Mahabaleshwar Temple Entry Fee
- No Entry Fee
Mahabaleshwar Temple Phone
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Mahabaleshwar Temple Address: Satara, Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra , 412806, India
Mahabaleshwar Tour Packages
Mahabaleshwar Temple Timings
|Monday||5:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
|Tuesday||5:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
|Wedesday||5:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
|Thursday||05:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
|Friday||5:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
|Saturday||5:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
|Sunday||5:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Mahabaleshwar Temple is a highly revered Shiva Temple, located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. Its religious significance is more than that of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The shrine dates back to the 16th century and follows the Hemadant style of architecture.
Its ancient architecture is characterized by a pyramidal tower set up on an unadorned exterior, while interiors are flanked with carvings. There are several idols and sculptures of Nandi and Kalabhairava. The simplicity of the temple is complemented by the majestic backdrop of Sahyadri ranges.
The temple has immense religious significance, as it is the only temple in the world with a Linga in the form of Rudraksha. The 6 feet long ‘Swayambhu’ (self-originated) Shiva Linga, known as the Mahalingam, is thousands of years old. The sanctum sanctorum which houses the Linga is over 500 years old, while other parts of the temple were constructed subsequently.
The temple complex also houses the belongings of Lord Shiva, and it is believed that Lord Shiva still uses them when he visits the premises every night. A square platform in the temple complex is the main tourist attraction. It is the place where Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji conducted ‘Tuladaan’ to donate gold to the needy.
The atmosphere of the temple is tranquil and serene. Your experience at the temple will be enhanced by the verdant surroundings and picturesque landscape. Temple premises are well-maintained and clean, making it a great place to meditate amidst the religious ambiance.
Being a major tourist attraction in Mahabaleshwar, it attracts visitors from across the country. Tourists visit the shrine to witness the majestic architecture and the unique Shiva Linga, which is one-of-its-kind.
Shiva devotees visit the temple throughout the year. Navaratri and Maha Shivaratri along with other Hindu festivals are celebrated with much fanfare. There are many famous tourist spots of Mahabaleshwar in the vicinity of the temple which can be visited on the same day.
Architecture of the Mahabaleshwar Temple
Mahabaleshwar temple architecture is the Hemadanta style of architecture, popular in South India. The ancient temple is surrounded by a wall, five feet in height. It is divided into the sanctum sanctorum and a central hall.
The sanctum sanctorum houses a black stone lingam which is estimated to be 500 years old. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the walls have carvings of the sacred bull Nandi (Shiva’s ride) and his bodyguard, Kaal Bhairava.
The temple also houses a square shape raised platform. It is believed to be the spot where Maratha ruler Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji had conducted the ‘Suverna Tula’(Golden Balance) of his mother Jijabai. As per folklore, the event was held on 6th January 1665, during which Shivaji donated gold equal to the weight of his mother.
History of Mahabaleshwar Temple
The recorded history of Mahabaleshwar dates back to 1215 CE. It was then the Yadava King Singham of Devagiri had visited the area and built the temple, which we know as the Panchganga Temple today. He had built a small tank at the source of River Krishna and a temple around it, which is still a part of the Mahabaleshwar Temple.
The Mahabaleshwar Temple is around 800 years old, while the Swayambhu Shiva Linga presiding in the inner complex is thousands of years old. The reference of the mythological story behind the appearance of the Shiva Linga can be traced to the first and second chapters of the Sahyadri Section of the Skanda Purana.
The story is timed around the creation of the world when during the Padma Kalp, Lord Brahma was meditating in the forests of Sahyadri for the creation of human beings. Two demon brothers named Atibal and Mahabal were troubling the sages and other beings in the region. They are believed to have appeared from a Shiva Linga that Ravana tried taking to Lanka with him.
Their wrongdoing had reached maximum extent, and Lord Vishnu had to fight them to protect the beings of the region. But he was able to kill only Atibal, as Mahabal was blessed that he couldn’t be killed by anyone without his own will.
Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu prayed to Lord Shiva and Goddess Aadimaya to help them get rid of Mahabal. Goddess Aadimaya mesmerized Mahabal with her beauty and asked him to surrender to the Gods. He agreed to lay down his life with a condition that Lord Shiva will reside with him forever in this region.
Lord Shiva appeared as a Shiva Linga in the shape of a Rudraksha to stay with him, and the entire region was named ‘Mahabaleshwar’ to honor Mahabal. The Mahabaleshwar temple houses a bed, Trishul, Damru, and Rudraksha for this very reason. According to folklore, the temple is visited by Lord Shiva every night as the bed is found crumpled every morning.
Mahabaleshwar Temple was built much later in the 16th century by Chanda Rao of the More dynasty. The inner part where the Swayambhu Linga presides is believed to be much older compared to the rest of the temple complex.
General P Lodwick was the first among Europeans to visit the region and describe its beauty through the prominent newspaper of those times, the ‘Bombay Courier’. Upon his recommendation, the area was visited by Reverend Gordon Hall and Colonel Briggs. It was later designated as the Bombay Presidency’s summer capital in 1829.
Things to do at Mahabaleshwar Temple
Mahabaleshwar Temple is a highly revered Hindu temple set amidst the scenic backdrop of the Sahyadri Hills. You can seek blessings at the ancient Mahabaleshwar Temple and enjoy the natural grandeur of the surroundings.
Among, the other things to do at Mahabaleshwar Temple are:
1. The holy water from Shri Panchganga Temple is believed to have therapeutic properties and is consumed by devotees. Krishnabai Temple is another prominent black stone temple located over a majestic cliff.
2. Nature lovers and photographers can spend the day enjoying the tranquility of the region. You can enjoy watching the sunrise and sunset from near the temple premises.
3. You can also visit the various vantage points around the temple and rejuvenate amidst nature. Popular spots are Wilson Point (Sunrise Point), Carnac Point, Elephant's Head Point, Helen’s Point, Arthur’s Seat, Falkland Point, Sunset Point, Kate’s Point.
4. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy trekking, hiking, rock climbing, and camping in the area.
5. Chinaman’s Falls, Dhobi Waterfall, and Venna Lake are prominent picnic spots near the temple. You can enjoy a day of relaxation in the lap of nature at these places.
Image Gallery of Mahabaleshwar Temple
Entry Fee and Timings of Mahabaleshwar Temple
Entry Fee: There is no entry fee to visit the temple. However, the temple trust (Shri-Kshetra Mahabaleshwar Devasthan Trust) accepts donations from the devotees, which is used for development purposes and an authorized receipt is provided in exchange. The camera fee is not applicable however, capturing images of the Linga and temple interiors is not allowed.
Opening timings and days: Temple timings are from 5:00 AM to 12:00 PM and then from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM. It is open on all days.
Interesting facts about Mahabaleshwar Temple
- The Mahalingam is the only Rudraksha shaped Shiva Linga in the world.
- The Shiva Linga appeared on its own and symbolizes a ‘Trigunatmak Linga’ with the spiritual significance of Mahabaleshwar, Atibaleshwar, and Koteshwar.
- The temple has a central hall with exhibits dedicated to Lord Shiva like a Trident (Trishul), Rudraksha, and Damru. These are around 300 years old. It is believed that Shiva visits the temple to use them.
- The Panchganga temple is the point of convergence of five rivers.
Things to keep in mind while visiting Mahabaleshwar Temple
1. The condition of roads to Mahabaleshwar temple along the valley is not very good, so you should drive within the speed limit.
2. Parking may be a challenge during rush hours, so plan your trip accordingly.
3. The queue to witness the deity may be longer on weekends and holidays, so you may plan your trip accordingly.
4. Carry your camera to capture the scenic beauty of the temple and its surroundings. However, shooting and clicking pictures of the deity is prohibited.
5. Do not carry your pets to the temple.
6. If you want to enjoy the serenity of the surroundings, keep enough time on hand and avoid visiting the temple during peak hours.
7. While buying keepsakes and local stuff at the nearby shops, try bargaining with the vendors.
8. The place is often crowded and you must take extra care of your kids and all your belongings.
9. The roads and floors of the temple may become very slippery during the monsoon.
10. Carrying umbrellas and raincoats during the monsoon is advisable.
How to reach Mahabaleshwar Temple
Mahabaleshwar Temple is located in Old Mahabaleshwar and is around 6 kilometers from the heart of the city. It is easily accessible by road and around a 20-minute drive from the city bus stand. You can book a cab from top car rental companies in Mahabaleshwar to reach the temple as direct bus services are not available for the spot.
It is also conveniently connected with the other prominent sightseeing places in Mahabaleshwar:
- Krishnabai Temple is just 300 meters away and you can easily hike up to the cliff.
- Dhobi falls is around 7 kilometers.
- Elephant’s Head Point is just 5 kilometers.
- Venna Lake is around 5 kilometers.
- Mapro Garden is around 12.5 kilometers.
- Pratapgarh Fort is around 26 kilometers.
Catering to everyone’s travel needs, we at Mahabaleshwar Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA, present our travellers with a variety of customized and all-inclusive Mahabaleshwar tour packages. Please fill out the Contact Us form to know more about our services.