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Timings : 6:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Mahabaleshwar Temple, Mahabaleshwar Overview

Located at a distance of 6 km from the city of Mahabaleshwar; Mahabaleshwar temple is an ancient shrine and an ideal example of the Maratha heritage. Popularly known as the Mahabali, the temple is flocked by tourists and devotees throughout the year to bask in the serenity and tranquillity offered here. The temple is extremely popular among the Hindus, as Lord Shiva is the presiding deity here. Set up amidst the hilly terrain, this picturesque temple glorifies the Maratha Empire and its rule during the 16th century.

The Mahabaleshwar temple near Satara is one of the ancient temples of Maharashtra. It was built by Chanda Rao More dynasty in the 16th century. The magnificent temple is guarded by a five feet wall and has two sections- the inner area and the outer area. The inner part, known as the sanctum sanctorum, has Shiva as the presiding deity. There are many belongings of Lord Shiva in the premises of this temple, like his bed, damru, Trishul, carvings of his sacred bull and Kalbhairav (his bodyguard); that aptly defines his presence here.

The main and central attraction of this temple is the 6 feet long Shiva lingam of which only the tip is visible, depicting the stone incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Mahabaleshwar Temple has a very serene and spiritual environment. Devotees visit the temple around the year to witness the calm and peaceful aura of Lord Shiva. The site has two more temples nearby, namely the Atibaleshwar temple and the Panchganga temple. Mahabaleshwar Temple is quintessential of the authentic Hemadant architectural style of South India.

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History of Mahabaleshwar temple

The word 'Mahabaleshwar' comes from the word 'Mamleshwar' which stands for Lord Shiva (God of Mavalas). The credit for the discovery of this beautiful place goes to the Britishers, with a special mention to Colonel Lodwick, as they discovered this beautiful hill station. The first historical mention of Mahabaleshwar goes back to 1215 when the King Singhan of Deogiri visited the Old Mahabaleshwar. He contributed in the infrastructure by building a small temple and water tank at the source of the river Krishna. The area further flourished when around 1350, it came under the rule of a Brahmin Dynasty. In the middle of the 16th century, the Maratha family of Chandarao More defeated the Brahmin dynasty and became rulers of Javli and Mahabaleshwar, and further rebuilt the temple of Old Mahabaleshwar during this period.

This exquisite example of Maratha heritage stands proudly near the district of Satara since hundreds of years. It was built in the 16th century and incorporates the Hemadant architectural style of architecture. The inner section of the temple houses the 500-year old self-originated lingam that is also known as the Mahalingam. The temple also showcases a 300-year old Trishul, rudraksha, damru and a bad of Lord Shiva, which supposedly shows the presence of Lord Shiva with crumbled bed sheet every morning.

Architecture Mahabaleshwar temple

The Mahabaleshwar temple is built in the South Indian Hemadanta style of architecture. It is surrounded by five feet wall and is divided into two parts viz. inner and outer. The inner part has a black stone lingam as its central figure. It is in the shape of rudraksha, and this place is considered to be superior among the twelve Jyotirlingas. Dedicated to Lord Shiva the temple has several carving of Shiva's vehicle (his sacred bull) and his bodyguard Kalbhairava. The temple also has Shiva's Bed, Trishul and Damru, dating back 300 years. The temple also showcases a raised platform in a square shape that is believed to be given to charity by the Maratha ruler Shivaji, which is equal to the weight of his mother, Jijabai.

Read more about the 12 Jyotirlingas in India

Attractions at Mahabaleshwar temple

The Mahabaleshwar temple is a major tourist attraction for many religious travellers and history lovers. The reason for its popularity is not only the story behind its origin, but also the location and the scenic beauty one finds reaching there. The temple is very serene and has tranquil ambience and takes you to a different level of spirituality. The place is ideal for the religious crowd looking for peace of mind.

This divine place is best visited along with your family, as it adds to the fun of it. The location is quite picturesque and hence offers a great spot for the shutterbugs. You can find many food stalls nearby the temple that offers snacks to the tourists. One of the best ways to enjoy a visit here is to reach temple early morning to avoid the crowd, and afterwards, have a steaming hot breakfast at the nearby stalls.

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Best Time To Visit Mahabaleshwar Temple

Since the town of Mahabaleshwar is located in the vicinity of Western Ghats, it experiences a rather pleasant climate throughout the year. The coniferous forests in the proximity majorly define the weather in this region. October to June serves as the best time to pay a visit to this magnificent temple. As the months from July to September witness torrential showers all through Mahabaleshwar. These rainfalls though increase the charm of the hill station, but also make it a cumbersome task to travel. The months from October to June experience a friendly climate in Mahabaleshwar thus making it the ideal gateway for the travel enthusiasts. 

Tips For Visiting Mahabaleshwar Temple

1. The valley roads to Mahabaleshwar temple are not in good shape. Make sure to drive within the speed limit.
2. Pets are not allowed in the temple premises.
3. Avoid going during peak hours if you want to enjoy some peaceful and quiet time here.
4. If you shop at the nearby stores, make sure to bargain as the prices are negotiable.
5. Parents should accompany their kids through the entire duration of the visit as the place is often crowded, putting your child at risk of getting lost.
6. Take care while walking on the floor during rainy season as it gets very slippery.
7. Make sure to carry your cameras to capture the majestic beauty of this temple.

How To Reach Mahabaleshwar Temple

About 6 km from the central city, this temple in Old Mahabaleshwar is easily accessible by road. Hire a cab or hop into your car with your family to enjoy a mini family picnic here. The beautiful landscape will surely compel you to admire the majestic temple and its glorious past.

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