When the epic battle of Mahabharata ended, the Pandavas were drowned in grief as the ones they had killed and defeated were their relatives. They thought that what they had done was a sin, and this divine displeasure victimised them. Feeling helpless and out of hope, they arrived at Shri Krishna’s doorstep who in turn gave a flag and a cow. The colour of the flag and the Cow was black. He asked the Pandavas to follow the Cow. He also told the Pandavas that when the colour of the Cow as well as of the flag will become white, they would be liberated from the clutches of their sin. Shri Krishna also advised the Pandavas to worship Lord Shiva on their journey and particularly when they see the white flag and White Cow.
The Pandavas took the flag in their hands and followed the Cow. They travelled thousands of miles, but the colour did not change. Only when they reached the Koliyak beach in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar, the Cow and the flag turned into white colour. The Pandavas saw this and became extremely happy. They then started praying Lord Shiva for they knew that only Mahadev could grant them freedom from their sins. Lord Shiva saw the devotion and appeared before all the brothers in Lingam form, separately. Nishkalank Mahadev is these five Swayumbhu lingams that appeared before the Pandavas.
The literal meaning of Nishkalank is something that is pure, pious and guilt free. Pandavas made a temple here on Amavasya in the Bhadra month. Every year a famous fair, ‘Bhadarvi’ is organised at the temple. The temple is located on an island which is approximately 3 kilometres away from the Koliyak Beach in the East. In front of every lingam, there is a Nandi bull. A small pond is also near the temple where the devotees wash before they enter inside the temple.
Popularity of the temple
Do you know why Nishkalank Temple is famous all across the world? Why is this temple popular among the Shiva devotees?
- The interesting fact about this temple is its location. This temple was built in the middle of the sea where the tides are very active. The devotees wait for hours to let the water recede as it is not possible for anyone to enter the temple during high tide. The water usually recedes for only a couple of hours, and it is then that the worshippers pray their beloved deity. The temple again goes under water once the clock strikes 7 in the evening.
- It is a popular belief among the Shiva devotees that the departed souls attain moksha if their ashes are immersed in the water near the temple.
- The flag that is hoisted on the temple is changed once a year on the occasion of the fair only.
- The flag that is of great significance to the temple has never got torn or washed away in the tides, rains or winds till date.
If you are a Shiva devotee, visiting the Nishkalank temple would be an unforgettable and thrilling experience. The temple is in every sense a marvel!