Vireshwar Temple in KhopoliShri Vireshwar Temple is probably the oldest building of the region. This is considered to be the face of Khopoli and is probably the biggest attraction of the region. Tourists, especially those who are pious in nature and are up for religious tourism, do visit Khopoli once in every year to get blessings from Lord Vireshwar.
Lord Vireshwar is the incarnation of Lord Mahadeva, who had been placed inside the main Garbagriha of this shrine. This temple was built by the great statesman and minister of the Maratha rule, Nana Phadnavis or Balaji Janardan Bhanu (his birth name). It is believed that the temple was built during his rule in the 18th Century.
Structure of the Vireshwar TempleThe temple of Vireshwar is made of blocks of solid black rock and is not much big in size. From the base to the top the structure is about 22.9 metre high with a foundation base of 12.2 metre by 6.1 metre. There is a ‘Sabha Mandap’ inside the temple complex, where the idol of Lord Shiva resides. The top of this temple is conical in nature with stepped decoration. At the top a huge red flag flutters in the wind throughout the year and is visible from a long distance.
At the entrance there is a Samadhi, which is also prayed by pilgrims. Beside this holy structure is the famous oval shaped reservoir of Khopoli, also built by Nana Phadnavis. The reservoir is also built of solid and smooth black rock and is still the holy tank of Khopoli region. The tank is about 1207 metre circumference and is placed over an area of 75000 square metre. The surrounding wall to this water reservoir is of a width of 1.5 to 1.8 metre, which keeps the water cool throughout the year. This tank is always filled with clear water and devotees visit year round to take a holy dip in this water. Proper stone steps are present, which lead to the water surface from all sides.
Countless devotees visit this temple complex all year round, especially during Shivratri. During Shivratri, a huge festival takes place around the temple. The whole temple structure gets decorated with garlands and lights, with people pouring in to get a glimpse of the Lord Vireshwar. Fairs are organised during this season and the locals pay visit along with tourists. If you are not a temple person, you should still visit this huge fair and enjoy the beautiful ambience of the place. This fair is held in honour of the main deity. ‘Grand Puja’ and ‘Anjali’ takes place throughout the day with gallons of milk poured on Lord Shiva as a gesture of gratitude for a blissful life.
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