Jyotiba Temple (Marathi: ज्योतिबा) is a holy site of Hinduism god Shree Jotiba, near Wadi Ratnagiri in Kolhapur district. A grand temple is situated at a height of 3124 feet above sea level on the top of mountain. And it is dedicated to Jyotiba also known as Kedareshwar.
Mythology about Jotiba Temple:
According to the legends Shree Jotiba was the incarnation (avatar) of Bramha, Vishnu, and Mahesh and part of sage Jamadgni’s anger, and the shine of 12 sun. The avatar Jotiba was taken to distroy the evil Ratnasur. Jyotiba helped Mahalakshmi in her fight with the demons.
It is another story that Adishakti created another set of Tridev i.e. Bramha, Vishnu and Mahesh which was 100 times more powerful than original Tridev to down their ego, when her motive become successful she ordered her newly created trideva to come again when she will call for her help.
When Kolhasura & his army was ruling at karvir kshetra with full of unjust mehods Mahalaxmi decided to go back karvir at this time she called the trideva & they appeared in hands of Mata Vimalambuja, in the form flame.
After knowing Mata’s wish that flame took form of eight years child bearing khadag (Sward), Damaru (Drum) Trishul (Trident) and Amrut Patra (Pot filled with nectar).
Jotiba founded his kingdom on the mountain where temple is stand today, and belongs to the Nath sampradaya. He was born in the hands of Vimalmbuja, the wife of the sage Pougand, on Chaitra Shukla 6th panchang.
Lord Jyotiba is the incarnation that destroyed Raktabhoj Rakshasa, and Ratnasur Rakshasa thus liberating the region from its tyranny. The idol of Lord Jyotiba is four-armed.
Festival at Jotiba Temple :
On Chaitra Poornima of Hindu calendar, a big fair is held, when lacs of devotees come with tall (Sasan) sticks. During this time the whole mountain is turned pink due to scattering of ‘Gulal’.
Being Sunday is day dedicated to Jyotiba, there is always rush over there.
History of Jotiba Temple :
At first a small jotoba temple where build in 1730 by the devotee named Naavji. He was from village kival near Karad. Maharaja Ranoji Shinde of Gwalior renovated the original temple in a grand temple built with fine black basalt stone.
Later other two temples where build along side to the original one, by other devotee’s. The kedareshvar temple is particularly standing without pillars, And was built about 155 years ago in 1808 by Doulatrao Shinde.
There is chopdai Temple present in between Kedarling and kedareshvar temple which is built by Pritirao Chavan, Himmatbahadur in 1750. So particularly this is a group of three temples.
The 4th Temple of Goddess Rameshwari has built in 1780 by Malji Nikam, Panhalakar. In front of Kedareshvar, on a small square platform, there are two nandi’s in black stone.
This is also installed by Daulatrao Shinde. On the east side of temple there is a Goddess Satvai facing towards east. On west side of temple Shree Ramling is situated facing towards east. At five to six places of temple wall, the veergal stones are fixed.
“Shri Kedarnath has established twelve Jyotirlingas around Jyotiba Mountain, so he is also called as Jyotirling. In order to establish the twelve Jyotirlingas, they first established Badrikedar ling in the remembrance of their original place in Himalaya so it is called as Kedarling too.
There are a few other minor temples and light towers in the premises as well.