What if I were to tell you that Lord Shiva likes to play ‘hide and seek’ with you?
A temple is a symbol of a place with divinity. Sometimes it is not faith that takes us to a religious site, it is the curiosity and mysteries that draw us towards them. India is a hub to mysteries and histories. A country holding around 2 million Hindu temples along with 2 million stories of suspense, thrill, and mysteries.
The Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple, Gujarat is one such sight of breath-taking holiness where more than devotees, one can find thousands of curious minds flocking around.
Many among us try to question the authenticity or existence of these miracles and magic.In the modern era of technology and science, several explorations have been witnessed and several discoveries have come to light that has astonished humans. A few of the miracles and sculptures in India are beyond the boundaries of explanation. This Shiva temple is popular for being the only temple in the world which disappears each day. Thus, earning the name, the ‘Disappearing temple of Mahadev’.
As they say, when it is the creator’s wish, things have magic and not logic.
The Stambheshwar Mahadev temple is located in the town of Kavi Kamboi, Gujarat. The ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated amid the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Cambay. It is 150 years old; on judging the temple in terms of architecture there is nothing extraordinary to tell about- it is a Nagaraor the northern style.
The temple gets its name from the fact that it is built on pillars (Satambhs) a little above the ground level and the water runs along a bed of polished stones which are white and enormous like marbles in the shape of prehistoric eggs. The sacred temple is located on a picturesque beach, secluded in a rocky seashore which has a gorgeous backdrop of the vast sea and offers a panoramic view. It is a sight that is sure to stay in your memory for years to come.
The amusing part in the mysteries of disappearances of this fantastic pagan lies in the fact that it gets completely submerged into the sea during high tide and by the time these tides start getting low, it again starts emerging out of the sea. Inch by inch, devotees can witness the unveiling of a 4 feet Shiva Lingam.
Another unique feature of the place is the union of the Mahi Sagar and the Sabarmati River. The scenic beauty of this place along with its religious prominence is what brings us here. The Hindu temple, ‘step by step, shape by shape’ reverses the primeval descent and places man on the path toward heaven.
It submerges every day and reappears every day; at around 11 AM- 12 PM (IST) the tides get low and clear a path for the devotees. However, the visit should be planned in such a way that one should give a whole day to witness the temple submerging in the sea and again coming up back to its original state.
The devotees can enter the temple early in the morning during the low tide hours and also meditate in the quiet, peaceful environment of the temple. One must watch the temple and the Shiva Lingam in its complete glory against the shimmering light of the darkness of the sea and when the quietness of night engulfs it.
People from all around the country come here to witness this amazing sight. A fair takes place here on the day of Mahashivaratri when thousands throng to pay respect to Lord Shiva. The flowers placed on the Shiva Lingam during low tide come afloat on the surface of the seawater at the time of high tide and lead to a spectrum of bright colors in the sea.
Legend says that this Shiva Lingam was installed by Lord Karthikeyan himself, who is the son of Lord Shiva. The demon Tarakasura pleased Shiva with his harsh penance and asked him a boon that only Shiva’s son would be able to kill him and that too at the age of 6 days. After which he started creating havoc. All Gods, sages, and monks were extremely troubled by Tarakasura. According to Hindu mythology, Kumarika Khand in Skand Purana says that Lord Karthikeya killed the demon Tarakasura who by chance was also a devotee of Lord Shiva. Upon killing the demon Lord Karthikeya felt guilty of killing his father’s devotee. But Lord Vishnu consoled him by saying that there is nothing wrong in killing the demon who troubles people. However, the consolation was not enough for Lord Karthikeya who wanted to absolve the sin. Seeing Karthikeya’s sincere emotions, Lord Vishnu advised him to install a Shiva Lingam and pray for forgiveness. This is how Stambheshwar Mandir came into existence. The temple is a pure extravaganza by nature.
It is a staunch belief that Mother Nature herself performs the ‘Jal Abhishekh’ of the holy shrine!!! The one who witnesses this happening is felt to be blessed by the divine.
In the end, we can say that the phenomenon of nature is incredible by itself. Temples serves as a cosmic intersection of man, God, and the Universe, which is reflected in its spiritual and unique architectural forms. But when it comes to the mystery of these religious sites, it never fails to leave the people awestruck with admiration.
A view of this marvelous creation of nature is beyond boundaries of explanation and is very intriguing.
By Ananya Vinod, Bangalore