Lonar Lake, a popular tourist spot in the heart of Maharashtra, India, is visited by a number of visitors. The lake is also home to a number of temples, which are visited by a large number of devotees. Scroll through this blog post and you will know the top 7 Temples around Lonar Lake.
Lonar Crater area is unmatched in the whole world, you will find many beautiful temples and shrines, in the Lonar Crater (Sarovar) area. Most of these temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva i.e. Mahadev.
There are 12 Shiva temples around the Lonar Sarovar area. The purpose should be to build a total of twelve temples so that those who walk around the lake can worship the 12 Jyotirlinga. These temples are built at intervals of about ten minutes while walking around the entire area.
Lonar Lake Temple Carvings
The temples in the Lonar area are beautifully constructed. These temples are believed to have been built thousand years ago between the 10th and 11th centuries of the Chalukyas and Yadavs.
The temples here are found to have been built in Dravidian style. Everyone feels amazed, who comes to see these beautifully carved temples over the years.
Also, we cannot ignore appreciating and thanking craftsmen of Chalukya and Yadav times for all these magnificent temples. So let’s discuss the temples in this area one by one.
Top 7 Temples Around Lonar Lake
- Daityasudan Temple
- Gomukh – Dhar Temple
- Ancient Shiva Temple
- Kamalja Devi Temple
- Motha Maruti or Sleeping Hanuman Temple
- Kumareshwar Temple
- Mahadev Temple
1. Daityasudan Temple
The Daityasudan Temple in the vicinity of Lonar Lake is considered to be one of the most important temples. This Daityasudan temple is known as the oldest and most beautiful temple in South Vidarbha.
The Daityasudan temple was discovered in 1878 when excavations were being carried out here. The grand entrance of this temple and the carvings on it are very beautiful. The construction of this temple is similar to that of the Khajuraho temple. This temple is considered to be one of the rarest temples as Sculpture of Sun and Lord Vishnu reside in it.
A beautiful idol of Lord Vishnu is found in the temple when we enter from the north-facing gate. This idol of Lord Vishnu is said to be in the incarnation of Sun God. On the north side of the temple, Lord Krishna is playing (doing Raas-Lila) with Gopikas. There are about 185 sculptures on this temple. The sculptures also contain stories from the Saptashati and Srimad Bhagavata Puranas. Along with that, some sculptures like Khajuraho are also found here.
2. Gomukh – Dhar Temple
The feature of this temple is that there is a freshwater edge in the northeastern part of the lake, which is the Lonar City side. There is a nice Kunda (tank) in this temple which is a masterpiece of art, called Bhogwati Kunda.
Bhogwati Kunda has Gomukh (mouth of cow sculpture) from that we can see the day and night constant flow of water, in the basin. There are many speculations on where exactly this stream of water came from.
But it has been scientifically proven that this water is coming from the underground with regard to the Saipan principle at a distance of 18 km. All the tourists and devotees who come here can also bathe in this pool (Kund). It is also used for drinking water.
It is believed that when Lord Vishnu killed the demon Lavanasura, Ganga incarnated as Bhogavati to appease Lord Vishnu. And to soothe the hot and burning body, Lord Vishnu had bathed in this Bhogwati Kunda.
At the top of the temple is a childhood idol of Vishnu known as Vishnugaya. It is believed that this freshwater is coming from the river Ganga. And that’s why this stream of water is so important.
It is also believed that Sitamai (Sita from Ramayana) bathed under the same stream when Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Mother Sita were in exile. This Kunda is also known by various names like Dharatirtha, Kabir Tirtha.
There are a few more ponds in the area and they are just as important. The water from all these ponds collectively flows into Lonar Sarovar.
Apart from the Gomukh Dhar temple, there are many other temples in this place. Among these, Ramgaya Temple, Shukracharya Temple, Mungala Mahadev Temple, Papahareshwar Temple, Hatkeshwar Temple and Goddess Temple are also famous.
All these temples are masterpieces of carvings and pillars carved in beautiful stone sculptures. Lonar Lake is further enhanced by the magnificent temples of such architecture.
Some more ruined statues and carved pillars are found in the temple area. There is also the Stone circle of the Stone Age in the context of human death. It was customary to bury a person in such a circle 3 to 5 thousand years ago after his death. A panoramic view of Lonar Lake can be seen from this elevated area.
This temple is made of different types of sandstone. These stones are made by shaping and interlocking them in different ways. Looking at the handicrafts and carvings of these temples, we become aware of the skills of the artisans. It is said that Ahilyabai Holkar helped in the construction and restoration of this temple.
3. Ancient Shiva Temple
Adjacent to Gomukh Dhar Temple there is an ancient Shiva temple of Lord Mahadev. We can see the grand assembly hall on the outside of this temple.
There are beautiful carvings on this pavilion. A beautiful sculpture of Lord Shiva is presented in the centre of the temple. According to the local guide, this entire carved column contains information about the churning of the sea (Samudra Manthan) and other deities.
On these carved pillars, Lord Kartik, Lord Krishna and some occasions from ancient scriptures are also engraved.
4. Kamalja Devi Temple
There is also a magnificent ancient temple of Kamalja Devi in the area. This temple is still in good condition. It is found that this temple, built almost a thousand years ago, was built in Hemadpanthi style.
There is the well (Vihir) known as ‘Sasu Sunechi Vihir’ in this temple area. It is called Sasu Sunechi Vihir (The Well of Mother-in-Law and The Daughter-in-Law) because of its sweet and salty water.
There is a Yagyakund next to the temple and this Yagyakund is lit and worshipped on the ninth day of the Navratri festival. There is a small tiger idol on the platform in front of the temple of the goddess. The vehicle of the goddess is believed to be a tiger. And that is why we need to worship the tiger before we worship the goddess.
5. Motha Maruti or Sleeping Hanuman Temple
Motha Maruti Temple is one of the most popular temples in the Lonar area. Although the idol of Lord Hanuman in this temple is very similar to other Hanuman idols in appearance, it’s special because of the properties of magnetism and igneous rocks in this idol.
In this Sleeping Hanuman temple, if you try to determine the north and south directions using a compass, even the compass does not show you the proper direction.
The idol is said to have been made from basalt rock formed by meteorites from the area. In 1841 AD, when Ram devotees of the Kanitkar family passed away from here, they found the horizontal sleeping idol of Lord Hanuman in the dry leaves of trees.
They stayed there and started worshipping the idol. This idol is 9 feet 3 inches tall and a small idol of Lord Saturn (Shani-Dev) is found under its left foot. It is said that, in 1856, King Chandumal, the Diwan of the Nizam, gave Kanitkar the authority of two villages.
6. Kumareshwar Temple
In the Lonar Crater area, when we descend about 400 feet, you see an ancient Kumareshwar Shiva temple there. This temple is estimated to have been built about a thousand years ago.
The structure of this temple is of Hemadpanthi and Dravidian style, i.e. South Indian style and it has a nice finish. The basement of this temple is about fifteen feet deep, where beautiful Shivling is presented in the temple.
7. Mahadev Temple
You may have seen and visited many types of Mahadev temples, but you must not have seen the temple of Lord Shiva like the Mahadev temple. This temple was built almost a thousand years ago in the Lonar Lake area!
The Mahadev Temple is one of the rarest temples in the world. The feature of this temple is that the carvings of Lord Sri Shiva are found on the beautiful Shivlinga in the temple.
So, at last, we Lonar Lake Guide team is sure that after reading the information of all these temples around Lonar Lake, you will be convinced of the excellent carvings and constructions of the 10th to 11th centuries AD. To see these beautiful temples and to add more historic moments to your life, you must visit Lonar Lake at least once.
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