Yelkot Yelkot Jaya Malhara – Khandoba

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There are many shrines devoted to Lord Shiva across the length and breadth of this country and they worship him in many forms in accordance with the various legends that he is associated with. One such unique shrine is Martanda Bhairva temple at Jejuri Maharashtra.

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Jejuri is 38 km from Pune and is one of the old towns in state of Maharashtra. Khandobachi Jejuri is one the most important gods worshipped by the Dhangar, the oldest tribe in Maharashtra. It is said that the Khandoba is a god of Sakamabhakti i.e. God who fulfils all the desires of the devotees.

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The Martanda Malhari Bhairva also known as Khandoba is the manifestation of Lord Shiva in the Deccan region of the country especially along the west coast. Khandoba, one of the most famous deities of Maharashtra state in India, the temple at Jejuri is a well-known pilgrimage for the devotees. The temple at Jejuri is a huge complex with various shrines including the one dedicated to Khandoba. There are in fact two temples and presently I am recounting about the new temple built in the 16th century. the access to the temple is through a climb of close to 360 steps towards a hillock and enroute there are 150 light towers known as Deepmalas so constructed.

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The idol of Khandoba is the most scared out here and the other idols of Mahalsa and Manimalla are also very intricate and pretty. As per the ritual, devotees go around the temple chanting “Yelkot Yelkot Jaya Malhara “. The architecture of the temple does have influence of the Mughal regime during that time especially in the passages, arches and the temple dome. The temple and everything in it including the devotees are covered with turmeric powder which is sprayed into the air by the devotees (turmeric is symbolic of gold) as they climb up the steps and take a circumnavigation of the temple precincts. The golden haze of the turmeric powder infuse a sense of devotion and belief that is so unique to this temple.

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I was speaking about the new temple, now let me talk of the older temple which is the ancient temple known as Kadepathar which is even difficult to access. It is a long uphill arduous walk towards the original shrine of Lord Khandoba. Not many people visit the old temple, but I would definitely recommend a visit to the older shrine in order to feel the true sense of aura and vibes that are generated in case one goes with an open heart to Khandoba,

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In Sanskrit language Khandoba is known as Maranda Bhairva, a combination of the solar deity Martanda and Lord Shiva’s fierce form Bhairva. The term Mallari refers to Malla and ari i.e. enemy of the demon Malla. Legend speaks of the fierce battle between demons Malla and Mani wherein Lord Shiva in the form of Martanda Bhairva ascended into the battle shining like the gold and sun covered in turmeric with the crescent moon on the forehead and there after vanquishes the demons. Quite a popular legend I suggest that the interested reader may like to read a bit more about this.

So i went to Jejuri on a hot summer afternoon, following the dusty road into interior Maharashtra and visited both the shrines watching the sun set on the distant horizon as the dusk came rapidly cooling my sweat soaked body while sitting in the presence of Malhari himself and I said to myself Yelkot Yelkot Jaya Malhara

 

Where is it located Jejuri , Maharashtra
How to reach Hire a cab from Pune
What else to see nearby Mahabaleshwar , Wai and Ashtavinayak temples

 

27 comments on “Yelkot Yelkot Jaya Malhara – Khandoba”

  1. Does everything really look golden in there? Wow, even the ground is filled with turmeric powder. I haven’t seen a temple like this. It just looks beautiful. I’m always amazed whenever I see a place in which the culture and religion are deeply ingrained. My country is too westernized for comfort that our heritage sites are small in number.

    Liked by 1 person

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