Mahabaleshwar Temple is a highly revered Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the hill station of Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra. Mahabaleshwar Temple is one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in India, as it houses a unique Shiva Linga that is shaped like a Rudraksha bead. The temple is also known as the Mahalingam Temple, as the Linga is considered to be the source of five rivers, namely Krishna, Koyna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri. Mahabaleshwar Local Sightseeing by cab
Mahabaleshwar Temple Location/ Timing and Entry Fees
The temple is situated in the Old Mahabaleshwar area, about 6 km from the main market of Mahabaleshwar. It is easily accessible by road from Pune (120 km) and Mumbai (260 km). The nearest railway station is Satara (60 km) and the nearest airport is Pune (120 km).
The temple is open for visitors from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm every day. There is no entry fee for visiting the temple. However, devotees can make donations or perform rituals at the temple premises.
How to Reach Mahabaleshwar Temple
There are various modes of transport available to reach Mahabaleshwar Temple from different parts of Maharashtra and India. Some of the options are:
- By Bus: There are regular state-run and private buses that connect Mahabaleshwar with Pune, Mumbai and other nearby cities.
- By Car: One can also drive to Mahabaleshwar by car via NH 48 or NH 66. The road journey takes about 3 to 4 hours from Pune and about 5 to 6 hours from Mumbai. The toll charges are around Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 for a round trip.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Mahabaleshwar is Satara, which is well-connected with major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi.
- By Air: The nearest airport to Mahabaleshwar is Pune, which has domestic flights from various cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. From Pune airport, one can take a bus or a taxi to Mahabaleshwar, which takes about 2 to 3 hours and costs around Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000.
Things to Do/Must See Mahabaleshwar Temple
Mahabaleshwar Temple is not only a place of worship but also a place of historical and cultural significance. There are many things to do and see in and around the temple complex, such as:
- Witnessing the majestic architecture of the temple, which follows the Hemadant style of South India. The temple has a simple exterior with a pyramidal tower, while the interior has intricate carvings and sculptures of Nandi and Kalabhairava.
- Offering prayers and seeking blessings from the Swayambhu Shiva Linga, which is believed to be thousands of years old and one-of-its-kind in the world. The Linga is six feet long and three feet wide, and has a natural depression on its top that resembles a Rudraksha bead.
- Exploring the temple premises, which house various relics and belongings of Lord Shiva, such as his trident, damru, bed, pillow and sandals. It is said that Lord Shiva still visits the temple every night and uses these items.
- Visiting the square platform in the temple complex, where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj performed Tuladaan (donating gold equal to one’s weight) for the welfare of his people. The platform has a weighing scale that was used by Shivaji for this purpose.
- Enjoying the scenic beauty of the surroundings, which are adorned by lush greenery and hills of the Sahyadri ranges. The temple also offers a splendid view of the Krishna Valley and its tributaries
Significance of Mahabaleshwar Temple
Mahabaleshwar Temple is one of the most sacred and ancient temples of Lord Shiva in India. It has a religious significance that surpasses that of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are the most revered shrines of Shiva. The temple is also known as the Mahalingam Temple, as the Linga is considered to be the source of five rivers, namely Krishna, Koyna, Venna, Savitri and Gayatri.
The temple is also unique in having a Shiva Linga that is shaped like a Rudraksha bead, which is a sacred seed that represents the tears of Lord Shiva. The Linga is a Swayambhu, meaning self-originated, and is believed to be thousands of years old. The Linga is also called Mahalingam, meaning the great Linga, as it is six feet long and three feet wide.
The temple has a rich history and legend associated with it. According to one legend, Lord Shiva was pleased with the devotion of King Singhan of Devgiri (now Daulatabad) and appeared before him in the form of a Rudraksha Linga. The king built a temple around the Linga and named it Mahabaleshwar. According to another legend, Lord Brahma performed a yagna (sacrifice) at this place and created the five rivers from the Linga.
The temple is also connected with the life and deeds of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha warrior king. Shivaji was a devout follower of Lord Shiva and visited the temple many times. He also performed Tuladaan (donating gold equal to one’s weight) at the temple for the welfare of his people. The temple has a square platform where Shivaji performed this ritual and a weighing scale that he used.
The temple is a place of immense spiritual power and grace. Devotees believe that visiting the temple and worshipping the Mahalingam can fulfill their wishes and grant them salvation. The temple also attracts tourists who come to admire its ancient architecture and scenic surroundings.
- Q: How far is Mahabaleshwar Temple from Mahabaleshwar market?
- A: Mahabaleshwar Temple is about 6 km from Mahabaleshwar market. It takes about 15 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bus to reach the temple.
- Q: What are the timings of Mahabaleshwar Temple?
- A: Mahabaleshwar Temple is open for visitors from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm every day.
- Q: Is there any dress code for Mahabaleshwar Temple?
- A: There is no strict dress code for Mahabaleshwar Temple, but visitors are advised to wear decent and respectful clothes while visiting the temple.
- Q: What are the festivals celebrated at Mahabaleshwar Temple?
- A: Mahabaleshwar Temple celebrates various Hindu festivals throughout the year, such as Navaratri, Maha Shivaratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, Kartik Purnima and Shravan Maas. The temple is decorated with lights and flowers during these occasions and special rituals are performed.
- Q: What are some other attractions near Mahabaleshwar Temple?
- A: Some other attractions near Mahabaleshwar Temple are:
- Shri Panchganga Mandir: A temple dedicated to five holy rivers that originate from here.
- Krishnabai Temple: A temple dedicated to Goddess Krishnabai, who is considered to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati.
- Pratapgad Fort: A historical fort where Shivaji defeated Afzal Khan in a famous battle.
- Arthur’s Seat Point: A viewpoint that offers a panoramic view of the valley and the Savitri River.
- Venna Lake: A scenic lake that offers boating and horse riding facilities.
Mahabaleshwar Temple is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the divine presence of Lord Shiva and witness the beauty of nature. The temple is a perfect blend of spirituality, history and culture that will leave you spellbound. Whether you are a devotee or a tourist, you will find something to cherish at this sacred shrine.