Worship of Lord Brahma, Part 30
BY: SUN STAFF
Lord Brahma, Mangalwedha
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Sep 07, CANADA (SUN) A serial exploration of places of Lord Brahma's worship.
Lord Brahma in Mangalwedha
Continuing our exploration of Brahma sites in Maharashtra, today we go to the town of Mangalwedha in Solapur district. Mangalwedha is approximately 50 km. southwest of the city of Solapur, and 25 km southeast of Pandharpur. Known for being the birthplace of Sri Jayatirtha, the great Dvaita saint and commentator on Sri Madhvacarya's works, Mangalwedha is also home to an ancient Brahma Temple.
Mangalwedha is mentioned as 'Metulingpuri' in the Bhima Mahatmya of Skanda Purana, but some historians question that identification. There are many monumental stone ruins from the Chalukya kings of Kalyani found around Mangalwedha, indicating that it was an important center during the 9th to 11th centuries. Numerous inscriptions give evidence that the town was under the rule of the Chalukyas of Kalyani, later becoming the seat of the Kalachuryas.
The Kalachuris migrated to the south from an area that is now known as Hyderabad, and made Mangalwedha (Magaliveda, Mangalavedhe or Mangalavada) their capital. They called themselves Kalanjarapuravaradhisvara, which indicates their origin in central Indian. Beginning as modest feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani, they overthrew the Chalukyas and ruled for a brief period, during the 12th century under the emblem of Suvarna Vrishabha, the golden bull.
According to an inscription referring to the year 1174, the founder of the Kalachuris was Soma, who was a disciple of Ashwathama, of Mahabharata fame. He is said to have grown a beard and moustache to conceal his identify, in order to escape the wrath of Parasurama. Thereafter Soma's family and heirs came to be known as Kalachuris ('kalli' means a long moustache and 'churi' means a sharp knife).
Later records of the Kalachuri dynasty claim that the line descended directly from Lord Brahma, so it is not surprising that we find a temple here dedicated to Lord Brahma.
There are a number of other interesting temples located in Mangalwedha, and many shrines scattered throughout the more than seventy villages in the outlying areas. The town's most frequented temples include those dedicated to local saints, Damaji, Chokha, as well as the temples of Vishveshwar Mahadeo.
The temple dedicated to the god Vishveshwar Mahadeo is said to have been constructed in 800 A.D. It is a Hemadpanti structure and was renovated in the year 1572 A.D. This temple bears an inscription in Marathi. In the month of Magna, a Mahashivaratri festival is celebrated here, drawing large crowds of devotees.
Vishveshwar Mahadeo Temple
The fort of Mangalvedha was built using materials the leaders took from old Jain temples they demolished, around 1500 A.D.
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