Bhuteshwar Nath temple, Chhattisgarh - largest naturally occurring '"Ardhanarishvara Shivalinga" that ''grows''

Bhuteshwar Nath temple, Chhattisgarh

India is a land of thousands of historical temples across the country built with amazing architecture of grandeur and beauty, There are also many strange holy ''natural sites'', particularly associated with Shivalinga- a form of God Shiva. The are temples with Swayambu lingam- self manifested and temples are built upon them. There are several examples in the state of Tamil nadu where  the molehill (Puttru) grows in the shape of a linga  and  at such temples abhishekam is done only  to the Uchava idol  and not moolavar in the sanctum. 
There are certain natural  outcrops of rocks in  the shape of a shiva linga and such places do attain divinity. One of the famous naturally occurring shivalinga (made of solid rock) place is Bhuteshwar  also known as Bhakurra Mahadeva  temple of Lord Shiva, of Maroda Village,  Gariaband district, in Chhattisgarh state.  It has the rare distinction of having the largest natural Shivlinga (Lingam) in the world. Just 3 km from  Gariaband and   nestled in the midst of a thick wooded area and picturesque hills, for lots of devotees it is a holy site of pilgrimage. It is to be noted that the  largest human-made Shiva Lingam in India is at the Chenkal Maheswaram Sri Sivaparvathi Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. It’s 111.2 feet tall.

That  this natural shiva lingam slowly grows ever year is a strange piece of news.  It is mentioned that in  1952, the Shivling was  about 35 feet tall and its girth was about 150 feet, but in 1994, when a  measurement with modern gadgets the height of  shivaling (a big mass of rock) was 62 feet and girth was 290 feet. Now the height of the Shivling  is nearly 80 feet. So the   Government officials have been taking the measurements every year on the Mahashivaratri day.

The tradition has been that lots of pilgrims visit this site on Mahashivratri and on Mondays of Sawan month with Holy Water from Mahanadi River, Rajim.  It is called  Kanwar Yatra. This holy linga is recognized as "Ardhanarishvara''  (a combination of male and female forms split down the middle) because of the presence of a .small fissure in the Shivling. It may be a rare naturally occuring
Ardhanarishvara sculpture.GK Cholapuram,TN

male female form of Shiva

Above image: Ardhanarishvara conception in Hinduism has social relevance;it a depiction of  half-male  form of Shiva and half-female form of his consort Parvati, equally split down the middle.  It is the  synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe (Purusha and Prakriti) and illustrates how Shakti, the female principle of God, is inseparable from Male. Life does not persist without the other.  Normally,  in temple sculptures and metal iconography, the figure of Ardhanari is particularly  endearing and lovely  with an alluring   smile on its face. One can notice  how the talented artist has brought  bring forth masculine firmness and feminine tenderness in the same face.

Bhuteshwar Nath temple, Chhattisgarh state

The place where  the world’s biggest natural Shivling is situated is known as ‘Bhuteshwarnath Dham’. The strange riddle here is the slow growth of  Shivling - its length increases by six to eight inches every year. The State Revenue department maintains a record of measurement of this ‘holy hillock’ that claim of increasing by 6 to 8 inches every year.


"It is about 18 feet tall and the width of the spherical surface of the Shivling is about 20 feet. Every year, its length is measured. The State Revenue department maintains a record of measurement. It is deduced that the Shivling grows 6-8 inches every year. ("

Devotees from the neighboring states also  make a beeline for this place during the holy Shravan month. The belief is  offering just a jug of water to ‘Shivling’ here  can help  rid of  worries .