India is a country, which is full of holy, ancient and sacred temples situated in most of the States in the remote corners. Such ancient temples may not be that much popular amongst the tourists. However, some of these holy temples are really worth visiting due to its historical and religious importance. We visited one such ancient temple of Bhavnath, situated in the North Gujarat region in India. This ancient temple of Lord Shiva is really worth visiting in view of its religious importance. Here is a brief review on its visit based on my own experience.
The ancient temple of Bhavnath is the temple of Lord Shiva, which was built before around 2200 years. This temple is situated at around 6 miles distance from the town of Bhiloda, and around 15 miles away from the famous temple of Shamalaji near the Gujarat and Rajasthan State border. The visitors can easily reach this temple by State Transport buses or the hired cars and taxis from any major city of the Gujarat State. It may be slightly difficult to reach this temple by train, as the nearest railway station of Taranga on the meter gauge railway line from Ahmedabad is located quiet far away. This ancient temple is considered one of the holiest and sacred temples as per Hindu religion. This beautiful temple of Bhavnath Mahadev is situated on the bank of River Meshwo. As per the Hindu Vedas, there was a famous Ashram of Chyavan Rishi here at Bhavnath. He also had performed tap here for many years in the ancient times. The famous Bhrugudand, belonging to Chyavan Rishi is still stored here since last so many centuries. The Lord Shiva Lingam at this temple is very old and its exact origin is still not known. But it is said that Lord Shiva was very much pleased with the tap performed by Chyavan Rishi and he told the Rishi to construct his temple and the residential Ashram, in which he can teach the young students about the Vedas and religion. The temple is spread in to a vast area of around 6 acres. The temple is situated in the center of this vast area. There is a beautiful garden all around it. There is also a ghat made so that all the visitors can reach the water of the River Meshwo and can take a holy deep in it prior to entering in the temple of Lord Shiva. When the dam was constructed on the Meshwo River before around 15 years, this temple was to get vanished in the water reservoir area of the Meshwo dam. However, the government finally decided to protect this ancient temple at its original place only and hence, the visitors are able to visit this ancient temple today.
Bhavnath temple of Lord Shiva is famous for the large fair held here on Mahashivratri day every year in the English month of February. Thousands of people come here at Bhavnath temple to enjoy this fair from all over the country and even abroad. The local tribes present traditional entertainment programs during that fair and many foreigners visit this fair, specifically to see their folk dances. The fair lasts for seven days and the visitors enjoy all the activities of this fair immensely. There are no hotels or guesthouses available near the temple. The special tents are created by the Gujarat State Government for the visitors to stay in the open on the bank of river Meshwo. This stay in the tents is really enjoyable as it presents the unique opportunity to be the part of this fair. The charges for such two sitter tents are around Rs.500 ($10) per night. The toilet and rest room facilities are created on the common basis on the River Shore. Hundreds of shops are set near the temple during this fair, which sell many religious and decorative items made by the people of local tribes. The cloth torans, wooden toys, beautiful hand made dolls and the traditional dresses are mainly sold during the fair. It is suggested to carry your own supply of drinking water with you as the drinking water available here contains many dissolved salts that may not be hygienic for human body.
If you are fond of visiting ancient, religious temples, Bhavnath temple is the place for you. And if you want to actively participate in the traditional folk dances of the North Gujarat region, plan your vacation during the mid February so as to reach Bhavnath temple on the auspicious day of Lord Shiva’s birthday on Mahashivratri.