We are in the Nakka Kuan complex…
In there, a very short distance from the Nahush Koop, is the temple of Mukteshwar…
Lets recall a shloka that we saw in Ganga Mandir.
काश्याम्मरणान्मुक्तिः , मुक्ति मुक्तीष दर्शनात्
गव्यति मात्रं तद्देवि क्षेत्रं , मुतिप्रदं नृणाम् ||
” (While) Dying in Kasi bestows salvation!
Just the sight of muktIshwar bestows salvation!
Spreading over a distance of two gavyuti
(two cow-calls, distance from which you can hear a cow),
This kshetra, O Devi,
Bestows liberation to humankind”.
Ready for Darshan?
Here is Mukteshwar Mahadev.
The shrine was first said to have been built by King Shibi. King Shibi was in the lineage of King Nahusha, six or seven generations down that line.
To quote from the Wikipedia entry on King shibi (Click here to read) :
The story of the King and the pigeon and the hawk is used to illustrate the compassion and generosity of the king. This story of Shibi appears in both the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The story of Shibi in brief is as follows:
The Gods, wanting to test the compassionate nature of King Shibi, took the form of a hawk and a pigeon. The pigeon chased by the hawk fell on King Shibi’s lap seeking his protection. The hawk argued that the pigeon is its food. Shibi offered to compensate with his own flesh. Finally he offered himself to be eaten and the Gods showed him their true form and blessed him.
The Shiva Linga itself was said to have been established here and worshiped by Parasu Rama…
Right behind the Mukteshwar temple, a covered walkway leads to a Parasurama kshetra,,,
It was raining pretty hard when we walked, and we were thankful for the covered walkway.
At end was a small building… One entered a hall… With a picture of Parasu Rama…
The red door above, opened to a shrine, half-open to the sky. At the center was an ancient tree… Next to the tree was a Siva Linga… This was said to have been worshiped by Parasurama… Maybe Mukteshwar was established by Shibi, and this one by Parasu Rama…
Here’s another picture of the shrine..
The quietness of the place, the Siva Linga, the ancient tree… A profound sense of sanctity…. We walk around the tree… Here’s a picture of the tree from the other side… Ancient roots…
There is also said to be another Mukteshwar shiva linga in this village… Said to have been worshiped by Ravana… The presence of Ravana’s Siva Linga in Garhmuteshwar brings to mind a verse composed by him in the Siva Tandava Stotram:
कदा निलिम्पनिर्झरीनिकुञ्जकोटरे वसन्
विमुक्तदुर्मतिः सदा शिरः स्थमञ्जलिं वहन्
शिवेति मंत्रमुच्चरन् कदा सुखी भवाम्यहम् ||
In this verse, Ravana says:
“When will I be happy, living in a cave near the celestial river, Ganga, my hands cupped above my head, with my bad thinking washed away, and uttering the mantra of Lord Siva, the great God of glorious forehead and vibrant eyes?
We take leave of Nakka Kuan… Walk back in the rain… Reach the car…
Driving off from the village, we are back on the highway to Delhi… Time is well past 2 pm.. Somewhere along the way, we shall stop at a Dhaabaa and have some Paraatha, sabji, dahi, achaar….
So folks! Next time you visit Gad Ganga, do make a short detour and visit the village of Garhmukteshwar… Do walk up to Ganga Mandir… Visit Nakka Kuan…. And have darshan of Mukteshwar Mahadev…
Har Har Gange!