Koliyak, Bhavnagar, Gujarat: Lord Shiva is supposed to be the “transformer” among the Trimurti of the Hindu trinity that comprises Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Though there are 1008 names by which he is been called but the few famous names of his include Mahadev, Shankar, Shiv, Shambu, Bholenath, and Rudra. He is been worshiped in numerous ways across India based on state and recognition. His devotees have made several temples named after him grounded on the stories related to him. Though there are 12 world famous “Jyotrilingas” in India which have different forms of Lord Shiva yet there are few more temples known for their specific importance. One among them is Nishkalank Mahadev Temple situated in Koliyak village of Bhavnagar district in Gujarat state.
Story Linked to the Temple: The story is from Mahabharat age. After Pandavas won the battle by killing all the Kauravas; were feeling anguish releasing that they have attained sins for killing their relatives. So as to discover reclamation for their sins, Pandavas met Lord Krishna. Krishna handed them a black Flag and a black Cow. He asks the Pandavas to trail them, saying when both turns white, they all will be forgiven. Krishna also recommends them to apologize to lord Shiva, after that. The Pandavas followed the cow everywhere it went and conceded the flag. They marched for days, to various places but the shades didn’t change. Lastly, when they reached the Koliyak Beach, both turned white. Pandavas were dignified and sat for apologizing by meditated to lord Shiva.
Impressed by the brothers, Shiva appeared in Lingam form to each Pandava. Altogether there were 5 (Swayumbu) lingams that appeared on their own. Pleased Pandavas worshiped all the 5 linga with religious zeal. Hence, they named it as Nishkalan Mahadev. ‘Nishkalank’ means being spotless, clean, and innocent, etc. Pandavas settled down the Nakalank Mahadev on Amavasai i.e. no moon night of the Indian calendar month Bhadra. An idol of Lord Shiva was established on the island, about 3kms to the east of Koliyak. Every lingam has a Nandi fronting it. They are placed on a square platform. A pond named “Pandava Kund” is used by devotees to wash hands and legs before visiting Shiva Lings.
Watch For: As the temple is situated in the middle of the Arabian Sea, you must be careful about the tides. There are high tides on the full moon and no moon days and thus going on these days would be troublesome for you. Though the tides are always on, but it is said that the tides make way for devotees during worship hours and cover the Shiva Lingas during night hours.
Visit Time: Though the temple is open for devotees on all days of a week but every Friday, holds a special preference for devotees to visit Nishkalank Mahadev Mandir. The temple is opened for only a few hours in a day.
What All Can Be Offered: The customary Pooja could be done by offering Ashes, Milk, Curd, Water and Coconut to the Nishkalank Mahadev here.
How To Reach: Reaching this temple is no big task. As the nearest city Bhavnagar, is under everyone’s reach from main cities of India via Air, Rail, and Road routes. It takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes to reach Bhavnagar from Ahmedabad by road as the distance is 171kms. You can reach Ahmedabad easily by rail, road, and train. Direct flights for Ahmedabad are available from all Metro and Semi-Metro cities and so is the case with rail route as well.
Hence, visit the temple to see the one-of-its-kind temple of Lord Shiva to have the eternal blessings.