Built in the Hemadant architectural style of South India by the Chanda Rao More dynasty, this 16th century temple is dedicated to the most revered deity of Hindu religion – Lord Shiva.
The temple is secured by a 5 ft wall, which is divided into two parts – the sanctum sanctorum and the central hall. The sanctum sanctorum has the 500 years old and 6 feet long self-originated (‘Swayambhu’ called in Sanskrit) linga, in the shape of Rudraksha, which is considered to be the tip of Shiva linga, called as Mahalingam.
In Fact, the religious significance of this place is higher than the twelve Jyotirlingas. Whereas the central hall contains the 300 years old articles dedicated to Lord Shiva like the Trishul, Rudraksha, Damru and a bed, believing that he still pays visit to the temple and uses them. There is a square shaped raised platform made of gold, believed to be given as charity by the Maratha ruler, Shivaji.
It is believed that the square is equal to the weight of his mother, Jijabai. There are two more temples; the Atibaleshwar temple and Panchganga temple, residing at the same site.
What to do and see
For the nature lovers and adventure enthusiats, the places like the Wilson Point (Sunrise Point), Carnac Point, Helen’s Point, Falkland Point, Sunset Point, Kate’s Point, Marjorie Point, etc can be visited along with Mahabaleshwar temple. Other than them the places like Venna Lake, Pratap Singh Park, Pratapgarh Fort, Babington point, Lingmala Waterfall, Krishnai Temple, Arthur’s Seat, Tiger Spring, Mapro Garden, that resides within the range of 10 km.
The temple is situated about 6 km from the main city, which is easily accessible by local transport like buses / auto-rickshaw.
Best time to visit
The temple is open for the devotees every day of a year. But to enjoy the beautiful and scenic ambience of Mahabaleshwar, the months of June till December are the best.