It is believed that the last Jyotirling is located in Grishneshwar Temple in Aurangabad. This ancient pilgrimage site, located close to both Daulatabad and Ellora caves is among the 12 Jyotirling Shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana or mythological books. This revered temple is situated in Verul village.
The temple shrine which is also known by several other names like: Grishneswara, Ghumshmeswara, Kusumeswarar or Grushmeswara was constructed by Ahilyabhai Holkar, who was also instrumental in re-constructing Kashi Vishwanatha Temple at Varanasi or Banaras.
According to the legend, a Brahmin Brahmavetta Sudharm and his wife Sudeha lived on the southern part of Devagiri Mountain. The couple had no issue despite offering prayers and trying our different remedies. They were crestfallen because of this shortcoming. The frustration and irritation compelled Sudeha to take a bold step. She got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. She also advised her to make 101 Shiv lingas and discharge them in the lake after worshiping them.
Ghushma’s prayer and worship of Lord Shiva bore fruits. Soon she was blessed with a baby boy. The blissful contentment, pride and happiness of Ghushma did not go down well with her sister Sudeha. She grew jealous of her sister. One night she killed the little boy and threw him in the same lake where Ghushma worshipped Lord Shiva with 101 Shiv lingas.
Next morning Sudharm and Ghushma went about with their daily routine. Sudeha too got involved with her mundane chores. Ghushma was absorbed in worshipping Lord Shiva as usual and did not pay attention to the news of the murder of her infant. Sudharm too was undeterred by the loss of his son. Ghushma was not put off even by seeing the blood of the baby boy as she was engrossed in preparing 101 Shiv lingas. After the prayer ended, she only said “He who has given me this child shall protect him” and started chanting “Shiva-Shiva”! After her prayers when she went to discharge the 101 Shiv lingas into the lake, she saw her little son coming.
She did not display any emotions even after seeing her son. At this moment Lord Shiva appeared before her and said: “I am contented with your devotion and your generosity to forgive your sister”! Pleased with her staunch devotion the Lord asked her to wish for any boon. Ghushma immediately requested him to reside at this spot eternally for his large number of devotees in the form of a Jyotirling and be known by her name- Ghumshmeswara.
The temple gets a face lift on Maha Shivaratri festival and is also one of the tourist attractions in Aurangabad. A must visit site due to its proximity to the other tourist memorials nearby.
Anytime is a good time to visit the temple shrine of Lord Shiva, the presiding deity. A divine serenity is experienced upon entering this ancient shrine. In stark contrast to the bustle on the highway outside, a heavenly tranquility reigns in the temple.