Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga also known as Ghushmeshwar Jyotirlinga is the 12th Jyotirlinga among the 12 sacred Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. It is located in Ellora near Daulatabad in Maharashtra. This temple has been mentioned in the Shiva Purana and Padma Purana. The site was destroyed by the Delhi Sultanate in the 13th-14th century AD. Maratha ruler, Maloju Bhisale who was also Shivaji’s grandfather reconstructed the temple in the 16th century AD.
Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore rebuilt the current structure which was built in the 18th century AD after the fall of the Mughal Empire.
Origin of Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga
There is a popular hindu legend regarding the origin of this sacred Jyotirlinga.
The legend says that there was a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm, who lived with his wife Sudeha in the Devagiri mountains. The couple was childless, so Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. On her sister’s advice, Ghushma would make lingas, worship them, and immerse them in the lake nearby. She was, finally, blessed with a baby boy. Over time, Sudeha became jealous of her sister and murdered her son and threw him into the very lake where her sister would immerse the lingas.
Though Ghushma’s daughter-in-law told her that Sudeha had a hand in the murder of her son, Ghushma continued her daily rituals believing totally in the Lord’s mercy. And true to her beliefs, as she went to immerse the linga, she saw her son walking towards her. Lord Shiva appeared before her and told her of her sister’s heinous deed.
Ghushma requested the Lord to forgive her sister. Pleased, the Lord granted her a boon. She asked him to stay on in that place, which is why he manifested himself as a jyotirlinga called Ghushmeshwar. The lake in which Ghushma immersed the lingas was called Shivalaya.
About the Temple
The temple, built of red rocks, is composed of a five-tier spire or shikara. You can see the Dashavatars of Lord Vishnu carved in red stone.
There is a court hall built on 24 pillars on which you will find carvings of various legends and mythologies of Lord Shiva. The sanctum houses the east-facing linga. You will also find a statue of Lord Shiva’s mount, Nandi, the bull in the court hall.
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