Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple located at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh or the ‘Heart of Incredible India’ is the home to the cultural heritage of the sub-continent. From monuments with intricate architecture to national parks and wildlife reserves, it’s a perfect mix of adventure and culture for tourists visiting India. In addition, it is also the world heritage site for the monuments like Khajuraho, Buddhist monuments at Sanchi as well. Being located at the centre of the sub-continent, it is also a famous pilgrimage destination. The Pashupatinath Temple at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh is located on the banks of the Shivna River. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Pashupatinath and is the main deity here. Thousands of pilgrims pay a visit to this temple every day. It is considered a sacred place of worship, especially among the Hindus. The temple sees massive devotees during special occasions and the temple committee comprising of twenty-five members plans the activities well in advance.

Pashupatinath Temple 2Pashupatinath Temple History

  • Mandsaur was known as Dashpur in the ancient times. It lies on the Tropic of Cancer and when the sun is in winter solstice, its rays are less potent and hence this place earned the name Mand Surya, which later became Mandsaur.
  • This place has been mentioned in many ancient epics like the Mahabharata, Megdoot, Puranas, Kadambari and Bruhatsamhita. The history and heritage are mingled in its religion, art and literature. This place has also been referred to in the old Jain writings.
  • Amleshwar inscription of the second century B.C. was among the earliest to mention this place.
  • The temple has its deity made during the Gupta period. It is actually distinct, the only other comparison being the Pashupatinath deity in Nepal. What makes it all the more interesting is that both the idols were mentioned by Kalidasa in his works.
  • Pashupati means ‘the lord of the beats’ and it is derived from the Sanskrit words, ‘pashu’ referring to animals and ‘pati’ meaning the protector. It is as the incarnation was considered among the eight Rudras, the one who holds the place of fire.
  • It has been said that Lord Vishnu along with other gods had named Lord Shiva as Pashupati during the time of Tripura Samhar. Lord Shiva became the lord of all the demons and demolished Tripura, the three cities of illusion, which were being administered by the asuras Kamlaaksha, Taarakaaksha and Vidyunmaali. This three pashus were creating destruction by assaulting gods and sages. Shiv Purana states that any individual who is in the clutches of his own ego, ignorance and wants is an animal or pashu. And under such circumstances, only the Pashupati can provide relief to them.
  • The deity of the temple has a striking history in the year 1961. It is said that Udaji, a laundry person was washing clothes on a stone along the banks of the Shivna River. One night, he dreamt of the Lord saying him that he was washing clothes on his idol. Alarmed by this, the person discussed the matter with the society people and the stone was found out to be the deity of Lord Pashupatinath. As it was a small city, the idol was planned to be taken to Ujjain to build a temple but the bullocks of the cart with transportation refused to move. The person again dreamt of the Lord telling him that a temple should be constructed there itself which paved a way to the formation of this famous shrine.
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Significance of the Pashupatinath Temple

  • Mandsaur’s main attraction is the Pashupatinath Temple. This temple has been built many decades ago. It has beautiful effigy that is built-up smooth, with a glowing dark coppery fiery rock-block.
  • The idol of this temple is divided into two parts and there are four faces on the upper section of the deity and the remaining four faces on the lower section.
  • The famous shrine has four doors which pave the way to four different directions, for example, north, south, east and west. Each direction consists of two faces displaying the eight rasas namely, the east stands for peace and concentration, the west for the Rudra form or angry, the north full of snakes and hairs and the south for gentle and artistic.
  • Additionally, the Shivalinga of this holy place of worship consists of eight faces. Every part has four faces which portray the four stages of life. It is a unique sculpture of Lord Shiva in the world.
  • The temple is 90 feet in length and is 30 feet wide and 101 feet tall. In addition, it has one golden pitcher of 100 kg each placed on the top of the shrine.
  • The Shivalinga of this popular and sacred place of worship is 2.5*3.2 meters and weighs 4.6 tons.
  • The idol is believed to be found during the summers of 1940 when the water level was declining from the Shivna River.  Many people find it strange but till now, the water level in the Shivna Riverrises to 90 feet to touch the holy Shiv Ling of lord Shiva. This phenomenon during the monsoon is termed as “Jalaabhishek” which means worshiping the Almighty through the water.
  • Mondays are considered very auspicious by the devotees as it is said that the idol of Lord Shiva had emerged from the waters of Shivna River on this day. It reached the Tapeshwar Ghat of the river on Sunday and was positioned there. After exactly, 21 years, 5 months and 4 days the deity was incarnated. This day of the incarnation is celebrated with great pomp by the pilgrims.

Pashupatinath Temple Timings

  • Pashupatinath Temple remains open on all days in a week.
  • A pilgrim can visit this holy place from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M.
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Pashupatinath Temple Food Timings

  • A pilgrim can offer Prasad to the deity either in the morning or in the evening.
  • The Prasad mainly comprises of dry items like sweet, fruits etc.
  • The temple provides Prasad from 12 P.M. to 2 P.M.

Festivals celebrated at the Pashupatinath Temple

  • Mahasivaratri festival is the most important festival that is observed in this temple. Thousands of pilgrims gather in the premises of this temple with utter devotion to pray and seek blessings of the Lord. It is celebrated with great zeal and people fast and offer pooja on this occasion. This festival is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha of the month of Maagha according to the Hindu calendar. The festival is principally distinguished by offerings of Bilva leaves to Lord Shiva, all day fasting and an all night long vigil.
  • Kartik Ekadashi festival held annually at Fair Margashirsha is Krishna.
  • On request from a devotee, there are provisions for organizing special poojas in the temple as well.

Poojas and Rituals at Pashupatinath Temple

  • The daily rituals of Lord Pashupatinath are carried out by the priests. While some priests perform the daily ritual and can touch the lingam, the others serve as a helper and are not qualified to perform pooja rituals or to touch the deity.
  • Rudraabhishek is another special form of worship that is organized during special occasions like the Maha Shivaratri festival etc.

How to Reach: Road, Rail and Air

  • By Air– A devotee can also plan his trip to Mandsaur by booking for air tickets as well. One can either choose to land at the Dablok airport which is 148 km from the temple or the Indore airport that is situated at a distance of 188 km from the sacred place of worship. Bhopal airport is also a good option but it is 279 km distance from the temple. There are many cabs and taxi services available outside the airport for pilgrims to reach the auspicious shrine.
  • By Train- Mandsaur railway station is the nearest station which connects the famous temple with the rest of the country. Visitors after arriving at the station can hire a bus, taxi and local cabs to reach the shrine. The station is located at a distance of 3 km from the temple.
  • By Road– Mandsaur is well connected with all the adjacent cities and towns of the state by roads. Hence, it is easy and hassle free for an individual to travel to the temple on a first visit. It is located at around 84 km from the north of Ratlam. This place has NH 79 passing through it and hence connects other Indian states as well.

Hotels in Madhya Pradesh: Where to stay

Madhya Pradesh offers a variety of options when it comes to choosing one’s accommodation. From luxury hotels to plush cottages located among the greenery, people can choose the living that they require. The cost of the room depends on the type of living one opts for. For example, a double room with air conditioner and a private balcony will cost more than the one without these benefits. The tourist lodges and resorts are clean and hygienic. And if you are travelling alone, you can also opt to stay at the dormitories. This will help you to save up on the expenses and also provide you with a comfortable stay. In fact, one can find all the modern amenities inside the rooms and they are well decorated as well. Some of the hotels also have their own exclusive restaurants open to the clients as well. So choose the one as per your budget and need.

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Where to eat

The heart of Incredible India has surely a lot to offer when it comes to satisfying one’s appetite. The cuisine of this state offers numerous traditional Indian dishes that are a fine blend of taste and essence. Some of the popular foods of this region include kusli, lavang lata, jalebi, and pilaf with peas, indori puri palak ki, baflas, kebabs and biryani. In addition, a tourist can taste different cuisine as per to the changing weather of the state. The food offered is both vegetarian and nonvegetarian and people of all taste can be rest assured to enjoy some fine delicacies during their stint at this wonderful state in India. While Bhopal is famous for its spicy kebabs, biryani, korma, fish, meat and keema, Indore and Gwalior stands tall with regard to various delicacies prepared from milk. One of the ways to identify the variety in cultures of Madhya Pradesh is through its food.

Nearby Temples

  • Taxakeshawar Temple- It is counted among the most important places to visit in the Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is located at a distance of 22 km from the Bhanpura town on the Hinglajgarh road. People here worship the serpent king Taxak or Takhaji.
  • Nalcha Mata Temple- It is another popular destination for tourists visiting Mandsaur. The Goddess is worshipped as a form of Shakti or power and it lies at a distance of 3 km from the Pashupatinath temple.
  • Shree Khade Balaji Temple- This temple is very old with its interior being made up of stones. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Hanumanji or Shree Khade Balaji. It is located near Gandhi Chauraha which is at the prime location in Mandsaur. The Balaji Yuva Group during the annual Diwali celebration organizes Maha Arati and Annakut Prasad at Balaji ka Bada, Gandhi Chauraha.
  • Bandi Ji Ka Baag– It is 120 years old Jain temple which consists of glass interiors. This temple is located very near to the main bus stand has a ‘Mann Stambh’ built when the shrine observed its 100 years of establishment.
  • Shree Bahi Parshwanath Digambar Jain Atishay Kshetra– This is located at a distance of 12 km from Mandsaur. This place has been built with the blessing and motivation from Acharya Shree Kalyan Sagar Ji Maharaj, who is also known as Namokar Mahamantra Sadhana Kendra, Vahi Parshavanatha Chaupati’.
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