Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple, Pathankot, Punjab
Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple is a popular shrine of Lord Shiva, it is also known as Mukesaran Mandir – located near Pathankot City on Shahpur Kandi Dam road. It is the holy temple of the Hindu religion, where the idols of Lord Ganesha, Lord Bramha, Lord Vishnu, Lord Hanuman and Goddess Parvati are present. This temple is one of the most sacred places around Pathankot. There are some caves which date to the time of the Mahabharata. According to a legend, the Pandavas stayed in those caves for a night during their exile (Agayatwas). Locals say that these caves near the Mandir dates back to the period of the Mahabharata. These caves are on the way to Shahpur Kandi and is situated on the bank of the River Ravi, 22 km from Pathankot City in Shahpur Kandi at Doong village.
The caves and temple has been carved on one of the rocky hill. This temple stands tall at the hill top and is a landmark around the city.
Situated at the hilltop, Mukteshwar Mahadev temple has a white marble Shivling, with a copper Yoni. The Shivling is surrounded by the idols of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Paravati, Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha.
A Fair, called the Mukesran Da Mela, is held annually at this place, in April, to mark Baisakhi festival. Also every year big festival on day of Shivratri and after one month of shivratri there is three-day festival Chaitra Chodiya and also Navratri festival. Somvati Amavasya is another big fair temple committee organizes. Lots of pilgrim from all over the Punjab and nearby state Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir comes here for to worship God every year mainly on Mukesran mela and Shivratri.
There are lots of stairs to climb on the return from Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple.
These are 5500-year-old caves & a temple built by Pandavas. According to the Hindu Mythology, these caves are as old as the Mahabharata. It was built by pandavas during their exile, as according to a legend states in the mythology, these caves served as home to the pandavas as they rested and took shelter over here during their exile. It was during their ‘Agayatwas’ that they stayed in these caves for six months.
Pandvas stayed here for six months, in that time period they built four caves and a shiv temple. They crafted the Shivlingam present in the temple and worshiped the lord shiva here. The Havan Kund made by them, is still present there in temple.
This place is also known as mini (small) haridwar. Those people who can not do ash immersion of their kin at haridwar, they flow it in Ravi River at Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple
Legend / Local stories
History of this historical ancient temple says, it is 55 hundred years old temple, whose existence is known from the time of Mahabharata. According to Hindu Mythology, Shakuni “the maternal uncle of Duryodhana”, devises a scheme to rob Yudhishthira (The Eldest from Pandavas) of his kingdom and wealth by defeating him in a game of dice, which Shakuni cannot lose in due to his special dice. Unable to resist the challenge, Yudhishthira gambles away his entire kingdom, his wealth, his four brothers and even his wife, in a series of gambits to retrieve one by staking another. So Pandavas lost their kingdom and get the exile (Vanvas) of 12 years and 1 year Incognito (Agayatwas) – in which they have to be live unrecognized.
During this 1 year Incognito, All five pandavas with their wife Draupadi stayed in the form of sage , Brahmins and Hermits and visited unrecognized at different places. During the time of incognito, they reached cooast of ravi river in a state of five rivers (Punjab). Here they built the four caves and one lord shiva temple at the hilltop. They stayed here in this temple for six months. They crafted the Shivlingam present in the temple and worshipped the lord shiva here. The Havan Kund made by them, is still present there in temple.
The Shivling here is surrounded by the idols of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Paravati, Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha.
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