On this holy pilgrimage of the JyotarLingas of Lord Shankara, the last one, with out when the Pilgrimage will not be considered as complete, is the twelth JyotirLinga, of Ghrishneshwar.

About 30km towards the west side of Aurangabad, there is a village called Verul. In this Village there is place of pilgrimage called Shivalay, when the great Holy Trilinga of Ghrishneshwar is located. The stories associated with Verul, Shivalay and Ghrishneswar are like this:

This was originally a settlement of the Naga trives. The place of the Nagas is Bambi, whien is known as "varul" in Marathi "Varul" gradually changed into "Verul" and is known by this name only River Yelaganga flows here. The name "Verul" is derived from Yelaganga, on whose banks the village is located, There was a king by the name "Yela" here. The capital of his kingdom was yelapar, or Yelur or Verul.

Once the king went hunting. While hunting, the king killed the animals living with the Rishis and munis too. Seeing this, the irate Saints cursed the king. as a result of which, his entire body was infestied with insects.

Now, smitten by this curse, the king began to wander in the forest. His throat was parched because he was very thirsty. There was, alas, no water to be found amywhere. At last he found a water hole made by the hooves of a horse. Just as the king started to drink water a miracle occured. The king's body was rid of all the insects. The king did severe penance (Taps) there. Lord Brahma was pleased and appeared before him and installed Parasnta Teerth there. He also created a huge and holy lake near by.

This Brahma sarovar later came to be known as Shivalay.
Thcre is a story about Shivalay also:

Shiva and Parvati were playing chess on mount Kailasa. Parvati checkmated Shiva. Snankara was angry, at this and went away southward.

He went and stayed at a place on the Sahyadri range, where there is colol preeze. This place was given the name of Maheshamauli Bhainsmal. Parvati came there looking for Shankar. She won the heart of Shiva in the form of a bhilmountain tribal girl. They both spent some time there happily.

This forest came to be known as kamyakavana. Lord Mahesha for bade crows from entieing the area of mahesmouli or Bhainsmal. One day. Parvati was very tt•irty. Shankara pierced earth with his trident and got the, water of Bhogavati from the Patal (Nether world). This is the Shivalay. The Shivalay expands a little ahead where Shivanadi (Shivananadi) meets it and a little more forther, Yelaganga also just it when Shiva and looking for prey A miracle Parvati were busy in their love-play, a h happended u ter and the name Sadhanva into a woman. At this he did a severe Tapa there. Shankara was please and appeared. Actually, Sudhanwa was a woman in his previous life. Thus, Shankara from that very curse of becoming a woman, turned Suchanwa into Yelaganga river.Thus, Punya Santa Yelaganga was born in the Kamyawana. Later, it was to become the bathing place called Dhara Teerth or 'Sita's Snangriha" (Bathroom) and flow from a higher place and goes through Verul village.

Once, Parvati was about to fill her hair parting with vermillion and saffron, in Kamyavana. She kept them in her left palm and mixed the water of Shivalay in it. With the right thumb she started mixing them both. Then a miracle occurred. Vermillion turned into a ShivaLinga and a great light appeared in it. Parvati was awestruck at this. Then Lord Shankara said.

"This Linga was hidden in the Patala." And removed it with this Trident Then a bubble emerged from the earth-with water (kashikhand)"

Parvati kept that gloriour light in stone Linga and installed it there.This Puma (complete) JyotirLinga is called Kunkumeshwar. But since Dakshayani created this Linga with the Function of her thumb, She gave it the name of Grishneshwara. (Ghrishna means friction).

This 240 ft X 185 ft temple is still there strong and beautiful,as ever. Halfway up the Temple, Dashavataras are carved in red stone. These are beautiful to look at. There are also reveal other beautiful statuettes carved out. A donor by the name Jayaram Bhatia, got a copper tower with gold sheeting and designs, made. A court hall is built on 24 pillars. On these pillars there are wonderful carvings. The scenes and paintings are beautiful. The Garbhagriha measures 17 ft x 17 ft. The Lingamurty faces eastward. There is a gorgeous Nandikeshwara in the court hall.
While en Pradosh a here. The Shiva's names. The temple is managed by a committee appointed by the Government. During the day twelve drums are played and arati is performed. tering the Garbhagriha one has to undress and go. Mondays, nd Shivaratri and other festivals see a big meta (Fete) happening place is always busy with a lot of pilgrims. Of the 21 Ganesha peethas, one is famous by the name Lakshavinayaka. First of all, p eople go to the Laksha vinayaka shrine. This place always echoes with the ch anting of

Om Namah Shivaye! Om Namah Shivaya!

Useful Links to Read:
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41. blog-post.html
42. 12-jyotirlinge-of-lord-shiva.html
43. 1somanath-jyotirlinge.html
44. 2-malikarjuna.html
45. 3mahakaleshwar-jyotirlinge.html
46. 4omkareshwar-jyotirlinge.html
47. 5vaidyanath-jyotirlinge.html
48. 6-shri-bhima-shankar.html
49. 7-shri-rameshwar-jyotirlinge.html
50. 8-shri-naganath-jyotirlinge.html
51. 9shri-vishweshwar.html
52. 10-shri-tryambakeshwar.html
53. 10-shri-tryambakeshwar.html
54. 11shri-kedarnath-jyotirlinge.html


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