Grishneshwar Temple Legend, Rituals and How to reach

Discover the mystique of Grishneshwar Temple in Ellora, Maharashtra – a sacred haven with an ancient legend.

Immerse yourself in the divine energy of the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, an architectural marvel that transcends time. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the famous 12 Jyotirlinga in India

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The Glory of Grishneshwar Temple

Tucked away in the tiny village of Verul in Maharashtra lies one of India’s most sacred and stunning temples – The Grishneshwar Temple. This ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva draws scores of devotees from far and wide with its serene beauty and vibrant history spanning several centuries.

The temple, built of red rocks, is composed of a five-tier spire or shikara. You can see the Dashavatars (ten avatars) of Lord Vishnu carved intricately in red stone. There is also a court hall built on 24 pillars on which you will find exquisite carvings of various legends and mythologies of Lord Shiva. The sanctum houses the east-facing linga. You will also find a statue of Lord Shiva’s mount, Nandi, the bull in the court hall.

A Glimpse into History

The roots of Grishneshwar Temple trace back to the 18th century, during the reign of the illustrious Maratha ruler, Ahilyabai Holkar. Constructed in the Hemadpanthi architectural style, the temple reflects the cultural and artistic richness of ancient India. The intricate carvings on its walls narrate stories of devotion and divinity, making it a marvel for both pilgrims and history enthusiasts.


jyotirlinga grishneshwar temple
Jyotirlinga Grishneshwar Temple

The Legends of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, a sacred shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, is adorned with captivating legends that echo through the corridors of time. Two enchanting tales surround the origin of this revered Jyotirlinga, each weaving a tapestry of devotion, tragedy, and divine intervention.

Legend of Kusuma’s Devotion

In the first legend, the narrative revolves around a woman named Kusuma, whose unwavering devotion to Lord Shiva became the focal point of divine grace. Kusuma’s daily rituals involved immersing the Shiva Linga in a tank during her prayers. However, her husband’s first wife, consumed by jealousy, plotted and murdered Kusuma’s son.

Despite the devastating loss, Kusuma clung to her faith and continued her fervent devotion. The legend unfolds with Lord Shiva, moved by Kusuma’s unwavering dedication, resurrecting her son. Overwhelmed with gratitude, Kusuma implored the Lord to linger in that sacred place. It is believed that in response to her plea, Lord Shiva manifested as the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, a symbol of divine mercy and eternal presence.

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Ghushma’s Tale of Resilience

In the second legend, the story revolves around a Brahmin named Brahmavetta Sudharm and his wife Sudeha, who were childless. Sudeha, in a desperate bid for a child, arranged for her sister Ghushma to marry her husband. Ghushma, following her sister’s advice, immersed lingas in a nearby lake as part of her daily worship. Miraculously, she was blessed with a son.

However, Sudeha’s envy turned sinister, leading her to murder Ghushma’s son and cast him into the very lake where the lingas were immersed. Despite the heinous act, Ghushma, unaware of her sister’s role, continued her rituals with unwavering faith. Lord Shiva, in his omniscience, revealed the truth to Ghushma and resurrected her son.

Grateful for the divine intervention, Ghushma beseeched the Lord to forgive her sister. Pleased with her resilience and forgiveness, Lord Shiva granted her a boon. In response, Ghushma requested the Lord to reside in that sacred spot, leading to the manifestation of the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, also known as Ghushmeshwar.

The lake where Ghushma immersed the lingas came to be known as Shivalaya, symbolizing the enduring power of faith, forgiveness, and the divine grace of Lord Shiva. These legends enrich the spiritual tapestry of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, inviting pilgrims to experience the profound connection between devotion and divine manifestations.

Significance of Grishneshwar Temple

It is believed that sincere worship of the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga can grant every human wish whether material or spiritual. The divine presence of this Jyotirlinga radiates such powerful positive energy that devotees can instantly perceive it once they enter the garbha griha. One can attain a sense of profound peace by meditating near the Jyotirlinga for some time or chanting the mantras of Lord Shiva.

For centuries, innumerable commoners, kings and legendary saints have prayed to the holy Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga to achieve their worldly and spiritual goals. It remains one of the most favored religious spots for Hindus across India.

grishneshwar shiva temple

Popular Grishneshwar Temple Rituals

Like all iconic Hindu temples in India, the Grishneshwar temple brims with interesting rituals and festivities observed by devoted pilgrims. The regular prayer rituals are performed by the temple priests multiple times during the day. People can also offer special sevas and aartis according to their preferences.

The most prominent seva is the Rudrabhishek which involves bathing the Shiva lingam placed inside garbha griha with numerous offerings. Other special sevas include the Maha Aarti and Maha Puja conducted during the main prayer ceremonies. People also offer coconut, flowers, haldi-kumkum, bilva leaves, milk and bel patra on the shrine.

Of all the festivals commemorated at this temple, Mahashivratri draws the biggest crowds by far. On Mahashivratri, the temple is splendidly decorated while the Jyotirlinga is adorned beautifully with flowers and ornaments. Chants of Om Namah Shivaya reverberate across the whole temple as devotees sing bhajans and shower bel leaves on the shrine for blessings.

How to Reach Grishneshwar Temple

  1. Arrive at Aurangabad: The nearest major city to Grishneshwar Temple is Aurangabad in Maharashtra. You can reach Aurangabad by flight, train or bus depending on where you are traveling from.
  2. Hire a cab from Aurangabad to Verul: Verul is the small village where Grishneshwar Temple is located. It is around 30 km east of Aurangabad. You can easily hire an air-conditioned taxi or cab from Aurangabad to drive you to Verul.
  3. Inform cab driver to take Bagh Tungi route: There are two routes from Aurangabad to Verul. Have your cab driver take the Bagh Tungi road route as it is more straightforward. The journey will take around 40 minutes.
  4. Ask locals for directions to the temple: Once in Verul village, ask local shopkeepers or villagers for exact directions towards Grishneshwar temple. They can accurately guide you towards the temple entrance.
  5. Take the final road up the hill: The temple is situated atop a small hill. From Verul, there is one winding road that goes uphill and leads directly to the main temple entrance. It’s a short 5-minute drive uphill.
  6. Alight at the temple entrance: Once your cab has taken you up the hill, you will reach the elaborate entrance gate of Grishneshwar temple. That marks the end of your journey! Alight here to visit the historic Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga temple.
How To Reach Grishneshwar Temple
Grishneshwar Temple

Distance to Grishneshwar Temple

How to reach Grishneshwar Temple from major cities and transportation hubs are following below:

From Aurangabad Railway Station

Situated approximately 25 kilometres away from Aurangabad Railway Station, Grishneshwar Temple is easily accessible. Travelers can opt for a convenient taxi ride or board a local bus to reach the temple with ease.

From Aurangabad Airport

For those arriving by air, Grishneshwar Temple is around 24 kilometres from Aurangabad Airport. Hiring a taxi from the airport provides a seamless and efficient way to reach the temple and commence your spiritual exploration.

From Mumbai

Embarking on a road trip from Mumbai to Grishneshwar Temple covers a distance of approximately 320 kilometres. Alternatively, if you prefer air travel, the aerial distance is significantly shorter, offering an expedited journey to the sacred destination.

From Pune

The road journey from Pune to Grishneshwar Temple spans approximately 309 kilometres. Travelers can enjoy the scenic route or opt for a more expeditious mode of transportation to make their way to the divine abode.

From Hyderabad

For those venturing from Hyderabad, the road distance to Grishneshwar Temple is approximately 572 kilometres. Planning a road trip allows pilgrims to soak in the diverse landscapes on their way to this spiritual haven.

From Delhi

Embarking on a journey from the capital city, the road distance to Grishneshwar Temple is approximately 1,235 kilometres. While the road trip offers a chance to traverse varied terrains, travellers also have the option to explore other modes of transportation for a more time-efficient pilgrimage.

Navigating these distances provides pilgrims and travellers with a roadmap to plan their visit to Grishneshwar Temple, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey to this sacred sanctuary.

Key Takeaways on Grishneshwar Temple

  • Situated in Verul village of Maharashtra
  • Built in the 18th century
  • Displays architecture style native to India
  • Home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India
  • Jyotirlinga symbolizes the radiant presence of Lord Shiva
  • Site of profound spiritual experiences and peaceful meditation
  • Vibrant religious rituals conducted by priests each day
  • The festival of Mahashivratri hugely popular among pilgrims

With its captivating architecture, sacred Jyotirlinga and colourful rituals, a visit to the Grishneshwar temple makes for a truly divine experience. This ancient Hindu shrine, immersed in culture and mysticism, showcases India’s glorious spiritual heritage like none other!

Jyotirlinga Grishneshwar Temple

FAQs About Grishneshwar Temple

1. What is the significance of the Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga?

The Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva. It holds immense religious importance and is believed to fulfill the wishes of devotees who seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.

2. How can one reach Grishneshwar Temple?

Grishneshwar Temple is located in Ellora, Maharashtra. The nearest airport is Aurangabad Airport, and the temple is well-connected by road. Pilgrims can also reach the temple via Aurangabad Railway Station.

3. What is the best time to visit Grishneshwar Temple?

The temple can be visited throughout the year, but the festive season, especially during Maha Shivaratri, offers a unique and vibrant experience. The weather is generally pleasant, making it comfortable for devotees to explore the temple and its surroundings.

4. Are there any accommodation options near Grishneshwar Temple?

Ellora offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. Pilgrims can find hotels, guesthouses, and dharamshalas near the temple.

5. Is photography allowed inside the temple?

Photography may be restricted inside the sanctum sanctorum, but visitors are usually allowed to capture the stunning architecture and surroundings of the temple.

6. Can non-Hindus visit the Grishneshwar Temple?

Yes, Grishneshwar Temple welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds. Visitors are expected to respect the sacredness of the place and adhere to the guidelines provided by the temple authorities.

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