India, Maheshwar Guide (B): Maheshwar: The Land Blessed by Shiva
Maheshwar – literally means the abode of ‘Lord Mahesh’ – another name for Shiva and is located along the Narmada River and hence an important pilgrimage site. But whether or not you are spiritually inclined, Maheshwar has an irresistible charm.
“Out of India’s 5 most sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Narmada, Godavari and Kaveri, it is the Narmada that is the holiest. Surprised? Well as legends go, when ‘Ganga’ herself feels unclean, she takes the form of a black cow and takes a dip in the waters of Narmada during the night to cleanse herself “
Some also refer River Narmada as ‘Shankari’, the Daughter of Lord Shiva! And maybe that is the reason the ‘Banalingas‘ or the cylindrical pebbles that resemble the sacred Shiva Linga can be found in abundance at few of the shores of River Narmada.
Maheshwar finds its first mention in the epic Ramayana and Mahabharata when it was known as ‘Mahishmati’ and was the capital of King Sahasrarjun. The tale also goes that he with his thousand arms stopped River Narmada and created a playground for his 500 wives! and there are many local legends attached each quite interesting as you would learn from the locals or your boat rider. Read HERE to know about the legend behind Sahastrarjun. ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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