Kalyaneshwar Mahadev Mandir located at Braj Ghat (Brij Ghat) in Garh Mukteshwar is an ancient temple of immense spiritual potency. This temple popularly known as Bhooto ka Mandir is believed to one of the pancha lingas consecrated by the mighty Parashurama in this region.
According to the Hindu scriptures, this Shiva Linga from the days of yore has been revered for its supreme divine energy. It is said that when abhishek is performed on Kalyaneshwar Mahadev, the water and milk miraculously disappear or rather become invisible!
The scriptural texts state that even the legendary king Nala tried to solve this mystery of the disappearing water. On seeing the water poured over the Shiva Linga becoming invisible right in front of his eyes, Raja Nala arranged for thousands of pots of the sacred Ganga to be brought to the temple.
He offered abhishek to Lord Mahadev with all the water and yet, it got absorbed immediately leaving no trace. Finally, realization dawned on him and he sought forgiveness from Lord Shiva and returned to his kingdom.
The Pandavas also worshipped this sacrosanct shrine while in exile and spent a great deal of time in tapas (austerities and penance) after the Kurukshetra war seeking forgiveness for the death and destruction.
They donated a lamp in the Ganges on Karthik Chaturdashi and performed a yaga in this temple for several days. They returned to their capital through the maze of tunnels that can still be seen in the courtyard of the temple.
The true Emperor of Akhanda Bharat, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj arrived in this temple after engineering his daring escape from captivity. Shivaji Raje attributed his escape to the kindness and blessings of Lord Mahadev and arranged for a Rudra yagna that went on three months at this temple.
Though the original temple has been built in the Dwapura Yuga or even earlier, another temple was built suddenly overnight. Locals claim it was the work of ghosts.
This temple is venerated by all and is an important kshetra in the Kanwar Yatra. Thousands of devotees throng this temple in the auspicious months of Magha, Shravan, Karthik and Agrahāyaṇa (Mārgaśīrṣa) and on Maha Shivaratri, Amavasya and Purnima.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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