Among the 12 Shivratri celebrated in a year, Mahashivratri is one of the biggest auspicious Hindu festivals celebrated annually in honor of the God Shiva. After this huge pandemic, we all are looking for peaceful places where we can pray to our God and celebrate this holy festival of Lord Shiva. In this blog, I am sharing the Best Temples to Visit on Mahashivratri near Mumbai.
This year Maha Shivaratri 2021 festival falls on March 11, Thursday. Shivratri means the night of Lord Shiva which is celebrated on the 14th day of every month, one day before the new moon.
This day marks a remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance in life and the world. It is said that on this day Lord Shiva has performed the cosmic dance which was a heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction.
1. Walkeshwar Temple
One of the peaceful and beautiful architectural temples of Mumbai located in the Malabar Hill vicinity of south Mumbai. On the occasion of Mahashivratri, this temple is crowded with the devotees of Lord shiva. People come here from different parts of Mumbai to witness the tranquility and peace during the festival of Mahashivratri.
It is said that Lord Ram came here with Sitaji and with his arrow created Baan Ganga when she was thirsty. A small temple in the bylanes of Walkeshwar and the Moorti is Swayambu.
This temple of Walkeshwar is also known as the Baan Ganga Temple as it is surrounded by the Banganga tank and located at one of the highest points of the city which is Malabar Hill.
The pilgrims flock to the temple during the period of the full moon and new moon to worship the deity and it is the best time to visit the Walkeshwar temple to witness its reverence in full glory.
How to reach: The nearest train station is Grant road. From there buses and taxis are available.
2. Ambernath Shiv Mandir
An ancient temple located in Ambernath dedicated to Lord Shiva is the most famous temple and nearby peaceful attraction of Mumbai people. The temple was constructed in the year of 1060 AD, also famous for the name of Ambreshwar Temple and known locally as Puratana Shivalaya.
The architecture design of this temple is known as Vesara Style of Hindu Temple Architecture mostly located in Deccan parts of North India.
Temple is 2 km away from Ambernath railway station situated on the banks of the Vadavan (Waldhuni) river. As declared by UNESCO, it is one of 218 cultural UNESCO world heritage sites. Out of those 218, India has 25 and Maharashtra has 4.
It is believed by the locals that the temple was constructed during the Vanvaas period of Pandavas in the middle of the eleventh century, beautifully carved in a huge single massive stone in just a single night. Pandavas could not complete the structure which we can even see today as above the main sanctum area(Garbha Griha) roof is missing. It is also said that there is a km-long passageway which was used by the Pandavas to escape which is closed by the locals these days.
The beautifully carved walls and architecture of Ambernath’s Shiv Mandir are the major attraction of people to visit the temple.
On the occasion of Mahashivratri, the temple is fully light up and crowded with devotees of shiva. There is a big fair in Ambernath on the occasion of Mahashivaratri for 4 days, 2 days prior and 1 day after the festival during which many local cultural programs are organized in the temple.
3. Babulnath Temple
The beautifully carved architecture of the white tower of Babulnath Temple makes the devotees visit the temple again. Temple is situated on a small hillock in Mumbai near Girgaum Chowpatty and is just 15 minutes away from Marine Lines Railway Station. It is one of the oldest famous temples in the city, dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of the lord of babul tree.
The architecture design of this temple is known as Nagara Style of Architecture mostly located in Northern side of India.
Inside the temple with a peaceful idol of Lord Shiva, you will find the idols of Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Goddess Parvati. To take Darshan of the shiv-ling and obtain blessings of the Lord one needs to climb up a flight of stairs to reach the main temple.
However, the current building of the temple was constructed in the late 18th century. This iconic temple witnesses millions of Hindu devotees every year during different holy festivals.
The temple is designed in such a way that it will remind the home of Lord Shiva that is Kailash Parbat. The major attraction of the temple is the neatly carved architecture and the peaceful surrounding environment.
On Mahashivratri, starting from morning 5 am is the best time to visit the temple as on this day temple is fully crowded up to 7 pm.
4. Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple
One of the best ancient Hindu temples to visit on the occasion of Mahashivratri near Mumbai is Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple. Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is located 30 km from the city of Nashik at Trimbak place in the midst of three beautiful hills, known as Brahmagiri, Nilagiri and Kalagiri.
This temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India, near the origin of the sacred Godavari River. And that is why it has become a peaceful and spiritual attraction for tourists and devotees near Mumbai. It is one of the significant pilgrimage sites amongst Hindus and especially Shaivites- Devotees of Shiva.
As per historical records, it has been a major worshipping site in the region from the early 18th century when the temple was built by Balaji Baji Rao. Kusavarta Kunda is there in the temple premises which is a sacred pond and is the source of the Godavari River known as the longest river in peninsular India.
It is 160 km away from Mumbai which you can make a one or two-day trip to Nashik Trimbakeshwar during the Mahashivratri festival. Monsoon season is also the perfect time to visit the temple due to its picturesque views and is surrounded by lush greenery hills of Anjaneri mountain.
5. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Pune
Bhimashankar Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas shrines of Lord Shiva located 50 km from Khed taluka near Pune in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri Mountains.
Bhimashankar is located near the source of the river holy river Bhima, which flows southeast and finally merges with the Krishna river near Raichur. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself visited this place and hence this place has a special place in the hearts of devotees.
It is believed that the ancient shrine was built around a Swayambhu linga that means a linga which was originated on its own. In the temple’s sanctum, the linga is exactly at the center of the floor. Ancient pillars of the temples are beautifully designed and you will find intricate carvings of divine and human beings on it and also on doorframes of the temple. You can also see scenes from mythology depicted here.
There is also a shrine for Lord Shaneeshwara inside the temple. A statue of Lord Shiva’s mount, Nandi, can be found at the entrance of the temple as is common in Shiva temples.
The dense forests surrounding the high ranges are an abode for rare species of flora and fauna and gives a beautiful picturesque view of the river, valley and hill station.