Vyadeshwar Temple




Shri Dev Vyadeshwar is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva, located at Guhagar, in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra State in India. It is considered to be the Kuladevata or clan god of many Chitpavan families from Konkan region.

According to Hindu mythology, sage Parashurama created the land of Konkan by shooting his arrow into the sea and commanding the Sea God to retract the waters to the point where his arrow landed. This new land came to be known as Sapta-Konkana, meaning “piece of earth”, “corner of earth”, or “piece of a corner”, derived from Sanskrit words: koṇa  + kaṇa.

He asked various deities to settle in the newly created land and protect the resident clans. Parashurama was a devotee of the god Shiva, requested that the God appear to him daily, so Shiva appeared in 60 places where temples were built. The sage Vyad then installed the lingam of Shiva at this temple in Guhagar. The Shiva icon and temple was thus called Vyadeshwar (the Lord of Vyad).

Vyadeshwar was lost to time and rediscovered in the era of King Sakuran, when the current temple structure was constructed.
The architectural style is called ‘Panchayatan’. A Panchayatan temple contains four subordinate shrines in four corners and the main shrine in the center of the podium, which forms the base. Here, Shiva is Vyadeshwar the central shrine, with Surya, Ganesha, Ambika (Shiva’s consort) and Vishnu with his wife Lakshmi as the South-East, South-West, North-West and North-East subordinate shrines respectively. Nandi (the vahana of Shiva) sits in front of the main shrine.

The temple has three entrances to the east, west and south. Garuda (the vahana of Vishnu) and the god Hanuman are installed on either side of the inside of the East entrance.
This ‘Panchayatan’ temple is ancient, as are its deities. Due to aging, the four shrines were found eroded. In May 2015, the shrines of Shri Parvati (Ambikamata), Shri Garud and Shri Hanuman were ceremonially replaced by new shrines. All the required reinstatement rituals were systematically performed. The old entrance facing due East was small in size and inconvenient. That entrance (Mahadwar in local Marathi language) was replaced with a completely renovated form of the temple.
Three small pieces were chipped out from the main or core part of the Pindi. One piece was located at Borya Adoor; the second piece went to Asgoli and the third piece to Anjanwel. At these locations, new Shiva temples were erected. These temples are known as Talkeshwar, Balkeshwar (Valukeshwar) and Udaleshwar (Uddalakeshwar), respectively. These three Shiva Pindis are considered to be incarnations of Shri Vyadeshwar. Devotees of Shri Vyadeshwar are instructed to visit these three temples.

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