Ghrishneshwar Temple is an important Shivaate temple located
30-km away from Aurangabad . It is
just half a kilometre from the Ellora Caves. There are twelve shrines in
India, which holds the magnificent Jyotirlingas.
Ghrishneshwar Temple is one among the twelve jyotirlingas in the country. There are various versions of the name itself, such as Kusumeswara Jyotirlinga, Grushmeswara Jyotirlinga and Grishneswara Jyotirlinga. Worshippers of Shivaa flock this temple.
The emergence of linga is explained in the Shivaapurana. On
a mountain named Devagiri, lived a Brahmin named Brahmavetta Sudharm along
with his wife Sudeha. He used to teach Vedas and did not have children
because of which Sudeha was sad. She would often pray for a child. After
trying all the possible remedies she got her sister Ghushma married to her
husband by forcing her purposely. She would serve Sudharm along with
Ghushma her sister. On advice by her sister Ghushma used to make 101
lingas and worship them. She used to discharge the lingas in the lake,
She was blessed with a beautiful fortunate baby boy by the blessing of Lord Shivaa. Because of this, Ghushma became proud and Sudeha started feeling jealous towards her sister. Out of jealously, one night she took Ghushma's son and killed him and threw him in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge the lingas.
On the next day when everyone was busy with daily activities. Ghushma's daughter-in-law saw stains of blood on her husband bed and parts of the body drenched in blood, she was horrified and she came to her mother-in-law Ghushma crying and told her everything.
Ghushma was absorbed in worshipping Shivaa. So she did not deter. Even her husband Sudharma did not move an inch. When Ghushma saw the bed drenched in blood she did not break down. She said, he who has given me this child shall protect him, and started reciting 'Shivaa-Shivaa' continuously. When she went to discharge the Shivaalingas after prayers she saw her son coming. Seeing her son she was neither happy nor sad. At that time Lord Shivaa appeared before her and said - "I am pleased with your devotion. Your sister had killed your son".
Ghushma prostrated before Shivaa and told Lord Shivaa to forgive Sudeh and emancipate her. Lord Shivaa asked her another boon. Ghushma said that if he was really happy with her devotion then he should reside there eternally for the benefit of the multitudes in form of a Jyotirling and may you be known by my name. On her severe request he manifested in form of a Jyotirling and assumed the name Ghushmeshwar and the kale was named as Shivaalaya thereafter.
This Shivaa temple is rich, with beautiful carvings and is a fine example of medieval architecture. Rani Ahalyabai, a Maratha princess, built it in 18th century. The temple is made of spotted red sandstone. Decorative friezes and sculpture depict a pantheon of Indian gods including Bhrama, Vishnu, Ganesh, the marriage of Shivaa and Parvati, celestial beings, and even Maratha heroes.
The temple just being 30-km away can be easily accessed by road from Aurangabad . Aurangabad is well connected with all the places in the state as well as country. There is an airport and also a railway station. It has regular bus services connecting it with all major places. Tourists can also take taxis from Auragabad.
Accommodation is available in the hotels at Aurangabad.