Located in Ellora, around 30 kilometers away from the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the Grineshwar Jyotirlinga, also known as Grineshwar Jyotirlinga, is the one of the 12 jyotirlingas located in the country. In the whole list, it is the last and the final jyotirlinga. All these jyotirlingas are known as the holy abodes of Lord Shiva, the most powerful god in Hinduism, and it is believed that in all these places where these jyotirlingas exist, he had appeared there as a fiery column of light, conveying his infinite nature of existence in the universe. In the Ghrineshwar Temple, which is also known as the Dhushmeshwar Temple, Lord Shiva is worshipped as Lord Ghrineshwar, which means ‘’the Lord of compassion.’’
Like many other prominent Hindu shrines, the Ghrineshwar Temple too underwent a long chain of demolishment and reconstructions. It was first demolished during the Hindu-Muslim wars by the Delhi Sultanate during the 13th and 14th century, and later it was rebuilt and once again suffered a destruction during the Mughal-Maratha conflicts. At present, the structure that stands was finally built in the 18th century after the defeat of the Mughal Empire, when Indore’s Hindu Queen Rani Ahalya Bai sponsored the remaking of the temple. She had also made a list of contributions for other prominent Hindu holy shrines, such as the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, a big jyotirlinga temple in Somnath, and also a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Gaya.
With the whole red rock style in the temple, one can say that the holy shrine reflects a lot of south Indian temple style architecture. Other than that, the temple also consists of a wide variety of unique carvings of many other Hindu gods and goddesses.
The temple continues to be one of the most prominent pilgrim sites for the Hindus and witnesses long queues of devotees coming here for worship on a daily basis. There are no restrictions as such to enter the temple premises, however, it is said that if a man wishes to enter the sanctorum core of the temple, then he has to go there bare chested.
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