Khandoba Temple : The Golden Temple of Jejuri


Khandoba Temple : The Golden Temple of Jejuri
Must visit temple in Pune and also Read complete post to know about birth of Hridrachurna – Turmeric powder

Khandoba, also known as Martanda Bhairava and Malhari, is a Hindu god, worshipped as a form of Shiva, mainly in the Deccan plateau of India, especially in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. He is the most popular Kuladaivat in Maharashtra. He is also the patron deity of warrior, farming, herding as well as some Brahmin (priest) castes, the hunters and gatherers of the hills and forests. The cult of Khandoba has linkages with Vaishnava and Jain traditions, and also assimilates all communities irrespective of caste, including Muslims. Khandoba is sometimes identified with Mallanna of Andhra Pradesh and Mailara of Karnataka. The worship of Khandoba developed during the 9th and 10th centuries from a folk deity into a composite god possessing the attributes of Shiva, Bhairava, Surya and Karttikeya (Skanda). He is depicted either in the form of a Lingam, or as an image of a warrior riding on a bull or a horse. The foremost centre of Khandoba worship is Jejuri in Maharashtra. The legends of Khandoba, found in the text Malhari Mahatmya and also narrated in folk songs, revolve around his victory over demons Mani-malla and his marriages.

Jejuri Temple is located in the Jejuri town, which lies to the southeast of the Pune city of Maharashtra. The town is known for being the venue of one of the revered temples in the state, known as the Khandobachi Jejuri. The temple is dedicated to Khandoba, also known as Mhalsakant or Malhari Martand or Mylaralinga. Khandoba is regarded as the ‘God of Jejuri’ and is held in great reverence by the Dhangars, one of the oldest tribes in India.

The temple of Khandoba is situated on a small hill, which can be seen while approaching the road. Visitors have to climb almost 200 steps to reach temple. The wonderful view of Jejuri town makes the journey to the temple marvellous. Although the temple is small, but it still looks beautiful with two divisions, Mandap and Gabhara.

One can see various stone images of elephants on either sides of the main gateway of the temple. A big ‘Khanda’- sword, an attribute of the god is seen hung over the portico. In the garbhagriha, there are two swayambhu lings, that of Khandoba and the other representing Mhalsa, his consort, covered with silver masks. One can easily see the view of Saswad and Dive Ghat if weather permits. Visitors can see a number of “Deep Mala” (Light Stands of Stones) while climbing the hill.

Interestingly, Jejuri is now a temple; but once upon a time it was a fort. A historic one at that because it’s here that Shivaji met his father Shahaji, after a long gap of 14 years, and discussed guerilla strategies to ward off the Mughals.

The idol of Khandoba in the temple is beautiful. Various weapons like Sword , Damaru and Paral are of historic remembrance. The competition of handling the sword on Dasera Day is very popular , as one has to lift the sword high for maximum time. The other idols of Khandoba , Mhalsa and Manimalla looks beautiful. Often, Khandoba is depicted as a warrior seated on horseback with one or both of his wives and accompanied with one or more dogs. He is also worshipped as the aniconic Lingam, the symbol of Shiva. Often in Khandoba temples, both representations of Khandoba — the aniconic lingam and the anthropomorphic horseback form.

Legend Of Khandoba

A record dated 1750 A.D. narrates a tale about the erection of the temple at Jejuri. Once, several boys herding their cattle were resting on the Karhe-pathar, a site at Jejuri. Bhaya, one of these boys and a devout devotee of Khandoba, was disappointed on learning that god Khandoba had suddenly disappeared on seeing him. Soon, a great dispute arose as to whose devotion made Khandoba come to the spot and a contest followed. Bhayas axe struck the ling, fulfilling the contest conditions and streams of blood and milk gushed out. Finally, the god Khandoba appeared before Bhaya and later, a temple was erected over the ling. There is also a legend about how Khandoba, a hot-tempered and vigilant deity, punished Aurangzeb, the Muslim emperor and his soldiers, for their intention of desecrating his shrine at Jejuri.Certain medieval texts like the Martand- Vijay refer to the bravery of god Khandoba. They reveal that Mani and Mallah, two daityas who had created havoc in heaven by conquering all lokas and defeating the gods, eventually lost out to Khandoba. Thus it was god Khandoba to had acted as the saviour of the gods, rishes and sages.

Story of the birth of Hridrachurna (Turmeric powder) alias Bhandara :

The Yognidra (Yoga sleep or Devine sleep) of God Vishnu left him because of fear of demon Mani and Malla and hide herself in a rock in Patala. To search her gods 1) Vishnu, 2) Shankar and 3) Bhramha took the disguise appearance (Rupa) as trees as follows 1) Pimple, 2) Wad (Ficus bengalensis ), and 3) Palas (Butea Monosperma) and began to meditate (Tapa). They meditated the Tripur mantra for one hundred thousand times, and an incident was happened. A terrible sound happened underneath the seat of god Vishnu and he ran because off fear. He told Bhramha that the sound was happened. God Bhramha went to seat of God Vishnu and he saw a yellow germ. When god Bhramha saw the germ, he told the story to god Shankar. When god Shankar saw the germ he told to worship it or make Puja with sixteen rituals (Sanskara) along with Shreesukta mantra and when prayer, the goddess Tripuradevi will be pleased. After a long prayer goddess Tripuradevi said from beneath the rock, “Break the rock and extract the knot from bottom. Wash the knot with pure water and worship it with goddess Tripuradevi’s mantra and 108 times in the name of Martandbhairava, and make powder it and use to body. After then meditate (Japa) my name for 100 thousand times, so the enemies will destroy.” After then god Bhramha asked the goddess for her name, she answered “god Vishnu who destroyed the time (Kal) I made him ran, so my name is Hridra.” (Haridra-Haris – she who make run) Nowadays it is called as turmeric.

Relocating the world

There’s also a story about how the old temple moved to the new location. Long ago, you had to undertake an arduous climb to reach the old temple.

One of Khandoba’s devotees had been doing that daily, for over 50 years. One day, he realized that his mind was willing but his body couldn’t take it anymore.

So he bid goodbye to Khandoba, saying that it was his last visit to the temple. The lord was touched by the words of his ardent devotee, and he told him: ‘Since you can’t come to see me, I will come with you and live in your house. But on one condition; you shouldn’t turn back to look at me when I’m following you. If you do, I will stop right there’.

The old man’s joy knew no bounds, and he readily agreed. As the lord started following him, the old man thought to himself: ‘The lord has asked me not to look at him, but I can always keep an ear open for his footfalls’. But after a while, the footfalls stopped. Fearing that the lord had lost his way, he turned back. The lord froze into stone then and there, and a new temple was built around that idol.

It’s a scenic location. Looking down from the temple, you see Kaara river, in which Khandoba descends to take a cool dip on the moonless night of Somavati Amaavasya.

On that day, the throng of devotees swells, and they sprinkle more turmeric powder than usual. And the steps of the Jejuri temple are even more resplendent than ever.

Pooja Scheduled in Khandoba Temple Jejuri Pune

Pooja – Abhishek in temple on swayambhu linga in the early morning at 05:00 am and after 07:00 am Padya – Pooja starts… Temple Opens from 6:00am to 8:00pm.

Festivals & Fairs

1.Chaitra Purnima.
3. Dussehra.
4.Martand Bhairav sadahratrotsava.
5. Champasasthi.
6. POUSH Purnima.
7. Magh Purnima.
8.Sikharakathi course Ensign flag
9. Mahashivratri.
10.Somavati New Moon..
11. Gurupaurnima.

Around 40,000 believers participate in the Jatra, the annual fair, held during November. Dusshera is also celebrated with great religious fervour. The competition of handling the sword on Dusshera Day is very popular, as one has to lift the sword high for maximum time. Another festival Somvati Amavasya, which is a new-moon day that falls on a Monday, is celebrated in Jejuri. A palakhi (palanquin) procession of Khandoba and Mhalsa’s images is carried from the Gad-kot temple to the Karha river, where the images are ritually bathed.

How to reach

By Air

There are no regular flights from other major cities of the country to Jejuri. Nearest airport is Lohegaon Airport.

By Rail

Jejuri is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular trains. Railway Station(s): jejuri (JJR). It can be reached by Express trains from Pune Railway Station. GKP LTT Express Train no.15018 departure 0450 hrs from Pune PN arrival Jejuri JJR 0548 hrs, Maharshtra Express Train no.11040 departure 0450 hrs from Pune PN arrival Jejuri JJR 0549 hrs Koyana Express Train no.11029 departure 0045 hrs from Pune PN arrival Jejuri JJR 0148 hrs Sahyadri Express Train no.11023 departure 2205 hrs from Pune PN arrival Jejuri JJR 2308 hrs.These trains runs all days.

By Road

Jejuri is;- situated 48 km from Pune in Maharashtra State. Number of State Transport buses ply from Pune. Tourists can also hire taxis from Pune. Visitors can also take buses from Sholapur.