Grishneshwar or Grushneshwar Jyotirlinga is considered as the last among the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The Grishneshwar Temple is also known by several other names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Grushmeswara and Grishneswara.
The temple is located at a village called Verul, which is at a distance of 11kms from Daulatabad (Devagiri) AND 30 Kms from Aurangabad. this lies near to Ajanta and ellora caves.
Bhonsale ( The Patel or chief of Verul ) was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, Once he found a treasure hidden in the snake pit. He spent the money to renovate the temple and built a lake in Shikharshinganapur. Later on , Goutamibal (Bayajabai) and Ahilyadevi Holkar renovated the Grishneshwar temple.
This 240ft.x185ft. tall temple is built of red rocks in a pre-historic architectural style. The temple has five tier shikara Beautiul statues of Gods and Goddess are carved in red stones. Halfway up the temple Dashaavtars are also carved. These sculpted walls are beautiful to look at. The town hall is built on 24 beautifully carved pillars. There is a gorgeous Nandikeshwar in the courthall. The Garbhagriha measures 17ft.x17ft. Lingamurti faces eastward.
legends behind the Grishneshwar temple
Once Parvati was mixing vermilion and saffron with water to apply on the in her hair (a symbol of a married woman). She kept them in her left palm and mixed the water of Shivalay in it. With the right thumb she started mixing them both. A miracle happened, Shiv appeared in form of light on her palm. The light turned into lingam which she named Grishneshwar as it was formed with the friction (grishna) between her finger and palm.
Another legend from Shivpuran
In the southern direction, on a mountain named Devagiri lived a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm along with his wife Sudeha. The couple had no child this frustrated Sudeha. She prayed and tried all remedies but all in vain. Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and discharge them in the nearby lake. With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Ghushma gave birth to a baby boy. Because of this, Ghushma became proud and Sudeha started feeling jealous towards her sister. Out of jealously, one night she killed Ghushma’s son and threw him in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge the lingas
In the morning, even after hearing everything she was absorbbed in worshipping Lord Shiva. She did not break down and said he who has given me this child shall protect him and started reciting Shiva-Shiva. Later, when she went to discharge the Shivalingas after prayers she saw her son coming. Lord Shiva appeared before her and said he is pleased with her devotion. Ghushma told Lord to forgive Sudeha. Pleased with her generosity, Lord Shiva asked her another boon. Ghushma said that if he was really happy with her devotion then he should reside here eternally for the benefit of the multitudes in form of a Jyotirlinga and may you be known by my name. On her request, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Jyotirlinga and assumed the name Ghushmeshwar and the lake was named as Shivalaya thereafter.