Koteshwar Temple Travel Guide: One Of The Oldest Shiva Temples In The Kutch Region Of Gujarat (2020)
The Koteshwar Temple is in the Kutch region of Gujarat, in devotion to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the oldest temples in the region, with even Hiuen-Tsiang writing about the temple during his travels to India and the nearby areas.
The Koteshwar Temple Experience
Like many other temples in the Kutch and Bhuj areas, the road to the Koteshwar Temple is well-maintained and with greenery on both sides, devoid of traffic for most of the time. So, it makes for an excellent road trip.
The exterior of the Koteshwar temple in Kutch is brown, and devotees need to climb some steps to reach the entrance of the temple. Like most Shiva temples, we have the idol of the Nandi bull at the entrance. The interior of the Koteshwar temple is of marble. The authorities have maintained the temple well, and the well-decorated sanctum sanctorum has the Shivling.
Along with the Shivling, there are some other photo graphs and small idols of Hindu Gods as well. The walls and pillars of the Koteshwar temple are plain and do not have the inscriptions or sculptures of the other temples that we see in Gujarat or Maharashtra. The entrance to the sanctum santorum is silver. There’s some myth attached to the Koteshwar temple of Kutch in Gujarat.
The Koteshwar Temple Legend
According to the legend, Lord Shiva, impressed by the Demon King Ravana’s devotion, gifted him the original Linga. However, Ravana dropped it while he was traveling back home. The Linga then multiplied into thousands, and Ravana couldn’t decipher which of the Lingas was the original one. He took one of them and left the original one where it fell, therefore creating the ground for this temple, the Koteshwar.
There are some details to the legend in some other accounts. According to the legend, Ravana prayed to Lord Shiva, and he got the boon of the original Jyotirlinga. The other divine beings were scared that now Ravana would be all-powerful, and therefore requested Vishnu and Bramha to do something.
Lord Brahma, knowing that Ravana was a Brahmin, took the disguise of a cow and came across Ravana as a cow in distress, fallen in a ditch.
Ravana tried to pull the cow out, but he couldn’t because he was holding the Jyotirlinga in one hand. Finally, he let go of the Jyotirlinga and used both his hands to rescue the cow. When he turned back, he saw that now there were thousands of Jyotirlinga, (Koti in Sanskrit), and that’s now the temple is now known as the Koteshwar temple.
You will be able to spend around an hour at the temple, exploring and taking in the vicinity. The Koteshwar temple is on the Kori creek, and you get a great view of the sunset, making it perfect for photography as well.
While there are no specific rules for photography, make sure that you do not disturb the others. Also, since this is a place of religious importance, make sure that you dress conservatively, and this goes for men as well as women.
Places to Visit Near Koteshwar Temple in Kutch
The Koteshwar temple is in the Kutch region of Gujarat, and there are several other places that you can visit here, both of tourist interest and places of religious tourism. In Kutch, you, of course, have the Rann of Kutch, which is a desert. Then, you have the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary and Dholavira. You also have the Kutch Museum and the Kutch Bustard Museum. Along with this, you also have Mandvi Beach in Bhuj. The Narayan Sarovar is nearby as well.
Hotels Near Koteshwar Temple
If you search online, you will come across travel and tour websites that offer you complete travel package services, including boarding, food, and logistics.
There are some hotels near the Koteshwar temple that offer accommodation at low budgets. You have the Monai Resort nearby, which offers rooms for about 7000 INR per night. The budget hotels here are the hotels like Sachin International, the Hotel Aradhana, and the Hotel Narayana, the Meadows Chopta and Hotel Taj Himalaya Kristu.
If you are looking for some ultra-budget options, you can look at the dormitories that are now becoming popular. These dormitories offer you a cot and a place to keep your belongings and there are multiple people in a large hall. The prices for the dormitory can be anything between 300 to 500 INR per day. While these dormitories offer you accommodation at low prices, there are some downsides to it. For example, not all of them offer food options and you might have restrictions as to when you can return to the dormitory. However, keep in mind that the dormitory is very different from a lodge and has safety and hygiene aspects in place.
How to Reach Koteshwar Temple in Kutch, Gujarat?
Reaching the Koteshwar temple is simple, as it is in the Kutch area. The exact address of Koteshwar temple is near Kolak River, near the National Highway No. 8, Vapi, Gujarat. To reach the Koteshwar Temple, you can either travel via road, train, or air. You can travel to Kutch from Mumbai in 1 hour via flight, around 16 hours by road, and about 14 hours by train. If you plan to travel from Ahmedabad to Kutch, you will take 3 hours via flight, nine hours by road, and about five hours by train. The nearest airport is Bhuj Airport. The other airport that’s close is the Sardar Vallabhai Airport.