- 50 Kms
- 4 / 5
Location: Near Pune
The city of Jejuri is one of the most revered pilgrimage destinations, renowned for its two temples dedicated to Lord Khandoba.
The city of Jejuri is one of the most revered pilgrimage destinations in Maharashtra, renowned for its two temples dedicated to Lord Khandoba. It is situated about 49 km away from Pune.
There are two fort-like temples in Jejuri, one of them is ancient, while the other temple is newly built. The ancient temple, known as Kadepathar is perched atop a high hill. One has to climb more than 400 stone steps to the reach the top, and the ascent is quite difficult. The newer temple is called Gad-Kot and it is easier to climb. Gad-Kot has 450 steps, 18 ornately decorated arches and 350 Deepmalas or Lamp Pillars. The huge idol of Lord Khandoba inside the main sanctum of the temple is seen holding a big ‘Khanda’, which literally means sword.
Lord Khandoba is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and is also worshipped by the names of Mhalsakant and Malhari Martand. He is the ‘Kuldevta’ or ‘Ancestral Deity’ of many Maharashtrian families. People of the Dhangar tribe, one of the oldest tribes in Maharashtra are ardent followers of Lord Khandoba. Thousands of devotees and tourists visit the Jejuri Khandoba Temples each year, especially during the popular Bhandara Festival.
The idol of Lord Khandoba has four hands and one of them holds a Bhandara-Patra or a bowl of turmeric. In Marathi, Bhandara means turmeric. During the Bhandara Festival or Somvati Amavasya Utsav, devotees shout the chants of ‘Yelkot, Yelkot Jai Malhar’ and throw turmeric on each other. On this occasion, the entire temple premises, every visible surface and every single devotee is covered in the yellow shade of turmeric. Even the air is filled with dazzling golden hues. This is when the whole city turns yellow and lives up to the name of ‘Sonyachi Jejuri’ or ‘Golden Jejuri’.
Shrines of several other deities such as Lord Khandoba’s wives Mhalsa and Banu, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman are located in the temple complex. The views from the summits of both temples are absolutely spectacular. On a clear day, one can clearly see Diveghat from the top of Gad-Kot. In addition to Bhandara Festival, the festival of Dassera is also celebrated with great fanfare at Jejuri.
A place of great religious significance, Jejuri can be visited any time of the year. However, visit the temple during the Bhandara Festival to photograph the temple in its fully glory – freshly coated with beautiful hues of yellow.
- On the way to the top, there are many vendors selling snacks, fruits, tea, coffee, etc. There are a few nice restaurants in the vicinity of the temple, where one can eat wholesome meals.
- Jejuri also has several comfortable and decent hotels, where one can stay during trips of longer durations.
- Mode of Transport : Best way to reach Jejuri is by car.
Things to do
- Visit the beautiful temples of Lord Khandoba in Jejuri.
- Experience the divine atmosphere at both Gad-Kot temple and Kadepathar temple.
- Capture beautiful shots of the striking temple and the joyous celebrations during the magnificent Bhandara Festival, when the entire temple complex is coated with the yellow shade of turmeric.