2nd October 2012

Dear Soul Mates ,

We got up at early morning 4.30 AM since we had to Aurangabad as soon as possible. My return train to Mumbai was from Nasik in midnight at 11.00 pm and Sandeep’s Train to Delhi was at 3.00 AM in the morning.  We decided to catch the first bus at 5.00 AM from Trimbakeshwar towards Nasik. We reached Nasik by 6.00 AM and got the bus to Aurangabad immediately. Now Aurangabad is around 200 kms from Nasik. It would take 5 hours to reach Aurangabad .And from Aurangabad Grishneshwar temple is around 35 kms . So It would take around one more hour to reach Grishneshwar from Aurangabad. So We would reach Grishneshwar at around One oclock afternoon. That was in my mind.

Nasik Grishneshwar Map

Nasik Aurangabad Highway :-

This Highway via Vaijapur is a double lane highway . Roads are in perfect condition and traffic is not too much . In fact early in the morning I didn’t find even any vehicles in front of my bus . Sandeep Jatdevta was busy looking out of the window seeing rural Maharashtra. The towns coming in between are Yeola and Vaijapur.

In the bus towards Aurangabad

Nasik Aurangabad Highway : Clear Smooth Road in the morning

Full 200 kms Highway is thoroughly rural around with just two towns in between. Till eyes stretch one would see the sugarcane fields. Deep fragrance of rural India continuously enhances freshness of the clean atmosphere on this highway. There were few drops of rain coming in between which was keeping temperature in check. Cool breeze was blowing making us absolutely delightful. One who always wants to sit near windows would be absolutely delighted watching this sight.

Greenery in between  Nasik Aurangabad Highway

At around 10.30 AM after leaving a town called Vaijapur just before 24 kms before Aurangabad , there is one turn towards left on Nasik – Aurangabad Highway which directly goes towards Grishneshwar Temple. The temple is around 9 kms from this turn. So one does not have to go to Aurangabad and come back . Just see the Map and place below . So if  one is going on Nasik Aurangabad Highway please watch out for this turn after Vaijapur city. The area of Grishneshwar Temple Ellora Caves and around is called Verul Khshetra . Our plan was to have darshan of Grishneshwar Temple and Ellora Caves.

Turn and Circle from where we can go to Grishneshwar Temple : Nasik  Aurangabad Highway

Again It was Sandeep Jatdevta who looked at this Signboard and these banners , which immediately prompted me to get down at this point rather than going all the way to Aurangabad . Getting down here  saved our two hours. From this point we took sharing car which took us to Grishneshwar Temple . Sharing wise they charged us Rs. 10 for 9 kms.

Signboard from which shows that we have to take turn , Ajanta Leni means Ajanta caves.

Here we reached entrance of Grishneshwar temple at around 11.00 AM. Now Lets have a look at the legend at this twelfth jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva.

Legend Behind Grishneshwar ( Ghushmeshwar) Temple

According to Shiva Mahapuran, in the southern direction, on a mountain named Devagiri  ner Aurangabad lived a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm along with his wife Sudeha. The couple did not have a child because of which his wife Sudeha was sad. Sudeha prayed and tried all possible remedies to get the child but in vain. Frustrated of being childless, Sudeha got her younger sister ( Grishna) Ghushma married to her husband Sudharm . Ghushma was a devotee of Lord Shiva 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 boy. Because of this Sudeha started feeling jealous towards her sister. Out of jealously  one night she killed Ghushma’s son in sleep 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 of Lord Shiva . 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 in her room . Horrified, she narrated everything to mother-in-law Ghushma who was absorbed in worshipping Lord Shiva. Ghushma did not even deter by hearing that . Even her husband Sudharma did not move an inch after hearing the death of his son. 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’ and to do his worship. Later, when she went to discharge the Shivalingas after prayers she saw her son coming out of lake . Seeing her son alive  Ghushma was neither happy nor sad. At that time Lord Shiva appeared before her and said – I am thoroughly  pleased with your devotion. Your sister had killed your son. Ghushma told Lord to forgive her sister Sudeha and emancipate her. Pleased with her ultimate 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 Jyotirlinga and may you be known by my name called Grishneshwar or Ghushmeshwar . On her request, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Jyotirlinga and assumed the name Ghushmeshwar ( Grishneshwar) and the lake was named as Shivalaya thereafter.

Grishneshwar Temple Gate

Grishneshwar 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 . Photography is not allowed inside temple premises.

Grishneshwar Temple : Main Entrance

Beautiful Grishneshwar Temple : Picture taken from picture sold outside the temple

We went inside the Garbagriha, had darshan and came out in ten minutes. Males have to remove the shirt before going inside Garbagriha.

Nandi Bull outside the Garbagriha of Grishneshwar Temple made by red stone

One can touch the jyotirlinga here and perform abhishekh through Pandits.

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga : Picture taken from picture sold outside the temple

Then after having darshan we came out and roamed few moments outside the market . Our next target was to see Ellora Caves whic were just half km from this temple . But when we were here it was Tuesday and on Tuesday Ellora caves had Weekly off. So from my side it was really unfortunate . So we decided to look at another destination because  we had around two hours . We came out of the temple and first had a glance at Shahaji Raje Samadhi which is located just besides the Temple . Shahaji Raje is father of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The Samadhi was closed and one can only view the the old dilapidated building from outside . Such a sad site to see how Government look after at this monuments.

Shahaji Raje Samadhi in dilapidated state . Door closed .

Shahaji Raje Samadhi and Dome of Grishneshwar Temple

Since Ellora Caves were closed, we decided to look at another destination . So we decided  to go Daulatabad  fort which was 20 kms away towards Aurangabad. We took share taxi who charged us rs. 20 per seat to reach there .

Sharing Taxi

From Grishneshwar temple to Daulatabad Fort the road was beautiful covered with Banyan trees on both the sides . There were lot of factories and shops which sell Paithani Sarees which are very famous. The price can range anywhere between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 100000

Road towards Daulatabad with banyan Trees and shops of Paithan Sarees in either side

After travelling for around half an hour we had first glimpse at the Daulatabad fort . Now Daulatabad Fort is a wonderful place that it requires and demands a full post .

Daulatabad Fort from Distance

Daulatabad Fort Entrance

Grishneshwar Temple and Ellora Caves

By Road

Grishneshwar Temple is situated around 35 kms from Aurangabad and 20 kms from Daulatabad and is accesisble from those two cities via bus and sharing Taxis . It is 100 Kms from Manmad, 174 kms from Nasik and around 250 kms from Pune.

By Train

People from North and East India can come via Nasik , Manmad railway stations and people from West and South can come via Pune and Aurangabad railway stations.

By Air

Nasik and Aurangabad cities have airports here .


Dear Soul Mates

Thanks for staying with me on this lovely place of Lord Shiva called Grishneshwar. In next post I will take you to our final destination called Daulatabad Fort.

Till then

Jai Bhole 

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  • Hi Vishal… thanks for taking us to a place I have never known about… a very detailed account indeed… One wonders how many such hidden gems we have in India….

  • JATDEVTA says:

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  • Amitava Chatterjee says:

    Hi Vishal,
    You are really enjoying your days, I must admit….missed Ellora? You must be very disappointed. Let’s see if I can do something for you here.
    Daulatabad Fort is a very nice place and yes, it needs one full day – will look forward to your next post.
    Take care,

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Thanks, Vishal for providing us with the darshan of yet another Jyotirlinga. You have made the right choice in selecting the Jatdevta as your companion. His eagle eyes spotted the diversion to Verul and the ability to make a snap decision saved you several hours.

    I had visited it nearly 2 decades ago and there seems to be no improvement in terms of pilgrim facilities. For such an important shrine, it is rather small and basic. The tradition of making men remove their upper garments needs to be done away with as it seems to be a sly method of determining the caste of devotees.

    You have mentioned about the temple being constructed by Queen Ahilyabhai; reconstructed would have been a better word since Grishneshwar is as old as Somanath and other Jyotirlingas. Given its importance and proximity to Daulatabad, most probably it was demolished in the early days of he Delhi Sultanate.

  • Praveen Wadhwa says:

    Thanks, Vishal.
    As usual you’r this post is also very detailed and entertaining.
    I visited Nasik 2 years ago and stayed in the Panchvati area, near the ghats. It was very joyful to be there and I spent 3 days there.
    I want to put a post about Nasik but unfortunately I don’t have any pictures because I was not carrying any camera. Well, may be I may obtain some pictures from here and there but cannot find any picture of the place the way I saw it.

    Thanks again.

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Dear Vishal ji…..

    I am glad to know more about Grishneswar Jyotirling Temple through your Informative. You are wonderful writer and written everything is very fine.

    Your click are to awesome & detailed…

    Thanks for sharing us…


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    As usual very informative post !

  • Nirdesh says:

    Hi Vishal,

    Yes, very few roads in Maharashtra are good and this seems to be the best. Reason is simple – Current PWD minister is from Yeola!

    I was there the same time about you. They need to take care of the Shahaji Raje samadhi better. Across, India, approaches to the temples are dirty, littered and decorated with dilapidated tin structures. Like DL pointed out, even i dont understand why men have to take their upper garments off.

    Nice informative post!

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Vishal, very well written with all the right information and the legends. I actually read the story twice since it was not clear, the first time, that the Ghushma’s son was a grown up man when it happened. I would probably remember this longer than other legends.

    The information about not going all the way to Aurangabad is a key information. Sad to see the samadhi structure. I also liked the pic where both the Samadhi structure and the temple can be seen. This gives a much better view of the overall eco-system. Thank you. One more destination for ‘Auragaband and Beyond Tour’, if it happens at all.

  • abhishek says:

    Hi Vishal,
    Thanks a lot… for your valuable details… I am planing to go there but not familiar with that location… but because of your details, now it looks very easy to set my plans to visit there..

  • kapil rakhani says:

    Thanks Vishal ,

    your information is going to help us in next two days ……………..thanks a lot.

  • Amit Bhagat says:

    Hi, I read your article about Grishneshwar temple visit. I found it very good and in detailed including photos. It was very well written including detailed explanation of temple. It was very simple and informative.
    I would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us..Keep on writing..

  • Prasad says:

    The monument which you have shown in your article as Shahaji maharaj samadhi, this i not the original one. The real samadhi monument of shahaji maharaj is located at hodigere village of karnataka.

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