The North Gujarat region in India is full of holy places in almost all its corners. It is quiet easy to visit such places from the city of Vadodara as Vadodara city is situated in the Northern region of Gujarat State. We visited one such rare place of Koteshwar Mahadev temple, which is situated near the city of Mehasana and Siddhapur. The visit to Koteshwar Mahadev temple can be an excellent picnic/outing for one day either from Vadodara or Ahmedabad.
This ancient temple of Koteshwar Mahadev is situated at around 7 miles away from the town of Siddhpur, which is situated near the city of Mehasana. The tourists can reach this temple of Koteshwar Mahadev by hired auto rickshaw or taxi either from Mehasana or Siddhpur. The charges for such auto rickshaw from Mehasana and Siddhpur are around Rs.60 ($1.20) and Rs.20 (forty cents) respectively per head. However, the journey through this auto rickshaw is quiet rough and may not be suitable for those who are not used to such stormy rides. This ancient, historical temple of Koteshwar Mahadev is situated at around 2 miles away from the origin of the holy River Sarswati. The flow of this holy River Sarswati is generally not seen flowing over the ground all along its course. But Koteshwar is one such place where the holy River Sarswati can be seen flowing above the ground. One small branch from this holy River Sarswati flows towards the temple and the water is collected in one rectangular reservoir, from which it is falling continuously on the Lord Shiva Lingam through the mouth of a cow made of stone, known as Gaumukh. The flow of Sarswati River starts from this place and travels ahead towards the North in form of a river. Koteshwar Mahadev temple is an ancient temple that was built in fifteenth century by the rulers of Patan in Gujarat State. The pilgrims visiting this holy temple take bath in Gaumukh prior to entering inside the temple for the darshana. There is one small underground cave near the temple, which was used by the Rishis to perform tap in an isolated place. There are couples of ancient temples also near this cave. These temples are of Amba Mata and the Kalka Mata. The stone statues of Mataji at both these temples appear to be centuries old. In spite of that, the statues are still almost in intact shape. The large fair is held here at the Koteshwar Mahadev temple every year on the Maha Shivratri day, which is the birthday of Lord Shiva. Thousands of visitors visit this holy place during that fair from all over the country. There is also an Ashram of Valmiki Rishi here at Koteshwar near the main bus stand. It is a belief that Valmiki Rishi had stayed at this Ashram for around one year writing the holy book of Ramayana.
Most of the visitors return back to their home cities after around four to six hours stay at Koteshwar. However, there are two dharmshalas available here at Koteshwar for the pilgrims who would like to stay for the night halt. The reasonably clean rooms are available at these dharmshalas at very nominal rates of around Rs.50 ($1) per day. Though, the facilities are bare minimum at these dharmshalas and if you are used to having all modern facilities, you may not like to stay for the night halt at these dharmshalas. The traditional Gujarati food items are available at some restaurants situated here at Koteshwar. The tourists visiting Koteshwar also can visit the poisonous stepped well on their way towards Koteshwar, around 2 miles away from Koteshwar. This stepped well is situated at around one mile inside the thick forest and the way to this stepped well is extremely difficult. It is a belief in Hindu religion that Mataji killed the famous danav Mahishashur here at this stepped well. There is also a small temple of Mataji here at this place and a small water reservoir opposite to the temple.
We had visited Koteshwar from the city of Ahmedabad as one day long picnic/outing in a hired car. We really enjoyed this ancient temple of Koteshwar and wish that some of the readers and friends may like to visit this beautiful place to enjoy the family picnic.