Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Lord Pashupatinath – 8-Faced, 8 Aspect Idol Temple Mandsaur

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Mystery Of India
Mystery Of India
Mystery of India is a culture and society website that presents facts about India, that have been erased from history. It updates regularly about matters related to India (like history, festivals, temples, sacred places, Culture, tradition, archaeology), the latest developments in Indian society and religions.

Pashupatinath Temple

Madhya Pradesh is home to many Shiv temples. But Pashupatinath temple is not just the oldest but also one of the most unique Shiv temples across India. 

Located on the banks of Shivna river in the Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh, the Pashupatinath temple has been attracting a huge tourist crowd each year. Pashupatinath is a form of Lord Shiva that is mainly believed in Kathmandu, Nepal but also is a major attraction in Mandsaur. 

Local History and the Temple

The locals and also some mythological experts have faith in one of the major stories that revolve around the construction of this temple several centuries ago. As per the story, the Shiv Linga actually emerged on its own from the Shivna River and after about 21 years, it was established by constructing the temple. The locals celebrate the day of the incarnation of the Shiv Linga in the form of a huge fair or mela. 

The main temple has got four doors but it is in the west direction from where the devotees enter the temple to pray in front of the Pashupatinath. The dimensions of the temple area are 90x30x101 feet in which the Shiv resides. 

Apart from the Pashupatinath Shiva Linga, there are idols of other deities too that have been established later on in the complex. As you enter the temple from the west entrance, you can witness the huge idol of Nandi Maharaj. Also, the other idols that you can witness here are Mata Parvati, Kartikeya, Ganesha, Mata Ganga, Lord Vishnu, Mata Lakshmi, and Adi Sankara.  

The Shiv Linga

It is the Shiv Linga in this temple that is worth talking about. It is also known as the Ashtamukhi Shiv Linga because it has got four faces, unlike any other Shiv Lingas across the country. Weighing 4.6 tons, the Shiv Linga has a height of 7.25 feet. Among the eight faces, four faces are on the top while the other four faces are on the bottom of the Shiv Linga. 

Not only is this Shiva Linga ashtamukhi but also it is made up of ashtadhatu or eight different alloys. So, what do the eight faces of this Shiv Linga actually mean?

There are eight different aspects that are highlighted by the eight faces of the Shiv Linga and these are:

  • Bhava, meaning creation
  • Sharva, meaning destroyer
  • Rudra, meaning sorrow dispeller
  • Pashupati, meaning master of all beings
  • Ugra, meaning fearsome
  • Mahadeva, meaning Supreme
  • Bhima, meaning tremendous and 
  • Isana, meaning the ruler of directions

The locals also believe that even nature pays a tribute to this ashtamukhi Pashupatinath Shiva Linga. This is because, every year during the monsoons, the water level of River Shivna rises and almost touches the Shiv Linga. This is also named Jalabhishek that is paying an offering to the Shiv Linga with water. This phenomenon is also quite important in this area and is considered quite pious. 

When to Visit Pashupatinath Temple?

The temple remains open for its devotees every day from 6 am in the morning till 8 pm night throughout the year. But if you are looking for the best time of the year, it is during the months of October to March. This is because summers are quite torturous in this region while during the monsoons the water of River Shivna reaches the Shiva Linga in the temple. 

If you wish to witness the grand mela or fair that happens every year to celebrate the incarnation of Lord Shiva, you have to be here in the months of November. It is during the Kartik month according to the Hindi calendar when the district celebrates the mela in respect of Lord Pashupatinath. 

Reaching Pashupatinath Temple

Reaching the Pashupatinath temple is not a difficult task as it is well-connected by all three means of transport. 

  • If you are traveling by train, you can arrive at the Mandsaur Railway Station from where the temple is just at a distance of 3 km.
  • Even when you are taking roadways, you can easily reach out to Mandsaur from different cities of Madhya Pradesh.
  • In case you are planning to come from some other state or country by air, you can land at the cities of Indore or Bhopal from where you can easily take the roadways to reach out to Mandsaur district. 

Usually, devotees arriving at the Pashupatinath temple pray in front of the deities and then make a parikrama around the temple. It is believed that devotees who arrive at the temple and pray with devotion achieve fearlessness, happiness, and strength in their life.

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