappears magically among the rocks a few kilometers down stream. The temple has a natural black marble 'lingam' and Goddess Parvati mounted on Nandi. The 'Dhooni' (sacred fire) commemorates the spiritual attainments of Baba Roop Nath who is said to have attained Samadhi there. It is said to have been burning constantly ever since Baba Roop Nath is said to be residing in the temple.According to a popular legend, it is believed that Lord Shiva who was in his Samadhi (deep meditation) shot his big Trishul (trident) to protect his consort Uma startled suddenly by her loud cry. However, it was Shiva's devotee, Sudheet who approached Uma to pay his respectful obeisance and since he was a demon in his previous birth, his demoniac looks frightened her and she made a loud shriek. The trident however killed Sudheet. Shiva realized his mistake and offered to resuscitate him but Sudheet preferred the death given by Lord Shiva Himself. Touched by his devotion, Lord Shiva prefixed his name to the place forever and the broken trident in three pieces, is still installed in the temple.


Peer Kho cave shrine of Lord Shiva is also known as "Jamawant Cave" is said to be the oldest historic place in the Shivalik region. Located amongst igneous rocks and acacia jungle in North-East of Jammu city on the circular road above Tawi river, the cave traces its history from the legends and myths connected with epic age. Peer Kho presently constitutes of two caves located at a depth of about 20 to 30 ft. below the surface of the temple complex. After descending a flight of marble steps the cave starts. On the right side, the height of the tunnel cave starts. On the right side, the height of the tunnel cave is about 4.5 ft to 5.0 ft. A normal person has to walk on bending while crossing the cave. The length of this portion is about 15 ft and breadth about 3 ft. After this tunnel comes a broader cave with black colored natural Shivlingam in the center. This pentagonal cave is about 12 ft. in height and about 12 ft. wide.


This ancient temple was cut out of the rock probably in the 9th century. It is a natural monolith rock formation with the cave temple carved out of it. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has four monolithic pillars and a rare idol of Agni, the God of fire. There are other idols inside including the idol of Agnimurthi, which has two heads, seven hands and three legs. Those worshipping this deity believe it will cure one of all eye defects. Thousands of devotees come in January every year on Makar sankranti Day to this cave temple. This is a special day when the sunrays fall on the Sivalinga for one hour as it passes between the horns of the Nandi. Such was the knowledge of architecture and astronomy that the ancient sculptors could craft the horns of the stone bull outside the temple so that the sun's rays would pass through its horns and light up the deity Shiva Linga inside the cave. The Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Bangalore is well known for a celestial event on 14 January every year, when the rays of the setting sun illuminate the idol of the deity inside a cave. The sun’s rays falling from the southwestern part of the temple pass through an arch and a couple of windows placed perpendicular to each other, and later through the horns of a ‘Nandi’, to fall on the idol of the temple for about 15 min (between 4:55 and 5:15 pm). For the astronomical construction of the temple check out this site.


Amidst of the beautiful mountains of Uttarakhand is this village in total silence, distinctively confronting the Himalayas. The earliest references of Patal Bhuvaneshwar temple can be seen in the Manaskhand 103rd Chapter of Skandpurana. Veda Vyasa, gave an elaborate description of this auspicious cave in the realms of earth where gods and goddesses rest. It is believed that at this place Gods visit Patal to worship Lord Shiva. This cave is a repository of various episodes of Hindu mythology. One has to bend and crawl, holding on to the supportive chains on the wall, to get inside the cave. In comparison to the narrow entrance, the inside of the cave is wide. As the original entrance was very narrow and dangerous an artificial entrance with some form of staircase was built, though many find even that is dangerous. Ringing the bell at the cave entrance( which is in the shape of Sheshnag’s hood ) one has to slide down the slimy moist throat of the great serpent (a slippery ladder of stony steps) with the help of ropes. Along the route, you can see many things like the claws and jaws of Lord Narsimha emerging out of the cave in natural rock. This was signifying the story Lord Narsimha and Hiranyakashipu. A heart-shaped rock referred to as Shiva’s wish-fulfilling kamandala (water pot),tree- shaped rock which was a representation of Kalpavriksha, which is supposed to grant wishes. The water drops coming out of them are whitish, it is a fine representation of milk. These drops fall over ‘Bharamkapali’. This is the representation of Brahma’s Skull. At the end of this staircase you see a spacious hall with some myriad rocks which the guide explains the mythology embedded in every piece of rock here. well-marked ribs of Sheshnag on the cave floor like steps for people to walk ( actually the back of Sheshnag). One can see the jaws of Shesnag on the roof. Each and every rock structure in the cave was narrating some or other tale of the Hindu mythology. The amazing part of these structures was that they all have been formed out of natural rock inside that dark cave. Excellent blog http://theemerald.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/patal-bhuvaneshwar/


Pataleshwar temple defines every inch of what rock cut cave architecture is about. The circular mandapa is a treat to the eye, with pillars carved into a single bed rock that stands sculpted in the middle of the courtyard. This whole temple complex would have once been a sheer solid rock outcrop and carving into it would have been an ambitious task. Moving back to the era of the 8th century around which time this temple was planned, the initial landscape would have been that of a rocky boulder with probable thick vegetation surrounding it. Assuming the surface was flat, the initial ground plan would have been visualized to describe the form of a Shiva linga, with the current Nandi Mandapa forming the main linga circle of this temple in aerial view. Digging down into live rock, with acute sense of geometry and precision, this temple would have taken a few years to sculpt out of live rock. Situated on the river side, this temple has the perfect ambience of a Buddhist chaitya and vihara.


The Nellitheertha Somanatheshwara Cave temple which is situated in Dakshin Kannada district. The cave is about 300 to 400 meters long and one needs to move slowly on ones knees to reach the inside of the cave. Inside the cave, one can find a beautiful lake and a Shiva Linga. The history of the temple dates back to 1487. Inside the cave, water drops keep dripping down in the shape of gooseberries (amla) to form the lake and hence the name Nelli (Amla) Theertha (holy water).It is believed that Jabali Maharshi (Sage) use to perform penance in the cave to appease Goddess Durga Parameshwari. Goddess Durga Parameshwari appeared before Jabali Maharshi and assured that Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Durga herself would grace the region and that there would be temples to worship all three of them in the locality.Another unique feature of this cave is that it is closed for nearly 6 months a year. The cave is open only between October and April. There are plenty of animals inside the cave. The cave houses snakes of all varieties, scorpions, porcupines and huge number of bats. Troubling or hurting the animals inside the cave is strictly prohibited.


The Borra Caves are located on the East Coast of India, in the Ananthagiri hills of the Araku valley of the Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh. The Caves, one of the largest in the country, at an elevation of about 705 m (2,313.0 ft). On the discovery of the caves, there are several legends, which the tribals who inhabit the villages around the caves narrate. The popular legend is that a cow, grazing on the top of the caves, dropped 60 m (196.9 ft), through a hole in the roof. The cowherd while searching for the cow came across the caves. He found a stone inside the cave that resembled a Lingam, which he interpreted as the Lord Shiva who protected the cow. The village folk who heard the story believed it and since then they have built a small temple for Lord Shiva outside the cave. Worship of Stalagmite Lingam inside the Borra Caves
Another legend is that Lingam is found deep in the caves and above which is a stone formation of kamadhenu. It is surmised that the udder of this cow is the source of the Gosthani River which originates from here, flows through Orissa.


85 km west of Koraput in southern Orissa Gupteswar is a cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located near Jeypore, India, at the top of a limestone hill which is about 500 metres above sea level. Surrounded by a dense forest of sal trees and flanked by Kolab river, a 2m high lingam stands in the cave. The shrine is called "Gupteswar" which means the "Hidden God". It is so named because it was lying hidden in the cave for a very long period. One can reach it by climbing the 1000 steps flanked with rows of champak trees. The entrance of the cave is about 3 m wide and 2 m in height. There are also several other caves nearby. Inside the second cave there is a large stalactite. People worship it as the udder of God Kamadhenu (the divine cow) and wait under it with outstretched palms to collect drops of water which fall only at long intervals.
Popularly known as "Gupta Kedar" in the vicinity, this sacred place, endowed with unusual natural beauty, is associated with Shri Rama of the epic Ramayana. The nearby hill has been named "Ramagiri". According to mythology, the lingam was first discovered by Lord Rama when he was roaming in the then Dandakaryana forest with wife Sita and brother Laxman and later worshipped it calling it "Gupteswar". The poet Kalidas too, described the scenic beauty of Ramgiri forest where the cave temple is referred to in his famous Meghadutam.
However, with the passing of time, the temple was abandoned. Later, in the last part of the 19th century, a hunter of the Ramgiri area found the lingam. Since then the lingam has been worshipped by the tribes of Koraput region. In Shivaratri (a Hindu festival) Gupteswar Temple draws over 200,000 devotees from Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh. People suffering from incurable diseases come here to worship the God and remain here for months in the hope of getting cured.


Khori means cave (Guffa) and Shiv Khori thus denotes Shiva's cave. lt is about 200 metres long, one metre wide and two to three metres high natural cave contains a self made lingam, which according to the people is unending. The first entrance of the cave is so much wide that 300 devotees can be accommodated at a time. It is double chamber being quite spacious to accommodate large number of people. The inner chamber of the cave is smaller. The passage from outer to the inner chamber is low and small, at one spot it divides itself into two parts. One of these is believed to have led to Kashmir where Swami Amarnath cave is existing. It is now closed as some sadhus who dared to go ahead never returned. To reach the sanctum sanctorum, one has to stoop low, crawl or adjust his body sideward where a naturally created image of Lord Shiva, about 4 metres high, is visible. The cave abounds with a number of other natural objects having resemblance with Goddess Parvati, Ganesha and Nandigan. The cave roof is etched with snake formations, the water trickles through these on Shiva Lingam.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


This old temple sits amidst of Tondavali which is 24 Kms away from Malvan. A Shivlingam located in a cave of a big rock. Lots of people comes on each Monday to worship the Shivlingam. The legend behind this says that in old days Tondavali area was completely under the sea. When a sailors threw his net for fishing it get hooked up. Sailor unable to picked up his net so he kept it and cameon next day to search. He found a Shivalingam trapped in the net. After some year by the storage of sand, a belt of land formed on the same location. The sailors built a temple over the location with their own contribution. On the back side of temple there was a bushy jungle with wild animals. People says that in old days tigers were coming in the temple but never disturbed any mankind. So the temple is known as Wagheshwar temple.
is a big rock in which a cave of size 80 Sq ft is carved. Many tourists come in Todavali to visit this religious & beautiful tourist spot.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Any idea where exactly this temple is. its somewhere in Gwalor fort. Absolute beauty isnt it?

Bhuthnath Temple, Mandi.

The town of Mandi houses about 81 sacred temples. Most of the temples are decicated to Lord Shiva. Bhootnath Temple is an ancient temple, located in Mandi District, Himachal Pradesh. The presiding deity is Lord Shiva. The idol of Nandi stands facing the ornamental double arch of the sanctuary.
The temple built in Shikhara style, dates back to 1520. The porch, cellar and mandap are garnished with exquisite figures of elephants. Built by Raja Ajber Sen in 1527 AD, Bhutnath temple is located in the heart of Mandi town.


Arjuna, the pandava performs a severe penance to propitiate Lord Shiva. Pleased with Arjuna’s devotion Shiva accompanied with his consort Sri Parvathi set out from their abode at Kailash to meet Arjuna. Shiva disguises himself as " Kiratha" a tribal hunter before appearing before Arjuna. Just as Shiva appears before Arjuna he sees a wild boar charging towards Arjuna and shoots an arrow at the boar. Arjuna, who is an accomplished archer, also shoots an arrow at the boar. A dispute arises between Arjuna and Kiratha as to who is the real killer of the animal. A battle ensues between the two, lasting a long time, ultimately resulting in Kiratha’s victory over Arjuna. The vanquished Arjuna, unable to even stand up makes a Shiva Linga out of mud and performs a pooja offering flowers. To his surprise, he sees that the flower he offers over the Shiva Linga is falling over the head of Kiratha. Arjuna then realises that Kiratha is none other than his Lord Shiva. Shiva, in his true form, along with Parvathy appears before Arjuna and blesses him. He also gifts him the divine arrow, the " Pasupathastram." This Linga is "Gourisankara roopam" that is seen as "Swayambhoolingam" in the Sanctum Sanctorium. The idol is made of a rare stone known as Patala Anjana. One of the rarest Shiva temples where the lord is facing the sea towards the west

Friday, July 10, 2009


Even the great Brahmaputra has to make way for the Gods when they decide to invade the river’s territory and build their abode smack in the middle of it.The Shiva temple of Umananda is arrogantly perched on an island smack in the middle of the river Brahmaputra. The temple is located atop a mound of steep steps from the shore. The Umananda Shiva temple at Guwahati is located atop the Bhasmachala Hill or the Hill of ashes in an island of the Bhramaputra river.
This hill is associated with the legend of Shiva burning Kaama, or the God of lust to ashes. Tirukkurukkai in Tamilnadu is associated with the same legend and is regarded as one of the eight Veeratta Stalams of Shiva.


Going rightwards of Harishchandreshwar temple, we come across a huge cave. This is the cave of Kedareshwar, in which there is a big Shivlinga, which is totally surrounded by water. The total height from its base is five feet, and the water is waist-deep. It is quite difficult to reach the Shivlinga, as the water is ice-cold. There are sculptures carved out here. In monsoon it is not possible to reach this cave, as a huge stream flows across the way. Its at a height of 4671 ft above sea level.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The Airavateswara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva is here known as Airavateshwara, because he was worshipped at this temple by Airavata, the white elephant of the king of the gods, Indra. Legend has it that Airavata, while suffering from a change of colour curse from Sage Durvasa, had its colours restored by bathing in the sacred waters of this temple. This legend is commemorated by an image of Airavata with Indra seated in an inner shrine.[2] The temple and the presiding deity derive its name from this incident. It is said that the King of Death, Yama also worshipped Shiva here. Tradition has it Yama, who was suffering under a Rishi's curse from a burning sensation all over the body, was cured by the presiding deity Airavateswarar. Yama took bath in the sacred tank and got rid of the burning sensation. Since then the tank has been known as Yamateertham. The temple was built by King Rajaraja II (1146-1173 AD) in the late Chola period. In the middle of the 14th century additions were made to the existing temple, and finally the Pandya rulers completed the temple. The mandir is located in the town of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Walkeshwar Mahadev Temple

Walkeshwar Temple or the Lord of the Sand temple is one of the oldest heritage sites in Mumbai. Situated on Malabar Hill, the original Walkeshhwar Temple was built by the Silaharas around 1050 years ago. According to Ramayana, Rama rested here on his way to rescue Sita in Lanka and constructed a lingam of sand at the site. The original Walkeshwar Temple was destroyed by the Portuguese and the sand lingam is said to have jumped into the sea to avoid desecration. The temple was rebuilt by Rama Kamath in 1715, though the current temple dates only 1950's. The tank today is a rectangular pool structure surrounded by steps on all four sides. At the entrance are two pillars in which oil lamps called diyas were lit in ancient times. The Banganga tank, attached to the temple, is one of the oldest structures in Mumbai. The tank is spring fed and so its water remains sweet, despite being located only a few dozen meters away from the sea.

Adi Kumbeshwara Temple

Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam is said to be nearly 1300 years old. The Temple has a huge premises, established over an area of 30181 sq ft, with a length of 750 feet, and breadth of 252 feet respectively. The vast temple complex is decorated with wonderful artwork. It has three Praharas and three Gopurams in the eastern, northern and western directions of the temple. During 16th century, Govinda Theeksithan, the Chief of Achutha Nayakar of Thanjavur, revived Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam. The East Gopuram is 128 ft in height comprising of 9 storeys. It contains a lingam said to have been made by Shiva himself when he mixed the nectar of immortality with sand. A Unique feature here is the depiction of 27 stars and the 12 Zodiac signs carved on a large block of stone in the Navarathri Mandapa.

Jageshwar temple, Almora.

Jageshwar is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Almora district, Uttarakhand, dedicated to Lord Shiva, located 36 km northeast of Almora, in Kumaun region and estimated to be 2500 years old. The temple city comprises of a cluster of 124 large and small stone temples, dating 9th to 13th century AD, with many preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which include Dandeshwar Temple, Chandi-ka-Temple, Jageshwar Temple, Kuber Temple, Mritunjaya Temple, Nanda Devi or Nau Durga, Nava-grah temple, a Pyramidal shrine, and Surya Temple amongst which the oldest shrine is the 'Mrityunjaya Temple' and the biggest shrine is the ' Dandeshwar Temple'. An Akhand Jyoti, that is an immortal flame keeps on flickering here since time immemorial. It is located at an altitude of 1870 mts, in the Jataganga valley near a Deodar starting from Artola village on AlmoraPithoragarh highway, where two streams Nandini and Surabhi flow down the hills in the narrow valley and meet near the sacred spot.


50 kms. on the Bundi-Chittaurgarh road, in Bhilwara district, is the old fort and city of Bijolia. In ancient times it was known as Vindhyavali. During Chauhan period, it became a famous centre for art and architecture. Several beautiful Shaiva temples were constructed by the Chauhan rulers on this place. Most of the temples have either disappeared or are in ruins today. On the eastern side of the town near the city wall, there are three beautiful temples. Prominent amongst them is Hajaresvara Mahadeva temple. It has a high linga surrounded by hundreds of small lingas and hence called Hajaresvara or Sahastralinga. The temples of Mahakala and Baijanath are also well known. The temple of Undeshwar Mahadeva is also well known. Near by Mandakini Kund is a holy water tank. Bijolia inscription dating back V.E. 1226 is very important because it throws a new light on the early history of the Chauhan dynasty. Bijolia is 224 Kms fromUdaipur and 85 Kms west of Kota near Uparmal tehsil in Bhilwara district


It is believed to be the oldest temple in Mt. Abu dating back to 813 A.D. and has a toe mark of Shiva called 'Brahma Khadda'. Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple. A temple more than 2500 years old. It is the only place on earth where the great toe of Lord Shiva is worshiped, that is estimated to be going to the centre of the earth. It is the proud possessor of the glory of rich mythology, theology, folklore and even history. Miracles happened in its hallowed precincts. It is none other than the Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple! Its Nandi, made of an alloy of five different metals, is credited with the marvel of repulsing the Muslim invaders by releasing millions of bumble bees to attack the Muslim marauders. Could not get a picture of the mandir structure. If anyone has a picture pls post it.

Eklingji Temple

Eklingnath Temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva of the Hindu religion. Initially, the temple was built in 734 A.D. by Bappa Rawal. Since that time, Eklingji has been the ruling deity of Mewar rulers. Eklingnath Temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva of the Hindu religion. Initially, the temple was built in 734 A.D. by Bappa Rawal. Since that time, Eklingji has been the ruling deity of Mewar rulers. A mesmerizing aroma maintains the refreshing atmosphere of this temple. The shrine encompasses a remarkable four-faced idol of Eklingji (Lord Shiva). Carved out in black marble, the idol lengthens to the height of 50 feet. The four faces of the idol represent Lord Shiva in his four forms.

Abandoned Shiv temple near Eklingji

This is the co-ordinates of the abandoned temple. 24° 44' 30.07" N 73° 43' 12.85" E. Nothing more is known about this monument except that this mandir is near Eklingji in Rajasthan. I suppose should be about 30 km north of Udaipur on NH 8 highway north of Chirwa. Any more information on this temple is welcome.


This is the real view of Shiv Temple Baijnath in Distt. Kangra of Himachal Pradesh. This Temple was constructed of Pandavs in one night by cutting a single big stone. The two long inscriptions in the porch of the temple indicate that a temple of Siva existed on the spot even before the present one was constructed. The present temple is a beautiful example of the early medieval north Indian temple architecture known as Nagara style of temples. The Svayambhu form of Sivalinga is enshrined in the sanctum of the temple that has five projections on each side and is surmounted with a tall curvilinear Shikhara. The entrance to sanctum is through a vestibule that has a large square Mandapa in front with two massive balconies one each in north and south. There is a small porch in front of the mandapa hall that rests on four pillars in the front preceded by an idol of Nandi, the bull, in a small pillared shrine. Baijnath is between Kangra and mandi and 150 kms from Manali and 50 kms from Dharamsala.

Mamleshwar Temple A very ancient (may be 400 AD) Kashmiri Shiva temple Pahalgam

Mamleshwar Temple
The Mamleshwar Temple at Pahalgam is one of the fascinating monuments which witness lot of tourists from the entire world. It is located at a distance of about a mile from Pahalgam. The Kolahoi stream flows nearby the Mamleshwar Temple. This beautiful temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who was also called as Mamalishwara. According to the religious tale in Hindu, Lord Ganesh was placed as doorkeeper. He was ordered not to allow any one to enter inside the temple. This is due to this reason that the temple is also called as Mam Mal, which means “don't go”. People used to come to visit this holy temple from far places too. Adjacent to this temple, one can find another temple which was adorned with gold in the early time of the kings. Pahalgam is 60 kms from Srinagar and 46 kms from Anantnag.