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Hindu Books > Temples And Legends of India > Temples And Legends Of Maharastra > Tuljapur

General View of the Temple, Tuljapur Introduction

The temple is situated on a very peculiar site. It is located on one of the deep slopes on the ranges of the Bala Ghat. As one enters from the gateway one has to descend nearly some fifteen feet to reach the first stage of the temple prakara. This stage consists mainly of the large tank known as the Kallola tirth. After the construction of the nivas of the devi was over. Vishvakarma took leave of Brahmadeva on whose command he had come down to the Yamunachala to build it. Brahmadeva decided to create the-tirths necessary for any kshetra. He then invited all the well-known and holy waters on this earth to come to the Yamunachala. The response to the invitation was immediate, and every source of holy water that existed on the surface of the earth and below it rushed to the spot. Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati all obeyed the command.Various other tirths from the Himalayas, Vindhyas, Sahyadris, Trikut and Malay mountains flocked together. There was a tumultuous assemblage of all these and on account of the furore created by them Brahmadeva named it 'Kallola tirth'. The power of the tirth is so great that even its very darshan is capable of destroying sin. A bath in the tirth is the first rite to be performed by a pilgrim. The tank is walled off from all sides and entrance into the enclosure is only on payment of a fixed charge. Steps lead down to the water making it easier to take a bath in it. A dip in this tirth during the month of Magha is the giver of great good.

The Tulajarnahatmya states that apart from sins, various diseases are cured by this water. This tirth is a large rectangular reservoir forty feet by twenty and is most probably a fourteenth century construction. On one side of the tirth are a number of aisles now used for residential purposes. From the other side, that is, the northern sids a flight of steps leads down another fifteen feet taking the visitor down to the second stage of the Prakara. This is crowded with various tirths and some subsidiary shrines. The point that attracts immediate attention is the 'Gomukh tirth'. Here a stream of water is constantly falling down some six feet from the Gomukh, a stone image of a cow's head. This flow of water comes from the Mankavati tirth, as is evident from the fact that when the latter dries up due to scarcity of rains, the former also dries up.

However, the local tale is quite different. The water flowing down from the Gomukh is Ganp herself. Once there came a mendicant belonging to the Nath sampradaya. His name was Garibanath. He was rather an unbelieving type of soul and not paying any attention to the local elders decided to go to the Ganges to enjoy real Ganga-snana. When the devi saw that her devotees had failed to convince him she herself appeared before him and tried to show him that this indeed was water from the Ganga. But the man was in no mood to accept even the divine explanations. He however, agreed in the end to carry with him a stick and a lemon fruit to the Ganges and drop them in the water there. Walking down all the way to the Ganges, the sadhu performed all the rites at the tirth, got the satisfaction he longed for and then remem bering the devi's words rather sceptically threw the stick and lemon in the river, The man returned to Tuljapur in due course and when, following the usual custom stood below the Gomukh to bathe in the downpour, he saw the stick and the lemon coming out of the Gomukh. This at last convinced him that the water pouring forth from the Gomukh was in fact Ganges water. The Mahatmyait the Dharsa-tirth', and says that it consists of the three waters, that of Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati.

Author - Madhukar Shripad Mate

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