The deity of God Shiva is worshipped at the holy Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple which is located at Thara Jhikla in Gurdaspur, Punjab. The temple is also known as Mukesaran Mandir and is situated on Shahpur Kandi Dam Road near Pathankot. The deities of God Ganesha, God Vishnu, God Brahma, Goddess Parvati and God Parvati are enshrined in this temple.
About The Temple
This sacred temple is of great significance as it consists of caves that date back to the time of the Mahabharata. As per a legend, the Pandavas visited these caves and stayed in it for a fortnight during their exile. These caves are situated on the banks of River Ravi at Shahpur Kandi which is almost 22kms away from Pathankot City. This temple is located on a hill top and is considered a landmark of the city. The caves as well as the temple are carved on a rocky hill.
The temple comprises of a white marble Shivalinga with a copper Yoni and it is surrounded by deities of God Vishnu, God Brahma, Goddess Paravati, God Ganesha and God Hanuman. The Shivalinga consists of horizontal and vertical lines that signify blood veins, a symbol of energy and strength. The Shivalinga is quiet sacred as it is one of a kind in the world. The third cave of the temple consist a symbol of Chakra and it was also known to be the place where Pandavas meditated.
Legend and Stories
As per a legend, Mukteshwar Mahadev Dham was constructed by the Pandavas in their 12th year of exile. This period was referred as Dwapar Yuga during the exile. The Pandavas reached this area via Hoshiarpur after worshipping Goddess Chintpurni. They found this area quiet and peaceful due to which they ended up staying for 6 months. They carved 5 caves and established a Shivalinga in the temple as they prayed God Shiva for their success in the war. The Pandavas also installed an Akand Dhuna that is a holy fire and a kitchen. The Pandavas then crossed the Ravi River and entered the Virat Kingdom whose centre was Akhnoor that is now in Jammu and Kashmir. One of the five caves has collapsed due to the deterioration.
The festival of Baisakhi is celebrated with great joy at the temple in the month of April as a fair called Mukesran Da Mela is organised. The festivals of Shivaratri, Chaitra Chodiya and Navratri are celebrated in the temple as various prayers are conducted. The temple committee also organises Somvati Amavasya fair. Thousands of devotees and pilgrims visit the temple during the year to worship the Gods.
How to Reach Pathankot
The Raja Sansi International Airport, Amritsar and Jammu Airport are nearest to the temple. The devotees can take a train, bus or taxi to reach Pathankot as Raja Sansi International Airport is only 118kms away. There is a military airport in Pathankot but no domestic flights are available to and from this airport.
The Pathankot Cantt Railway Station and Pathankot Railway Station are nearest to the temple. The trains from these stations are well connected to the northern railway stations of Jammu, Jalandhar, Delhi, Ludhiana, Amritsar etc.
Frequent bus service is available till the temple from Maharana Pratap Inter State Bus Terminal, also called Pathankot Bus Stand. It is located near National Highway 20 and is about 3kms away from the city. The devotees can take the buses of Himachal Roadways, Jammu and Kashmir Roadways, PUNBUS or Punjab Roadways to reach the destination. To reach the Mukteshwar shrine, the devotees can take a bus for Jugial.
Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple,
Jugial - Dam Rd, Doong, Thara Jhikla,
Gurdaspur District, Punjab,
India, Pincode – 145029.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree
Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.
Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat
Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.
The temple is open from 6AM to 9PM.