The Galteshwar Mahadev Temple is located in the Kheda district of Gujarat. It lies at the confluence of rivers Mahi and Galti; the temple conceived its name from the river GALTI.
The Solanki Era kings constructed the temple in the 12th century. Archaeological Survey of India renovated the temple recently, building 75 feet Shikhara. The temple architecture is unique and similar to the Malwa style. It has a square Garbhagriha and an octagonal dancing hall.
Galteshwar Temple story
Once upon a time, Saint Gallvi penanced on Lord Shiva. Delighted with the devotion from the saint, Lord Shiva emerged in front of him as a Linga (For this reason, the Shiv Ling in the temple is believed to be Swayambu, emerges by itself; no human installed the statue).
The saint pleaded with the lord to permit goddess Ganga to flow on the earth. To fulfill Gallvi’s wishes, mother Ganga descended to the earth in the form of Rive Galti. People believe that Mother Ganga is still flowing under Galteshwar Temple. After bathing the Shivling, mother Galti joins the river, Mahi.
The carvings on the temple walls are exquisite. There are figurines of Gandharvas, horse riders, rishis, and depictions of their stories. However, the major attraction of the temple is an assembly hall supported by 40 pillars, standing on a star-shaped plinth (base). In Hindu mythology, stars have six points. However, this star plinth has eight points and is different and unique!
Major Attraction of Galteshwar Mahadev Temple
Devotees visiting the Galteshwar Mahadev Mandir will realize Somnath temple and the Sun temple in Moodhera on the first look. Architecture and the temple building are very similar to the two. Eight sided hall in the temple is just the replica of the one in the Surya Temple of Modhera.
The Shikhara and the entire structure are the same as the Somnath Temple. The power of the Shivling in the temple is immense. Despite several attacks in the past, it stands majestically to date.
How to reach Galteshwar Mahadev Temple?
- By Road: Ahmedabad, Anand, and Vadodara are the nearest cities. Private buses run from these destinations. However, their frequency is less during the night.
- By Rail: Nearest Railway stations to Galteshwar Mahadev Mandir are Anand (43 km) and Nadiad (35 km).
- By air: Ahmedabad (90 km) and Vadodara (78 km) are the nearest airports to the temple.
Temple is open between 7 AM and 9 PM
Festivals of Galteshwar Mahadev Temple
Janmashtami, Mahashivaratri, and Sharad Purnima are the major festivals celebrated in the temple. Thousands of devotees visit the temple during this time.
Hidden secrets in the temple
The wall carvings speak about the secrets of life. The assembly hall stands on an eight-pointed star plinth and has life-and-death depictions. The message hidden here is “A man may choose any direction in life, north, south, east, west, north-east, north-west, south-east or south-west. But he cannot escape life and death”.
The only way to win this cycle is to worship the lord and enter the Garba Graha. You reach the moola virat after crossing the star-shaped plinth and the hall. The Galteshwar Mahadev Temple architecture passes the message that humans should control their minds by running in different directions. To control your mind, you stand at the center of the star. When your mind is under control, the way to the lord opens.
Significance of the Temple
Galteshwar Mahadev Temple is an ideal place for peaceful meditation. As the saint did his penance for years together, meditating devotees can feel the bliss here. Bhagwan Ganesha is on the right, and Lord Hanuman is on the left.
History of Galteshwar temple
Chalukya rulers built the temple in the 12th century CE. Temple architecture is of Malwa style and has influences from Paramara architecture.
Significance of the Square Garba Graha
The Shiv Ling in the Garba Graha is powerful. Temple architecture (the shape) plays a huge role in adding power to the Shiv Ling. The Garbha Graha of the temple is square in shape. And the Shiv Ling is placed at the center of the Garba Graha.
Square-shaped Garbha Grahas have higher power and can attract more positivity and divine power. Thus, the Shiv Ling in the Galteshwar temple is powerful. Though the Mughals ruined the temple, they could do nothing to the Shivling. Only the outer structures got destroyed. The Shivling couldn’t be touched!
Shikara of Galteshwar Temple
The Mughal rulers destroyed Galteshwar Mahadev Mandir long back. The temple was without a Shikhar for many years. Shikhar is the pinnacle, the rooftop where the main deity resides.
The Shikhar is essential to a temple as Hindus believe that gods enter the temple through the Shikhar. After Mr. Narendra Modi became the prime minister of India, he invited ASI to start renovating the temple. So, upon the Prime Minister’s directions, the ASI built a new Shikhar. And it looks just like the older Shikhar.
Monument of National Importance
ASI designated the Galteshwar Mahadev Mandir as a Monument of National Importance. The temple is directly administered and protected by the Central Government.
Pooja at Galteshwar Mandir
Devotees visiting the temple can do pooja to the Shivling. They can offer water, milk, and fruits to the Shivling. You can do the pooja any time of the day. No prior booking is required. The practice of offering milk to Shivling removes negativity.
When Lord Shiva drank the poison, Devi Parvati stopped it at his throat. Shiva felt uncomfortable. To cool the lord and please him, Lord Vishnu asked the other gods to pour milk on Shiv ji. The practice continues to date.
Significance of Ganga in the Temple
Devotees believe that the holy Ganges flows under the Galteshwar in Gujarat. Mother Ganga has purifying qualities. According to Hindu mythology, bathing in the Ganges removes sins. The person is reborn and is pure. As Ganga ma flows under the temple, entering the temple removes the sins committed by the person and purifies him!
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