My Visit to the Ambreshwar Shiva Mandir – Ambernath
Who doesn’t love the fond memories of visiting a temple.
More so, if it’s an ancient and holy shrine. A place that revitalizes your devotion towards Lord Shiva. With breathtaking architecture and greenery complementing the ambiance. The place is none other than Shiv Mandir located at Ambernath, 50 km away from Mumbai. It is also known as Ambreshwar Temple.
One morning, I woke up early to the thought of visiting there. I was upset with not being able to find the crown flower, tropically known as Aakamda flowers, which is one special offering made to Shiva. I decided to walk out. I magically got it on the way, and as I reached there I offered it to Shivling.
The outpouring joy of my heart had no bounds. More so, to walk barefoot in the rains in and around the temple.
I spent a couple of hours admiring the carved sculpture. As I would run my fingers over them, trying to understand their origins before the detailing were weathered.
Do you want me to walk you through its surroundings? Let’s go!
There is a river named ‘Vadavan’ adjacent to the temple, which adds to the serenity. However, it is not recommended to take a dip considering the pollutive factors. After crossing the small bridge laid over it, one can walk towards the temple. You can find all the items for Pooja offering in the nearby shops.
There are overall three doors to enter.
Near the west side entrance, you can find the Nandi, which is a sacred bull and a carrier of Lord Shiva.
On the northern side, you can spot idols of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh (shiv), and Surya. The southern side has deities of Lord Ganesha and Shiva.
A unique aspect is that the temple has 20 steps to go down in the main room called Gabhara. There is one Shivalinga at the center of the room. With a lower temperature than outer surroundings. This is one amongst the rarest elements of an Indian temple.
A legend states that the temple was built by the five Pandava brothers in one night, constructed entirely from a single mass of stone. It is said that Pandava brothers of the epic Mahabharta took a night refuge during their period of exile. (vanvaas)
There is artwork from the top to the bottom. Each inch has a sculpture, seemingly a visual story to tell. It can be called as ‘Hemadpanthi’ architectural style: which is also seen in popular temples of Rameshwaram.
The temple was built in 1060 AD, roughly the 11th century. Isn’t it so cool that more than 1000 years later as well, the beauty and magnificence remains untouched.
It is said that Guru Nanak Ji and Shivaji Maharaj had also visited here.
A common route to reach will be:
From Mumbai Local trains to Ambernath station. After that, a shared or private rickshaw directly to the temple which is less than 2 km away from the station.
Anyone can also take a two hour drive from Mumbai to Ambernath with a personal vehicle.
Distance from Mumbai – 48 km
Distance from Pune – 148 km
Cultural significance :
On a small walking distance away from the temple, there is a water well. It is said that the Pandavas drank water from there.
The temple is a huge attraction during the festival of Maha Shiv ratri. It attracts millions of devotees from across the Nation. Also there are festivals celebrating the spirit of Art and culture, from time to time.
Similarly, in the month of Shravan. There is no space to set foot in the temple. The devotees show up in large numbers because it is in Hindu religion, it is said that Shravan is a Pious month and with the presence of Shiva, all your heart’s wishes are fulfilled.
Food and Accommodation :
Local food and every day Indian cuisines are readily available in nearby restaurants. If you are a tourist, hotels with or without bookings can be easily accessible for accommodation.
An Eerie element :
An eerie but unconfirmed narrative states that outside the temple, there is a closed door. Which shuts the entrance to a mysterious Cave. There are revelations that sages used to meditate over there. Also how anyone who has stepped in has never come back.
Maybe such suspense might pique your interest or give you one more reason to visit.
A special mention :
Shiv Mandir is also declared to be a cultural Heritage site by UNESCO.
So overall, visiting Shiv Mandir located at Ambernath makes it a perfect pick for exploring a place of cultural origin. For sightseeing, and familiarizing yourself with new places and people. Not to forget, for plunging yourself into a sea of devotion whilst also having a visual delight. Doesn’t that already sound perfect?
It also becomes a perfect weekday getaway from the city of Mumbai. As people can take a long drive to the quaint townside.
For when you walk out from the doors of the Shiva temple, you’ll be a transformed person and will be forever drawn to visit there, once more!
Kirti Changlani is an Author of two Books tiitled “A Life, Less Ordinary” And “The Search For Belonging”. Her books are available globally on Amazon. She writes Youth-oriented stories on contemporary social issues, she is also a poetess and a blogger.