When we think of Solapur, the holy place Pandharpur is what comes to our mind immediately.
Devotees from various places come here every year.
For people who are unaware that apart from Pandharpur there is another place worth visit – Ardhanari Nateshwar Mandir/Temple.
Ardhanari Nateshwar Mandir is located in Velapur which is approximately 30-32kms. away from Pandharpur.
Velapur is a place in Malshiras taluka of Solapur. Velapur holds great historical importance and the events at this place date back to the 12th century.
Ardhanari Nateshwar Mandir also dates back to the 12th century and was built by Brahmadev Raina and Baidev Raina during the reign of Yadav ruler Ramchandradev.
This temple is an architectural beauty carved out of huge rocks.
As you enter the premises of the temple, your way towards the temple is greeted by a squared tank.
There are many stairs on the inner side of the tank leading to the bottom of the tank. This tank has water for all the 12 months.
Moving ahead you will find idols of various deities surrounding the temple.
Ardhanari Nateshwar Mandir gets its name from the unique idol which is half-man and a half-woman where the right part of the idol represents lord Shiva and the left part represents goddess Parvati.
There are also representations of sacred animals bull and lion which were used by these deities as ‘Vahanas’.
The inscriptions on the temple reveal that it was renovated in the 13th century by Krishna Devrai.
Though many people visit this temple, Shravana is the month where this place is most crowded as people come here to worship Lord Shiva.
Despite being rich in historical heritage, this place is underrated in terms of tourism. Local administration can help increase tourist flow at this place via advertisement like displaying boards in the periphery informing tourists about this place. This, in turn, will generate revenue for the locals.
We can also contribute to the advertisement by spreading it via the internet.
This place is a masterpiece of architecture and spirituality and is a must-visit.