Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, April 13, 2024





This popular hill station in Satara district of Maharashtra state is situated at the highest point in the Sahyadri range of mountains at a height of 1372m above sea level. It is one of the most visited sites in Maharashtra.


Apart from its salubrious climate, Mahabaleshwar is also known for its ancient temples, the most important of which are the Krishna or Pancha Ganga temple and the old Mahabaleshwar Temple. The Panch Ganga temple is believed to be the site of the origin of five rivers. Mahabaleshwar derives its name from Lord Mahabali (Lord Shiva) who is embodied in the form of a Swayambuu lingam in the shape of a Rudraksha seed. This lingam is considered more sacred than the two Jorthilingam and is also called Trigunatimaka- believed to represent Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.



The legend connected with this temple says that once Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva performed a Yagna at this site. Brahma’s wife (Savitri) was not present. The presence of a wife is essential for the success of a Yagna. Hence Lord Brahma married a local girl Gayatri. Savitri got enraged and cursed Lord Bharma, Vishnu and Shiva and Gayatri to turn into five rivers. They also retaliated, turning Savitri into a watercourse. Thus, Lord Brahma became a Venna river, Gayatri and Savitri became the rivers of their own name, Lord Vishnu became the Krishna River, Lord Shiva became the river Koyna.