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A Temple to Shiva in The Middle of The Sea

by Uma Shankari on 30/07/10 at 11:22 pm

At Koliyak, a village at the Bhavnagar district in the Gujarat state of India, people reach out to the Shiva temple about 1.5 kilometers into the sea. In this historic place, Pandavas, the heroic brothers worshipped the lingas that are symbolic of Lord Shiva after the fierce battle in which they killed their evil cousins as narrated in the epic Mahabharat.

Think of a temple in the weirdest of places. Under the sea. But then, the Hindus have built their temples over the hills and mountains, inside the caves, at the sea shore, near the water falls…where ever nature reveals itself in all its grandeur and pristine beauty. The temple I am talking about is Nishkalank Mahadev’s temple (Nishkalank – blemish-less or sinless; Mahadev – Lord Shiva), and it is under water during high tides in the sea and emerges during low tides to reveal itself majestically, promising its devotees to wash away all sins. As it did for the Pandavas in the epic Mahabharata, when they wanted to atone for the sin of killing their brethren, even though they were all evil incarnated.

Nishkalank Mahadev temple; Source: Panoramio

Another view of the temple

The temple is located in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat state in India. From the beach along the Arabian Sea, you’d have to traverse 1.5 km into the interior. There are the five Shiva lingas that the five Pandava brothers worshipped, along with Shiva’s vehicle Nandi, or the Bull. Many people come here  to dissolve ashes of their departed kith and kin. The day after the New Moon day, the sea recedes to the maximum, and hundreds of people including children walk the distance and worship the idols. The New Moon day that comes in August and corresponds to the Hindu calendar month of Bhadra is of special importance, and people throng here in large numbers.

The scene before and during the low tide

The people have to wait sometimes for the sea to recede, a time they spend in singing devotional songs or relaxing in wooden ‘charpoys’ or bedsteads.

Once the sea starts receding, the trek begins.

Once they reach the large rampart square, they wash their feet in a small pond called Pandava pond, and proceed to the main shrine.

The Pandava pond

The worship

This temple can be reached between 9.00 am to 12.00 pm on the day next to the new moon night. The visitors should leave the place before the sea begins to rise again.

Travel Tips

Many people have made enquiries about reaching Koliyak from Chennai. Take Navjivan Express to reach Ahmedabad. From there, you can use state transport buses, luxury private buses, airlines, or train (Bhavnagar express) to reach Bhavnagar from Ahmedabad, a distance of 200 km.

Koliyak is located around 30 kms from Bhavnagar and there are local transportation available to temple from Bhavnagar railway station.

You can visit the temple on all the days, though you will have to wait for the sea to recede and it becomes accessible for a few hours only. High and low tide occur every day, and the times and amplitude of the tides at the coast are influenced by the alignment of the Sun and Moon and by the shape of the coastline. During full moon and new moon when the earth, sun and the moon are in line, both the high and the low tides are at their maximum levels. That is why it is advisable to visit the temple during these times. The sea recession is maximum during August-September.

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51 Comments

drelayaraja

Jul 30th, 2010

Informative share Uma. This could be a great tourist place.

dak

Jul 31st, 2010

Nice place to visit.Very interesting

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shivedi

Jul 31st, 2010

nice one

Rana Sinha

Jul 31st, 2010

Thanks for the information.

PARAM

Jul 31st, 2010

Great post.

CHAN LEE PENG

Jul 31st, 2010

Such a great spot is indeed a great tourist spot. Liked it. :-)

Fornis

Jul 31st, 2010

Good information.

Guy Hogan

Jul 31st, 2010

Having a temple that reveals itself when the tide recedes I think is very symbolic.

valli

Jul 31st, 2010

Nice share, Uma.

Karen Gross

Jul 31st, 2010

Fascinating! I love the symbolism of the water washing sins away – like a baptism.

Kalista Leow

Jul 31st, 2010

Feel like epic comes to life.

giftarist

Jul 31st, 2010

Very interesting place, friend. Thanks for the tour.

Bharath

Jul 31st, 2010

Nice Post.

papaleng

Aug 3rd, 2010

very informative post.

Mythili Kannan

Aug 3rd, 2010

Oh my GOD (Shiva Shiva). Great informative article Uma. But personally I would be scare to reach this temple, as I have fear for ocean, being a non-swimmer :D

rajpillay

Aug 6th, 2010

i have visited many temples.but to read about this lord shiva temple is amazing.love to visit oneday. thank you.

saurabh

Aug 27th, 2010

awesome :) God is Great!

srikoushik

Aug 27th, 2010

sri koushik iam very exited koliyak mahadev sea temple . very very very very very thanks…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Lakshmi sridharan

Aug 27th, 2010

saw it first in Sun TV’ s Nijam. INDIA IS treasure house of great temples. was looking for a place to read about it. Thanks for posting it here

Mohan

Aug 28th, 2010

Amazing Lord Shive….Shiva is very powerful God….

RASHMI PATEL

Aug 28th, 2010

Its great to hear about this sacred temple I think personally if its that devine then really gujarat goverment should built big temple like SOMNATH or DWARIKAS & should make big tourist attraction. India has so much treasure that even it could take another 500 years to get history out.

LORD SHIVA IS GREAT
HE IS LORDS LORD
JAI BUM BUM BHOLE

R.Sakthivel

Aug 29th, 2010

very intersting, i like this temple very much i pray my god to give me a chance to visit this siva temple. I love this very much my god is great, om namasivaya.

siva

Aug 29th, 2010

Thaanks

……siva…….

sunder iyer

Aug 31st, 2010

I had heard about this temple, but not sure about the location. Thanks for the informative article. Hope to visit one day…..sunder…

KARTHIKEYAN

Sep 1st, 2010

SUMMA KUMMNU ERUKU

K.SENTHIL VINAYAGAM

Sep 1st, 2010

ALL HINDU SHOULD GO TO THAT TEMPLE IN THEIR LIFE TIME

Tushar Mehta

Sep 1st, 2010

I am in gujarat from last 40 years and I have wonder that how come I have miss this place.

Really it is very very intresting place to visit.

Thanks for your post.

BALA

Sep 2nd, 2010

This is truly miracle by Lord shiva,

our lord is great,

please tell me the route to visit the great place from tamilnadu.

Gayathri Praveen

Sep 4th, 2010

miracle… must visit and have the darshan of the Lord there……..

surya.a

Sep 10th, 2010

it was very marvellous temple and i want go to this temple at once with my familiy my family was very suprised my mother was very oblivous to see this temple in this relijournal,thanks.

Hari

Sep 17th, 2010

Om Namo Shivaya

Hari

Sep 17th, 2010

Its really wonder’s of the world.
All Hindus should visit once in there life time.
Lord shiva Bless all human beings in the world.
And give a chance to visit the place with your blessings.
HARA HARA MAHADEV…………………..

visa

Oct 10th, 2010

i already see this in sun tv . i’m very much interested to come to this temple in my life time, surely i will come before my dead. my humble request to gujarat govrnt is please pass this type temple information to world wide and make more improvement to temple.shiva shiva…………………………
thank u for this information
visa

subramani.k

Oct 17th, 2010

A good find and sharing making shiva the adhi yogi to have is presence every where.

Thanks for whoever has shared this and may this place be developed in the true sense and all should endeavour to keep the surroundings clean.

Shiva Shambho.

Amudha

Nov 11th, 2010

Om Namasivaya…!!

Praying God to give me a chance soon to visit this temple soon with my family…from the time I saw it in SunTV nijam yday…God is Great..!!

iamcoldfir3

Nov 11th, 2010

boom shankar

jana

Nov 11th, 2010

life time once every one shld visit the sea temple lord shiva.

SimplyShash

Nov 12th, 2010

Lovely. Worth visiting this temple as a religious as well as natural importance.

The Quail 1957

Nov 12th, 2010

Great post; maybe i’ll visit this temple soon.

Christine Ramsay

Nov 12th, 2010

What a wonderful place to visit. I hope no one gets caught out by the tide.

Christine

Melody SJAL

Nov 12th, 2010

Thanks for presenting this to us.

albert1jemi

Nov 12th, 2010

great share

Kaye TM

Nov 13th, 2010

thanks for sharing

arun

Nov 22nd, 2010

am from tamil nadu please let me know the route towards the temple

Sweet girl

Dec 4th, 2010

Great content..

Would you like to check my new blog which I created 3 months ago..

http://itsmeyourmentor.blogspot.com

Senthil

Dec 14th, 2010

Nama shivaya vazhga…

Amazing place to visit Lord Shiva

thanks for sharing…

P.K. VENUGOPAL

Jan 31st, 2011

Thanks for the person for letting know to the public this divine fact.

acertake

Apr 21st, 2011

A good post find more info on make my trip and india trips details with india travel packages

Sathya Prakash Sekaran Sambasivam

Sep 2nd, 2011

Thiruchitrambalam,

this is an amazing temple and every “Shiv Bhagth” has to visit & worship. This is a miracle and none other places has such a great legacy in th work.

“Jai Hara Hara Mahadev”

R.SUKUMARAN GURUSWAMY

Jan 24th, 2012

I have visited this holy place after viewing the Sun TV about this temple. It is very interesting and miraculous place.

We request the Bhav nagar authorities to built public toilets with bathing fecialities.

We are planning to visit once again in the first week of March 2012

dinesh

Apr 2nd, 2012

i want history of koliyak

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