Parli Vaidyanath- the land of Amritmanthan

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On the slopes of Mount Meru or Nagnarayan is Vaidyanath. It is in Parli village of Beed district of central Maharashtra.

On the slopes of Mount Meru or Nagnarayan is Vaidyanath. It is in Parli village of Beed district of central Maharashtra. Popularly known as Parli Vaidyanath this is the fifth Jyotirlinga amongst Dwadash Jyotirlinga circuit.

As per Hindu scriptures, Vaidyanath is a place where the gods grabbed nectar from the demons and Lord Shiva stayed here in the form of Jyoti(flame) in Vaidyanath shivalinga. The place also enjoys status of  Kashi(Varanasi) and so many call it Anokhi Kashi.

Of course, there is an ongoing debate for this place amongst the Hindu scholars about the geographical location of the fifth Jyotirlinga.The fact is that apart from the debate/dispute, Parli Vaidyanath is considered as fifth Jyotirlinga and the devotees also visit this place along with Vaijanathdham or Babadham situated in Deodhar district of Jharkhand state in India.

The Mythology:

Parli Vaidyanath is wrapped in three stories. On of them finds place in scriptures also. It is the famous Amritmanthan(churning of nectar) story involving devas and danavas. In the process,14 gems emerged in which Dhanvantari and Amrit were the prime attraction for devas and danavas.There was poison also. To save the devas, Lord Shiva drunk the poison turning his throat blue and so he is called Neelkanth.

To keep away Amrit and Dhanvantari from the demons, Lord Vishnu hid the two gems in a Shivalinga located in Parali. Demons came to know of this and rushed to grab Amrit and Dhanvantari in the Shivalinga. When demons tried to touch the Shivalinga, Shivalinga turned into a flame (Jyoti).Scared demons ran away. However when devas touched Shivalinga, there was a free flow of nectar. It is believed that Lord Shiva stays here in the form of Jyoti(flame) and so it is a Jyotirlinga. It is said to have nectar and Dhanvantari. So it is also known as Amriteshwar and Dhanvantari.

In old days, it was a dense forest full of medicinal plants. Here lived saint Vaidayanath an expert in using medicinal herbs and plants. Once, Vaidyanath started puja to please Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared. Saint Vaidyanath requested him to stay permanently at this place. The Lord agreed. Lord took the form of Jyoti Shivalinga. Hence it is known as Parali Vadyanath Jyotilinga. It is believed that the darshan of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga, free one of all types of diseases.

Darshan of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is not complete without the darshan of Yogeshwaridevi temple in Ambejogai, people here say. They have an interesting story for this. Marriage of Vaidyanath a resident of Parali was fixed with Yogeshwari of Ambejogai, a village 25 km from Parali. However the marriage party could not reach Ambejogai in time and auspicious time passed. It is said that marriage party was turned into statues. And thus it is said that darshans of Yogeshwaridevi temple in Ambejogai are must to complete the pilgrimage.

Vaidyanath Temple Complex:

Vaidyanath temple is believed to be around 2000 year old. It is said that the construction of this Hemad style temple took 18 years to complete The present temple structure was renovated by Maharani Devi Ahilyabai Holkar in 18 th century.

The temple is built on the slopes of Mount Meru and situated at 80 feet above village level. It has three directions and three doors. It is on the outskirts of the village and about four kilometers from both bus stand and railway station.

The present structure has an interesting story mingling with mysticism. Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar who renovated the temple had great trouble finding stone of her choice for the temple. She got information about stones from a dream and she was surprised to find stone of her choice in the nearby Mountain Trishala Devi. And thus she renovated the temple.

The temple complex is surrounded by strong walls. Inside the temple complex, there is a corridor and a sabhmandap. Outside the main temple there is a deepstambh and a statue of Ahilyabai Holkar. Nanarao Deshpande built the wonderful sabhamandap. It is made from saag without having any support.

One can see the meditation room for men and women in the main temple. From this place one can have a direct darshan of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga as the sanctum is on the same ground level.

There are 11 temples housed in a temple complex. It is the only place, where one can find the temple of Narad. There are temples of Trimbakeshwar, Ghrushneshwar etc.

Darshan Protocols:

Devotee has to pass through a strong staircase to enter into temple complex. The stair case is called Ghat. The old ghat was built in the year 1108. There is Adi Shankaracharya and Shanidev temple on the ghat before the entry to temple complex.

Entrance is from the east side and exit from North side of the temple. There are two Nandi idols in the sabhamandap and Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga which is visible from distance. There is goddess Parvati before entrance of garbhagriha.

 Garbhagriha:

The garbhagriha is situated on the ground level of the temple. The middle sized Shivalinga of Lord Vaidyanath is made of Shaligram stone. There are deeps in all four directions which are always lighted (Akhand deep). It is said that eleven vessel Abhishek of Shivalinga produces variety of sounds, none predictable.

Here the devotee can perform the puja/abhishek by themselves. Common practice is to touch the Shivalinga. The garbhagriha is middle sized and can accommodate 18/20 people simultaneously.

Different Pujas:

Shri Vaidyanath Devasthan trust manages the temple. It has fixed rates for the pujas. This include One Avartan Puja-Rs.20, Ekadashi Parivar-Rs.75,Samuhik Laghurudra -Rs.150,Maharudrabhishek-Rs.1000,Ek Avartan for a year-Rs.1000,Ek Avartan Puja for a month-Rs.400 and Bilva Patra Puja –Rs.400 etc. A devotee has to deposit amount of puja at the Trust office. The office immediately gives Prasad and the puja is performed on booked date by the trust employed priests.

The devotee can also hire local Purohits for puja. The puja charge starts from Rs.51, Rs.101, Rs.151, Rs.201, Rs.251 and multiple amounts depending upon the capacity of the devotee. The purohits perform  puja quite ritualistically.

Temple Timings:

Shri Vaidyanath Temple opens at 5:00 am followed by morning arti. It remains open up to 3:00 pm and during this time the devotee can perform Puja/abhishek. The Bhasmapuja is performed at 5:00 pm and the evening arti takes place at 9:45 pm. The temple closes at 10:00 pm.

Different Utsavas:

Monday is considered day of Lord Shiva and hence a special puja is performed in the temple. The Shivalinga is bathed by Harihartirtha water. A palanquin yatra is also take place on the occasion of Vijayadashmi and Mahashivaratri. A special celebration also takes place on Vaikunth Chaturdashi (14th day of the new Hindu calendar year) and Tripurari Purnima (15th day of the new Hindu calendar year).The belief is that Lord Vishnu received his weapon Sudarshan Chakra from Lord Shiva on Vaikunth Chaturdashi and hence a special Mahapuja is performed on this day. On this day the devotees offer Tulsipatra to Lord Shiva and Bilva Patra to Lord Vishnu.

Importance of Parli Vaidyanath:

Parali Vaidyanath is also known as Kantipur. It is also referred as Madhyarekha Vaijayanti or Jayanti as it is centrally located between Ujjain and Kanyakumari. There is no river flowing from the village. However, there is seasonal river called Saraswati Ganga. It is said the river Godavari was flowing from this village in the ancient time. At present Godavari is 10 km away from Parali village. There is a confluence of the rivers Brahma, Saraswati and Venumati 5 km away from Parali village.

The Vaidyanath region is also referred as Kushvrata Tirtha. The South direction is known as Harihar Tirtha, East is Markandya Tirtha and north is known as Narayan Tirtha.

Places around Parali Vaidyanath:

Parali Vaidyanath has beautiful surrounds. Its population is around 1.75 lacs. There are places of tourist interest like Mount Meru,Zurle Gopinath Temple,Narayan Tirtha,Harihar Tirtha,Markandeya Tirtha,Ganesh Temple,Savitri Tree on Narayan Mount,Shri Dutta,Kalika Temple and Saint Jagmitra Naga Samadhi temple.

Vaidyanath temple is located on the slopes of Mount Meru or Nagnarayan. Lord Vishnu is said to have destroyed a demon called Madhu Kaitabh here. Mount Meru has been developed very well. There is a beautiful garden on the peak of Mount. One can see the beautiful surrounds of Parali village by passing through 240 staircases. A temple of Lord Brahmeshwar is also built. Recreational facilities are also seen at this place.

Harihar Tirtha: It is on the southern side of the Vaidyanath temple. Devotees bring holy water from here for abhishek. Parikrama is a common tradition here.

The famous story of Satyavan-Savitri took place on the Mount Narayan which is close by. A tree on the mountain is known as Savitri Tree and people worship it.Near the tree is Vateshwar Temple.

Markandeya Tirtha is on the eastern side of the temple. According to Shivapuran, Markandeya worshipped Lord Shiva and got a boon for long life here. Originally, he had a short life and so when Lord Yama came to take him Lord Shiva got him released from his clutches. A pond is named after him at this place

According to the scriptures, Chilia, son of King Shriyal and Queen Changuna also got boon of life at this place with the blessings of Lord Shiva. The famous saint of this region Jagmitra Nagaji lived in Parali. The devotee also visits his Samadhi Mandir and Ashram in Parali.

There is a temple called Zurle Gopinath near the main temple. Lord Vishnu was here in the form of  Gopi during the amritmanthan process to take away nectar. The temple is located on the slopes of the mountain and it is engulfed by Zingurs and hence it is known as Zurle Gopinath.

Accommodations in Parali Vaidyanath:

 There are hotels, guest Houses and yatri niwas. The temple trust runs Yatri niwas adjoining to the temple complex and charge Rs.100 for double bed room and Rs.200 for double bed with air cooler room for a day. The check out time is 24 hours. However, rooms require greater cleanliness care.

 

Rooms in hotels are available in the tariff range of Rs.250 to Rs.1000 depending upon the season. One can get vegetarian food. There is variety of Marathi, Punjabi, and Gujarati food available here.

How to Go?

Parali Vaidyanath is in Beed district of Marathawada region of Maharashtra and is well connected with railway and road transport.  From Surat, there is  direct Maharashtra state transport bus to Parali.

From Ahmedabad one can go with a change stop over at Pune. Here there are frequent buses to Parli, eight times a day. There are overnight private buses from Pune to Parli.

From Pune the state transport buses run between Pune and Parali as many as eight times buses a day. Parts of Maharashtra are also well connected by private bus network.

Parali is also well connected by state transport bus network with other parts of Maharastra. The daily buses from Kolhapur, Satara, Jalgaon, Nashik, hunsaval, Akola, Aurangabad, Nanded, Parabhani, Mumbai-Borivali,Kalyan and Beed are available for Parali.

Parali is also connected with south central railway line. Trains like 1405/1406 Kakinada Manmad Express, 7002/7004 Secunderabad Manmad Express, 6593/6594 Bangalore Nanded Link Express are available for Parali.

The Bus stand and the railway station are nearby. One can get auto rickshaw for Vaidyanath temple for a fare of Rs.15 to Rs.20.There are sharing jeeps for Ambejogai from near Bus stand.

Pancha Jyotirlinga circuit in Maharashtra:

Maharashtra is credited to house five Jyotirlingas. These jyotirlingas are Trimbakaeshwar, Bhimashankar, Ghrushneshwar, Nagnath and Vaidyanath. However, there is an ongoing dispute about the geographical location of two Jyotirlingas, which are Aundha Nagnath and Parali Vaidyanath. Inspite of the different opinions about this two Jyotirlngas, millions of devotees come to Maharashtra and undertakes Panch Jyotirlinga yatra

Special private buses run for Panch Jyotirlinga yatra. It takes 3 days and charges around Rs. 2500 per person. It takes a route of Parali Vaidyanath, Aundha Nagnath, Ghrushneshwar, Trimakeshwar and Bhimashankar. Besides, many devotees also opt for Vaidyanath, Nagnath and Ghrushneshwar yatra at the same route as the route of this shrines is almost same.

Various Distances from Parali Vaidyanath:

From Parali Mumbai is about 500 km, Nanded-120 km, Beed-100 km, Aurangabad-230 km and Parbhani is 68 km.

Travel kit should have

Parali Vaidyanath is situated in Maharashtra state. Power cut is a problem in this region. Hence it is advisable to keep torch and candles. Necessary medicines may also be carried.

———————————————————————-Vipul K Shukla

(The writer is Ahmedabad based Public Relations consultant.He visited the holy shrine in July’09. He can be contacted: vipulkshukla@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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