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Pisharnath Mahadev Mandir

Matheran, the smallest hill station of India, is located in the Rajgad district of Maharashtra. Set at a height of about 2625 feet above sea level, the hill station is located along the Western Ghats range. The only hill station in Asia that is entirely free of automobiles, Matheran is perhaps the quietest getaway from the nearby urban cities of Pune and Mumbai.

During the British Raj, this hill station served as a summer getaway for the colonial rulers, giving them an escape from the hot, humid weather of the erstwhile Bombay. Matheran continues to be a beautiful escape from the humdrum city life and the various buildings that it retains from its colonial past add to its charm. The local railway station for example, built by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy in 1907 is one of the many attractions of this hill station.  Though it has not been granted the status of a heritage site by UNESCO, the toy train that runs from this station to Neral is one of the major attractions of the locality. This train covers the 21 km distance in about two hours.

About the Temple

The Pisharnath Mahadev Mandir is a temple dedicated to the deity Lord Shiva. This temple is perhaps the oldest known temple in the hill station of Matheran. Pisharnath, the deity in whose honour this temple is built, is believed to be the “grama devata” or the village god of this area. Hence, this temple is of great significance to the local populace. The Shiva Linga here is “swayambhu” which is to say, that the shiva linga is “self manifested” or created of its own accord. Due to various natural phenomena, stones or in some cases ice forms itself into the shape of a Shiva Linga without any artificial assistance. According to the Hindu belief, these are regarded as “swayambhu” or “self sprung” Shiva Lingas and are considered extremely auspicious. The Pisharnath Mahadev Mandir is an important site of religious significance for these reasons.

The Swayambhu Shiva Linga of the Pisharnath Mahadev Mandir appears in an extraordinary and unusual ‘L’ shape – created completely naturally with no artificial interference whatsoever. This Shiva Linga is completely smeared with sindoor, a vermillion powder that is considered auspicious and signifies life. This ancient Shiva temple is located on the banks of a lake, which has now come to be known as “Charlotte” – a living mark of Matheran’s colonial past. The temple is set in a beautifully secluded place and gives peace to the visitors in its silent beauty. The picturesque surroundings of the temple only help to amplify the spiritual purity of the place. The high altitude of the temple (the Pisharnath Mahadev temple is set at a height of approximately 2516 feet above sea level), gives the visitors a breath taking vantage point – offering not only religious and spiritual enrichment but also an unparalleled scenic beauty.

The Pisharnath Mahadev temple is best visited before sunset. Set deep inside the forests, the temple has an interesting architecture. Unlike most Hindu temples, the temple is not constructed with distinctively identifiable features like spires and towers. Instead, the temple is a small red building made out of wood and brick and has a tin roof above it that is built at two different levels. The four walls of the temple are set with windows extending from one end of the wall to the other, and the main entry is gated with a massive thick wooden door. It is believed that devotees can attain iha-para saukhyamsor joys of the mortal and immortal world by praying at this temple.

How to Reach the Hill Station

Matheran is connected to the major cities of Mumbai and Pune by both road and railways. Many private buses ply from both Mumbai and Pune, usually leaving covering the distance overnight. However, a journey by the railways is recommended as it gives the visitors an opportunity to see the beautiful scenery along the way. Moreover, toy trains plying between Neral and Matheran will drop you at the Matheran railway station itself – giving the visitors an experience of a beautiful journey followed by an arrival at a historical landmark.

Matheran is an eco-sensitive and fragile region, so automobiles are not allowed after a certain point. If you choose to go by car, Matheran is a short hundred kilometre drive from Mumbai. You can leave your car at Dasturi point and take a pony or a hand pulled rickshaw till the main market place from here. The best way to explore the hill station is however on foot or on horseback.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Matheran is from September to November and February to March. The lush greenery of the hill station is at its best during these times of the year and the flora and fauna are truly spectacular. The months of December and January are known to get especially cold, though tourists from the nearby cities of Pune and Mumbai are seen frequenting the place throughout the year. It is recommended that you visit Matheran just after the monsoon rains to catch the lakes and waterfalls in this region at their seasonal best.

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Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 2
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 2

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