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> Pilgrimages of Maharashtra
Pilgrimages of Maharashtra
- Nashik (Place of Kumbha Mela, Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Janasthana Shakti Peetha and Panchavati where Sri Rama stayed during forest exile)
- Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga (Jyotirlinga)
- Aundha Nagnath Jyotirlinga (Jyotirlinga)
- Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga (Jyotirlinga)
- Parli Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga (Jyotirlinga)
- Karavira Shakti Peetha (Shakti Peetha)
- Tulja Bhavani of Tuljapur (A famous pilgrimage of Devi)
- Vitthal of Pandharpur (A famous pilgrimage of Vitthal)
- Khandoba of Jejuri (A famous pilgrimage of Khandoba)
- Morgaon Mayureshwara (Ashtavinayaka)
- Siddhatek Siddhi Vinayaka (Ashtavinayaka)
- Pali Ballala Vinayaka (Ashtavinayaka)
- Mahad Varad Vinayaka (Ashtavinayaka)
- Theur Chintamani Vinayaka (Ashtavinayaka)
- Lenyadri Girijatmaja (Ashtavinayaka)
- Ozar Vigneshwara (Ashtavinayaka)
- Ranjangaon Mahaganapati (Ashtavinayaka)
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Place of Kumbha Mela and more:
- Place of Kumbha Mela: Nashik is one of 4 places of Kumbha Mela.
(Places of Kumbha Mela are: Prayaga, Haridwar, Ujjain, Nashik)
- Jyotirlinga: Nashik has one of the 12 Jyotirlingas known as Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga.
(The Jyotirlingas are: Somnath, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Vaidyanath, Bhimashankar, Rameshwaram, Nageshwar, Vishwanath, Tryambakeshwar, Kedarnath and Grishneshwar -
Refer to the Jyotirlinga sloka)
- Shakti Peetha: Nashik has one of the 51 Shakti Peethas known as Janasthana Shakti Peetha.
(Refer to the list of Shakti Peethas - Refer to Shakti Peetha Stotram)
- Panchavati where Sri Rama stayed during forest exile: Panchavati is the ancient forest where Sri Rama stayed during the forest exile.
(Refer to Panchavati forest from Valmiki Ramayana)
- Nashik is located in the Nashik district of Maharashtra.
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The Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga is situated in Brahmagiri mountain. Sage Gautama worshipped Lord Shiva here as atonement to a false allegation of killing a cow. Lord Shiva appeared there and granted the boon of bringing Ganga to that place and himself staying in that place (as Jyotirlinga). The Ganga there is known as Gautami Ganga (Godavari).
(from Shiva Purana, Koti-Rudra Samhita - Ch 24)
The Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga is identified with the Tryambakeshwar temple in the Nashik district of Maharashtra in the foothills of Brahmagiri hills. The river Godavari originates from this place.
For more details refer to Tryambakeshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana.
The Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is situated in Kamarupa. Lord Shiva saved his devotee, the king of Kamarupa from the demon Bhima. Bhima intent on overthrowing dharma imprisoned the king. The king continued to worship Lord Shiva in the prison. When Bhima tried to kill him with a weapon, Lord Shiva appeared there and killed demon Bhima and his army in a battle. (Note that Shiva Purana states Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga to be in Kamrupa)
(from Shiva Purana, Koti-Rudra Samhita - Ch 20)
The Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is identified with the Bhimashankar temple in the Pune district of Maharashtra in Sahyadri hills (about 125 km from Pune city). This is the place from where river Bhima originates.
For more details refer to Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana.
The Nageshwara Jyotirlinga is situated in Darukavana. Lord Shiva saved his disciple Supriya (a vaishya) from demon Daruka in this place. Daruka was very proud of his strength and harassed people. He imprisoned Supriya and other merchants. Supriya, a great devotee of Shiva, along with other merchants worshipped Shiva in the prison devoutedly. When the demons tried to kill him, Lord Shiva appeared before Supriya and gave him the Pasupata Astra, with which Supriya killed all the demons.
(from Shiva Purana, Koti-Rudra Samhita - Ch 30)
The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is identified with the Nageshwara temple on the coast of Saurashtra in the route between Dwarka city and island of Beyt Dwarka, in the Devbhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat. It is believed that this is the Darukavana mentioned in the puranas.
The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is also identified with the Aundha Nagnath temple located in the Hingoli district of Maharashtra.
The Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is further identified with The Jageshwar Mahadev temple (1870 m) in Almora district of Uttarakhand. This is located in a narrow and beautiful valley in the confluence of streams Nandini and Surabhi, which flow down the hills and meet here.
For more details refer to Nageshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana.
Grishneshwar or Ghushmeshwara Jyotirlinga:
The Grishneshwar or Ghusmeshwara Jyotirlinga is situated close to Devagiri mountain. Lord Shiva brought back to life the son of his devotees Sudharma and Ghushma. The son was killed by Sudeha, the elder sister of Ghushma (and co-wife of Sudharma) out of jealousy (since she herself did not have any son). Even after knowing the death of their son, Sudharma and Ghushma performed the daily worship of Lord Shiva unperturbed. They found their son being brought back to life. Lord Shiva also appeared before them and granted the boon of abiding there as Ghushmeshwara Jyotirlinga.
(from Shiva Purana, Koti-Rudra Samhita - Ch 32)
The Grishneshwar or Ghusmeshwara Jyotirlinga is identified with the Grishneshwar temple in Verul village, 30 km from Aurangabad and 11 km from Daulatabad in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. The temple is in close proximity to Ellora caves.
For more details refer to Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana.
Ravana worshipped Lord Shiva in the Kailasha mountain and performed severe penance. When the penance reached the peak, he used to cut off one of his heads daily and offer it to Lord Shiva. After offering nine heads, when he was about to offer his tenth head, Lord Shiva appeared before him and granted him the boon of immense power. Shiva also gave him a Lingam to carry to Lanka. While carrying the Lingam to Lanka, Ravana felt an urge to ease himself and gave the Lingam to a cowherd boy to hold. Unable to hold the Lingam for long, the cowherd boy kept it on the ground where it got fixated permanently. The Lingam came to be known as Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga.
(from Shiva Purana, Koti-Rudra Samhita - Ch 28)
Pilgrimage - 1:
The Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is identified with Baidyanath Dham or Babadham in the Deogarh district of Jharkhand. The temple is around 4 miles from the Jasidih railway station on the Howrah-Delhi route. During the month of shravan, thousands of devotees fill their kanwars (pots) with Ganga water at Sultanganj and carry the water to Baba Baidyanath temple at Babadham walking a distance of 109 km.
Pilgrimage - 2:
The Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is also identified with the Parli Vaidyanath temple in Parli, in the Beed district of Maharashtra.
Pilgrimage - 3:
The Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is also identified with the Baijnath temple near Palampur, in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
For more details refer to Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga from Shiva Purana.
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Devi Bhramari at Janasthana Shakti Peetha:
Devi's Civuka (Chin) fell at Janasthana where She is known as Bhramari and the Bhairava is called Vikritaksha.
(from Peetha Nirnaya texts)
The Janasthana Shakti Peetha is identified with the Devi Saptashrungi temple in Nashik district of Maharashtra. The Saptashrungi hills is situated 60 km from Nashik. The Vani village is in the foothills of Saptashrungi hills. Saptashrungi means seven mountain peaks.
Devi Mahishamardini at Karavira Shakti Peetha:
Devi's Trinetra (Three Eyes) fell at Karavira where She is known as Mahishamardini and the Bhairava is called Krodhisa.
(from Peetha Nirnaya texts)
The Karavira Shakti Peetha is identified with Devi Mahalakshmi temple of Kohlapur in Kohlapur district of Maharashtra. Kohlapur city is situated on the bank of river Panchaganga and is known as Dakshin Kashi.
Legend of Kohlasura:
The famous Mahalakshmi Temple of Kohlapur is associated with the legend of Kohlasura from which the city derives its name. The legend also explains the name Karavira.
Lord Brahma had three mind-born sons - Gaya, Lavana and Kohla. They became very powerful by the blessings of their father as well as Lord Shiva. However because of their atrocities, Gaya and Lavana was killed by Lord Vishnu with the assistance of the gods.
The youngest son Kohla became the king of Kohlapur. To take revenge of the death of his brothers, he undertook severe penance at the Kohlagiri mountain. Lord Brahma bestowed on him rich blessings.
In the meantime, when Kohlasura left his capital to perform penance, a demon by name Sukeshi took over the capital. The demon was adharmic by nature and he was bent on uprooting dharma by demolishing temples and ashrams. The gods were waiting for Kohlasura to come back after penance and kill Sukeshi. As expected, when Kohlasura returned to his capital he slewed Sukeshi and installed his eldest son Karavira as the king of Kohlapur.
Karavira was adharmic by nature similar to Sukeshi. Above this he sought to take revenge of the death of his uncles. He started creating havoc by harassing the sages and the brahmins. The sages sought the refuge of the Tridevas Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. In a fierce battle Shiva slew Karavira. Before his death Karavira sought the boon of naming the city after him as Karavira Nagar.
Kohlasura became furious when he heard about the death of his son. He wanted to take revenge of it. He thought that as long as Goddess Mahalakshmi resided in the capital he cannot defeat the gods because they derived their power from Her. Therefore Kohlasura undertook severe penance and pleased the Goddess. As a boon he requested Her to leave Kohlapur for a hundred years. The Devi acceded and proceeded towards the Himalayas.
After the departure of the Devi, Kohlasura wrecked havoc with his acts of destruction of dharma. The gods sought the refuge of Tridevas - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They in turn sought the help of the Goddess. The Devi could do nothing due to Her promise till hundred years of Her exile elapsed. When hundred years elapsed, She marched towards Kohlapur wth an army of gods taking Her terrible eighteen-armed form. In the battle that ensued She killed Kohlasura. Before his death, Kohlasura sought three boons from Her. Firstly, the place of his death will become a pilgrimage. Secondly the Goddess should reside there and the place should be known as Kohlapur after his name. Thirdly, every year the fruit Kohala should be cut ceremonially in his honour. The Devi granted his boons and have him Mukti.
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Famous pilgrimage of Devi:
- Famous pilgrimage of Devi Bhavani: Tuljapur is associated with the legend of Anubhuti. According to this legend during Krita Yuga there was a brahmin named Kardam who was well-versed in the Vedas. He had a devoted wife named Anubhuti. However as fate had it, Kardam passed away plunging Anubhuti in a sea of grief. She decided to perform Sati and immolate herself but an ethereal voice prevented her and asked her to take care of her small son. Anubhuti discharged her duties and brought up the son as a self-dependent young man. Then she severed the ties of the world and as a sanyasa went to perform penance in Mount Meru. One day the demon king Kukoor saw her and became charmed by her beauty. He told her to marry him but when rebuffed by Anubhuti started using his force to take her away. Anubhuti prayed to the Goddess in that distress. The Goddess appeared before her and a terrific battle ensued with the demon king. Finally Devi Bhavani killed the demon. She then told Anubhuti to ask for a boon. Anubhuti asked the boon that she should be able to see and worship Her whenever she desired. Granting the boon the Devi made Her abode at Yamunachala (in the Sahyadri mountains). When Sri Rama was searching for Devi Sita, Goddess Bhavani also blessed Him.
The Devi at Tuljapur is popularly called Tulja Bhavani.
- Tuljapur is located in the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra.
Famous pilgrimage of Sri Rama:
Panchavati: Refer above under Nashik.
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Famous pilgrimage of Sri Krishna:
- Famous pilgrimage of Panduranga or Vitthal (Sri Krishna): Pandharpur is associated with the legend of Pundalik or Pundarik. According to this legend Pundalik was a pleasure-seeking person in his early years. He neglected his old and ailing parents and bestowed his attention on his attractive wife. Once Pundalik sent off his aged parents to Kashi on foot and sometime later he himself set off to Kashi with his wife on horses. On the route he took shelter in the ashram of Rishi Kukkut. While staying in the ashram at midnight he encountered the divine beings Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati who came to the ashram to repurify themselves. At that moment while meeting them, Pundalik's sins were also removed and he asked them about the secret of Rishi Kukkut's power. They told him that the rishi had served his parents all his life with devotion, and as a result he accumulated great punya. From that point a great transformation came to Pundalik. He took his old parents home and started serving them as the only aim of life.
Bhagavan was highly pleased with this and came to meet Pundalik. Pundalik was engrossed in serving his father and Bhagavan stood there with his arms resting on his hips. Initially Pundalik did not notice Bhagavan but due to the rays of light emanating from God's body, Pundalik turned towards Bhagavan but did not leave serving his father and God had to wait. Pundalik threw a brick for the God to sit. When his service towards his father was over and God told him to ask for a boon, Pundalik requested Bhagavan to be eternally present in that spot. Thus Panduranga or Vitthal is seen standing on the brick which is given by Pundalik.
- Pandharpur is located in the Solapur district of Maharashtra.
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Famous pilgrimage of Sri Shiva:
- Famous pilgrimage of Khandoba: Jejuri is associated with the legend of Khandoba. According to this legend when demons Madhu and Kaitabha were killed by Lord Vishnu, two more demons rose from them known as Mani and Malla. By performing penance and pleasing Lord Shiva they became invincible and could be killed by Lord Shiva only. The demons began to harass the rishis. Sage Narada advised them to seek refuge on the Dhavalagiri hills (near present Jejuri hills). The rishis took shelter there and asked refuge from Indra deva. Indra deva directed them to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in turn directed them to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva assumed a terrific form of Rudra known as Martand Bhairav and attacked the demons with a huge army with Skanda as the leader. The demons were finally killed after a terrific battle but before death they asked for the boon that their names be associated with God there.
- Jejuri is located in the Pune district of Maharashtra.
Pilgrimages by States:
Jammu and Kashmir
Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:
1. Stotras by Deity:
Initial: Ganesha -
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu -
Tridevis: Saraswati -
(Lakshmi - Tulasi - Bhoomi) -
Others: Murugan -
Final: Vedas -
2. Pilgrimages by Deity:
Tridevas: Brahma - (Vishnu -
Tridevis: Saraswati -
(Parvati - Shakambari)
3. Sadhana: Sadhana - Hermitages - Penances
4. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana - Saints
5. Sacred Geography:
7. Religious Life:
8. Other Aspects:
Sanskrit - Arts - Music - Dance - Medicine - Architecture - Astronomy