''Khandoba'' temple of Jejuri, MH - to have massive restoration soon

Khandoba temple Jejuri, with lamp posts. MH   Deccanherald.com

Khandoba temple at  Jejuri in Pune district off Maharashtra and is about 39 km from Pune city. Set atop a hill  of 718 m (2,356 ft)   and the devotees have to climb 200 steps to reach the temple. Maharashtra  is said to be  a primary center  Khandoba worship. Devotees emphasize that Khandoba is a full avatar of Shiva, and not a partial avatar like Bhairava or Virabhadra. He accepts the attributes of the demon king - his horse, weapons and royal insignia. In iconography he carries four weapons in his arms and wear the dress of a Maratha Sardhar.

Khandoba temple Jejuri, MH  .gettyimages.in

The worship  Bhairava,  a Hindu  deity  common in the states and for countless families in the Deccan region Khadamba or Bhairava  is the family deity -  most popular Kuladevata.   To the select warrior farming castes, Dhangar community, Brahhmin (priestly) castes as well as several of the hunter/gatherer tribes (Bedar, Naik) that are native to the hills and forests of this region  god Shiva is a  patron deity of  valor and courage (qualities of a warrior).   

Location map Jejuri, Maharashtra. caronrentals.com

The sect of Khandoba has attributes of  Hindu and Jain  traditions and also other sects.  This sect - 9th or 10th C of origin  is a  blend of attributes of  of other gods -  Shiva, Bhairava, Surya and Kartikeya (Skanda). More or less  a  folk deity depicted either in the form of a linga, or as an  image  on a bull or a horse. In the sanctum - garbagriha  God shiva is in the form of Linga (an anionic symbol of Shiva) with his consort goddess Mhalsa. 

A massive plan is on the anvil to repair and restore the historic Khandoba temple of Jejuri covering 167 sq. meters and the fort covering 1,240 sq meters  and the  Maharashtra government in May 2022 announced that they had sanctioned Rs 109.57 crore for the proposed  development plan.  There are many shrines and 350 Deep-stambha (lamp-pillars) in this area. The worship of Khandoba (or Martanda Bhairava, Malhari, Malhar) as a manifestation of Lord Shiva has been around in this region for a long time, the government had chipped in to improve the facilities for  visitors to this place.  

To retain the old legacy and the heritage value of this place the state government is planning to rope in the expert advice of  ''archaeological experts,”  The fort and temple would be restored and water supply facilities would be created.  
More than 50 lakhs people visit the temple and around 2 lakh devotees come here for the annual Jatta.