Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, also known as Ghushmeshwar temple is a temple of Lord Shiva situated in Maharashtra which which is also mentioned in the Shiva Puran. Grishneshwar means Lord of Compassion. This is the twelfth or last Jyotirlinga of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
The old temple was destroyed many times by the Muslim invaders but it was rebuilt every single time. The current structure was built by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in the 18th century. The temple is an example of Maratha temple architectural style and is made of red rocks. It has a five tier shikhar. This temple is the smallest Jyotirlinga temple having an area of 240ft x 185ft with the Garbhagriha being just 17ft x 17ft.
Legend has it that there was once a Brahmin called Sudharma. He and his wife Sudeha were childless for many years and extremely unhappy because of it. One day Sudeha requested her sister Ghushma to marry her husband. On her sister’s advice Ghushma started worshipping Shiva by making thousands of Lingas of Shiva and immersing them into a lake nearby. She was finally blessed with a baby boy. While Ghushma always behaved lovingly with her sister, Sudeha started feeling jealous of Ghushma and her son. One day out of jealousy she murdered her son and threw his body into the same lake in which Ghushma would worship Shiva. Ghushma was devastated by the loss of her child but she continued with her worship of Shiva. Shiva was extremely pleased by her devotion and as she went to immerse the Shivalinga which she had worshipped that day she saw her son walking out of the waters of the lake. Shiva appeared before her and he told her that it was her sister who had killed her child. Ghushma asked him to forgive his sister. Shiva was pleased by her forgiving nature and asked her to ask a boon. Ghushma requested him to live on in that place forever. Shiva granted her the boon and manifested there in the form of a Jyotirlinga called Ghushmeshwar. The lake where Ghushma used to worship Shiva daily is called Shivalaya.
Grishneshwar is located very close to the Ellora Caves (less than 1km away) and 30kms from Aurangabad. The nearest airport & railway station are at Aurangabad. You can visit the temple while visiting Ajanta-Ellora caves.
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