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Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple

Grishneshwar (Ghushmeshwar)Temple is an ancient pilgrimage site revered as the abode of one of the 12 Jyotirlinga manifestation of Lord Shiva. The Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga shrine is located at a village called Verul, which lies 20 km from Daulatabad near Aurangabad in Maharashtra and approximately 100 kms from Manmad . Located close to Daulatabad once also known as Devagiri is the popular tourist attractions Ajanta – Ellora.
The Grishneswar Temple was constructed by Ahilyabhai Holkar who also re-constructed the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi, UP and the Vishnu Paada Temple at Gaya Bihar . The Grishneshwar Temple is also known by several other names like Kusumeshwarar, Ghushmeshwara, Grushmeshwara and Grishneshwara.
The temple was quite peaceful and calm with very less crowd. The feeling what we get here was peace and silence prevailed here . It was one of most peaceful and less crowded jyotirlinga I have ever seen. There is small market outside which sells items for pooja and handicrafts at very nominal costs. The temple is made up of Red stone and artistic.

History of Grishneshwar Temple
Legend has it that a devout woman Kusuma offered worship to Shiva regularly by immersing a Shivalingam in a tank, as a part of her daily ritual worship. Her husbands first wife, envious of her piety and standing in society murdered Kusumas son in cold blood. An aggrieved Kusuma continued her ritual worship, and when she immersed the Shivalingam again in the tank, her son was miraculously restored to life. Shiva is said to have appeared in front of her and the villagers, and then on is believed to have been worshiped in the form of a Jyotirlinga Ghusmeshwar.
According to Shivapuran, in the southern direction, on a mountain named Devagiri lived a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm along with his wife Sudeha. The couple did not have a child because of which Sudeha was sad. Sudeha prayed and tried all possible remedies but in vain. Frustrated of being childless, Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. On the advice of her sister, Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and discharge them in the near by lake.
With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Ghushma gave birth to a baby boy. Because of this, Ghushma became proud and Sudeha started feeling jealous towards her sister. Out of jealously, one night she killed Ghushma's son and threw him in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge the lingas.
Next morning, Ghushmas and Sudharm got involved in daily prayers and ablutions. Sudeha too, got up and started performing her daily choirs. Ghushma's daughter-in-law, however, saw stains of blood on her husband's bed and parts of the body drenched in blood. Horrified, she narrated everything to mother-in-law Ghushma who was absorbed in worshipping Shiva. Ghushma did not deter. Even her husband Sudharma did not move an inch. Even when Ghushma saw the bed drenched in blood she did not break down and said he who has given me this child shall protect him and started reciting ‘Shiva-Shiva'. Later, when she went to discharge the Shivalingas after prayers she saw her son coming. Seeing her son Ghushma was neither happy nor sad. At that time Lord Shiv appeared before her and said - I am pleased with your devotion. Your sister had killed your son. Ghushma told Lord to forgive Sudeh and emancipate her. Pleased with her generosity, Lord Shiva asked her another boon. Ghushma said that if he was really happy with her devotion then he should reside here eternally for the benefit of the multitudes in form of a Jyotirling and may you be known by my name. On her request, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Jyotirling and assumed the name Ghushmeshwar and the lake was named as Shivalaya thereafter.

Architecture Of The Temple
The very devout Shiva devotee, Bhosale (The Patel or chief of Verul) once found a treasure hidden in the snake pit (ant hill) by the grace of Lord Grishneshwar. He spent that money to renovate the temple and built a lake in Shikharshinganapur.
Later on, Goutamibal (Bayajabai) and Ahilyadevi Holkar renovated the Grishneshwar temple. This 240ft x 185 ft temple is still there strong and beautiful as ever. Halfway up the temple, Dashavataras are carved in red stone. These are beautiful to look at. There are also other beautiful statutes carved out. A court hall is built on 24 pillars. On these pillars there are wonderful carvings. The scenes and paintings are beautiful. The Garbhagriha measures 17ft x 17 ft. The Lingamurty faces eastward. There is a gorgeous Nandikeshwara in the court hall.

How to Reach
By Air :- Aurangabad is connected by verious Airlines with Delhi,Mumbai.Nearest Airport is located at Aurangabad, which is at distance of about 29 km from the city of Grishneshwar (Velur village).
By Rail :- Aurangabad is directly connected by rail with Bhopal, Gwalior, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, etc.Nearest major Railway Station is Manmad at distance of 140 KM.
By Road :- Aurangabad is well connected by road with Ahmedabad 623 Km, Bangalore 1004 Km, Khajuraho 1026 Km, Pune 233 Km, Mumbai 392 Km, Nashik 204 Km, Nanded 277 Km, Jaipur 1013 Km, Shirdi 121 Km, Delhi 1371 KM.

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