Ambernath Temple – A Puranic Era Shiva Temple Near Mumbai

September 15, 2022 by admin0
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Location

Ambernath Temple is located in the city of Ambernath near Mumbai in Maharashtra. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also known as Ambareshwar. According to the inscription found in the temple, this temple was built by King Mambani in 1060 AD. This temple is also called the Pandava period temple. It is said about the temple that there is no other temple like this temple in the whole world. There are many such natural miracles near the Ambernath Shiva temple, due to which its recognition increases.

Architect

The Ambernath Temple stands in a hollow on the bank of a small stream a short distance to the east of Ambernath village. Usually, such temples are erected on a high platform called Jagati. The reason for the construction of the present temple in a hollow appears to be that the sva-linga established there is of the swayambhu (self-existent) type, described by the great Sanskrit poet Bhavabhuti as Ek-pausheya-Patrisha (not established) by any man. For this reason, its gaibhaguha (sanctum sanctorum) is eight feet below the level of its other parts. One has to descend nine steps to reach Swaling there.

Ambernath Temple

Ambernath Temple is facing west and its length is 60 feet. It may have originally contained a small temple (devakuli) for Nandi (Shiva’s bull), but it has now disappeared. A small Nandi is placed on the west porch, but it is not very old.

The Ambernath Temple has a sanctum (sanctum) and a mandapa (hall), both of which are square in shape, and connected diagonally. The mandapa has three entrances on the south, west, and east sides, each with its own porch.

In halls, the door recesses are equal to the thickness of the walls, with the weight of the ceilings being spread more evenly. Yet these are places where the masonry looks dangerously thin. The projections around the walls create lots of buttresses to reinforce them. As with all this class of old work, the masonry is held together without cementing material, the stability of the mass by weight, and the level beds of the blocks that make up it. The varied treatment of sections in designing the plans of these temples, the sides being more or less divided by projections and recesses, yielded somewhat fanciful, yet, pleasing-looking figures.

The sanctum sanctorum is thirteen feet long and wide. From some broken edges of the masonry at a height of eight feet above the ground level of the sanctum sanctorum, the Kushans inferred that there was an upper story of the temple with a duplicate Shiva-linga for daily worship. He thought that the upper temple floor broken due to the fall of the Shikhar. There is little chance of that. As the Swara-linga self-proclaimed, the sanctum had to be far below the level of the mandapa. Since several steps required to reach the lower sanctum, the door had to be brought forward, sacrificing almost the entire width of the common antechamber.

 

The gate of the sanctum is 9 feet high and 4 feet wide. Its architecture features a yogi in the center, a figure of Shiva engrossed in meditation with an elephant and a lion, three figures on either side of the door, about two feet high, the middle one, a male figure, with a tiara possibly of a contemporary king. Represents, a male and a female figure on either side of it. There is a niche on either side of the door, with the image of Ganapati in the light, while the left one is now empty.

The mandapa has four richly carved pillars that form a square in the center. They are ten feet high and vary in circumference from ten feet at the base to five feet in the middle. The pillars are almost square at the base, turning into an octagon at about a third of their height, and have round necks and rounded capitals. They richly engraved with human figures.

 

They support the dome about five feet from the outer rim to the center. It uses in a series of concentric circles for a central pendant. The lowest circle decorated with a running scroll, while the remaining four are scooped into half-cup shapes and cusped hollows. (unreadable) of an effective play of light and shadow.

Each of the three porches on the three sides of the mandapa has pairs of pillars, about ten feet high and five feet round, supporting a dome above. Two of these paired separately, while the third half built into the wall. The roof flat and carved in geometric designs.

 

The sanctum sanctorum and the basement of the mandapa decorated with rows of kittimukhas, elephants (gaja-Thara), and men (nava-thara) on the outside. The row of horses (Ashwa-takaya), which also seen in such places, distinguished by its absence here.

Ambernath Temple

The outer walls of the temple decorated with images of gods and goddesses, sadhus, and heavenly apsaras (swa-sundaris). Big downs given to them in relationships. Generally, the niche on the back wall of the temple considered prominent, from the image in which we can determine the deity to whom the temple dedicated. In the present case, that image of three-faced Shiva like in Elephanta Cave. But the image standing, not like the latter.

It has a jata-crown and wears ornaments such as a necklace, a mekhald (clothing), bracelets, and foot-ornaments. It had eight arms, but most of them now broken except for the upper left, which has a serpent. Two ganas (attendants) shown in small form on either side of it.

 

Eight in the main niche in the north There is an image of Mahakali with arms in a terrifying form a slender shriveled body and dangling breasts. She wears a necklace of human skulls hanging at her feet and carries various weapons such as daggers, swords, trisulas,etc. She  shown dancing, with her arms and legs folded and snakes tied around her neck and waist.

Below this image of Mahakali is that of Brahma. He shown in Alamagna-murti form, with his wife Savitri in his lap. He holds the Kalachi (Srucha), the unbound book, the rosary, and the kamandala of the Yagya in his hands, Brahma four-faced, but here only his three faces visible, the fourth hidden from view of his vehicle, the swan, shown under his right lap.

Ambernath Temple

The Temple

 

There is also a hot water tank near the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. There is also a cave near it, which is said to have its way to Panchavati. UNESCO has declared the Ambernath Shiva Temple a cultural heritage. Situated on the banks of river Valadhan, this temple surrounded by mango and tamarind trees.

The architecture of the temple made on sight, due to which many people from the country and abroad come here. There are many forms of Lord Shiva on the outer walls of the temple. Along with this, the idols of gods and goddesses like Ganesha, Kartikeya, Chandika, etc. decorated. Goddess Durga also shown destroying the Asuras.

There are at least 8 idols of Brahmadev inside and outside the temple. There are idols of Brahmadev from ancient times in many places around this place, which shows that Brahmadev worshiped here earlier. This temple is amazing, It  said that the assembly of the gods, bow, and arrow fulfill their wishes. Guru Nanak visited the temple sometime around 1415.

Lord Shiv

Legend

It said that the Pandavas had spent some years in Ambernath during their exile, then they built this temple in a single night with huge stones. Then he left this place in fear of being constantly followed by the Kauravas. Due to this, the work of the temple could not be completed. This temple, which has been facing the wrath of the weather for years, still standing today.

Festivals

A fair organized here on the occasion of Shivratri. This fair held for 3-4 days, then a lot of crowds can be seen here. A grand fair organized on the occasion of Mahashivratri which attended by thousands of devotees. On the day of Mahashivratri, the eastern side of Ambernath blocked for vehicles due to a heavy influx of pilgrims. The temple gets crowded during the month of Shravan.

 

How to reach Ambernath Temple:

Road: Regular buses and private vehicles are available from various places in Maharashtra to Ambernath.

Air: The nearest airport is located in Mumbai.

Train: The temple is only 2 km away from Ambernath Railway Station.

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