Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple
There is a legend about the Girishneshwar Jyotirlinga temple that a woman named Kusuma who believed in Shiva ji and used to worship him every day. During his worship, she used to give bath to Shivalinga in a small tank. Kusum had great honour in society and all looked at her with respect. Second wife of Kusum’s husband was jealous of her because of her status and respect in society.
In this burning sensation, anger and resentment, she killed Kusuma’s son. Kusum was very sad to know about the murder of her son but did not give up worshiping Shiva, even in this sadness. Looking at her reverence Shiva ji appeared in front of Kusum and miraculously gave life to Kusum’s son. Shiva also gave darshan to the people of the village and on request of Kusuma, Shiva Ji manifested himself in the same place as Jyotirlinga Grishneshwar.
The term grishaneshwar means “lord of compassion”. Grihneshwar Jyotirlinga is located in Ellora, less than a kilometer away from the Ellora caves – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is 30 kilometers away from Aurangabad city. TheGrishneshwar Jyotirlinga temple was destroyed in the Mughal Empire during the Hindu-Muslim wars of the 13th and 14th centuries, and many times the temple was attacked and many times it was reconstructed. After the fall of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, it was rebuilt in the present form under the sponsorship of Queen Ahilyabai, a Hindu queen from Indore. This 240 feet x 185 feet temple is India’s smallest Jyotirlinga temple.