Monday, December 14, 2015

Lord Khandoba Images, History

Lord Khandoba Temple - Jejuri

Shri Mahalasa’s story here is incomplete without the story of Lord Khandoba. Lord Khandoba is worshipped in Jejuri, near Pune, here as Martand Bhairava, a form of Lord Shiva, and is also known by the following names: Khanderao, Khanderaya, Malhari, Martand, Ravalnath, Yelkoti Mahadev. Lord Khandoba is also known as Shri Mahalasakant — husband of Shri Mahalasa.

He is the most popular family deity in Maharashtra, the patron deity of Deshastha Brahmins, warrior, farming and herding castes, the hunters and gatherers of the hills and forests. Lord Khandoba is also worshipped by Dhangars, the oldest of tribes in the state.

The cult of Lord Khandoba (Khanda means sword, ba means father) has linkages with Vaishnava and Jain traditions, and also assimilates all communities irrespective of caste, including Muslims. Lord Khandoba is sometimes identified with Mallanna of Andhra Pradesh and Mailara of Karnataka. The legends of Lord Khandoba, found in the text Malhari Mahatmya and also narrated in folk songs, revolve around his victory over demons Mani-Malla and his marriages to Shri Mahalasa and many others.

The temple of Shri Mahalasa-Lord Khandoba is situated on a small hill, which can be seen while approaching the road. Visitors have to climb almost 200 steps to reach temple. The wonderful view of Jejuri town makes the journey to the temple marvellous. Although the temple is small, but it still looks beautiful with two divisions, Mandap and Gabhara.

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