Location : Near Saswad | Category : Religious Places | Distance from Pune : 48 KMs
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Jejuri Temple is located in the Jejuri town, which lies to the 48 kms southeast of the Pune city of Maharashtra. It derives its importance from the religious fairs held in honour of the god Khandoba, who is also called Mhalsakant, Martand-Bhairav, Malhari . It is situated on a high level and is surrounded on all sides by fertile and cultivated lands. Khandoba has two temple at Jejuri, one older than the other, both built at the end of an outlying spur of the Purandar range which here sinks into the plain. The new one is larger and stands close to and about 250 feet above the village. The smaller temple, however, is believed to be more sacred. It is built on a small plateau called Kadepathar two miles off and about 400 feet higher.

Jejuri is known for being the venue of one of the revered temples in the state, known as the Khandobachi Jejuri.The temple is dedicated to Khandoba, also known as Mhalsakant or Malhari Martand and is worshipped by Dhangar, the oldest tribes in Maharashtra, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh. It is believed that Khandoba, is a god of Sakamabhakti i.e. it God who fulfils all the desires of his devotees. Khandoba, also known as Khanderao, Khanderaya, Malhari Martand and Mallu Khan is a regional Hindu deity, worshipped as Martanda Bhairava, a form of Shiva, mainly in the Deccan plateau of India. He is the most popular family deity in Maharashtra, the patron deity of Deshastha brahmin, warrior, farming and herding castes, the hunters and gatherers of the hills and forests. The cult of Khandoba has linkages with Vaishnava and Jain traditions, and also assimilates all communities irrespective of caste, including Muslims. Khandoba is sometimes identified with Mallanna of Andhra Pradesh and Mailara of Karnataka. The worship of Khandoba developed during the 9th and 10th centuries from a folk deity into a composite god possessing the attributes of Shiva, Bhairava, Surya and Kartikeya Skanda. He is depicted either in the form of a Lingam, or as an image riding on a bull or a horse.Jejuri is popular for its old Deep Mala.

Jejuri has also been a historically important place as Shivaji met his father Shahaji here after a long period. The meeting is historically very important as both discussed the strategies against Mughals.

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By Santosh Shinde
11 Dec 2014

Beautiful temple and surroundings.. The bhandara baths the temple and the people and gives it a golden glow.

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