Varālā Devi, Bhiwandi (Thane)

Location: ~50 kms from Mumbai (map)

Timings: All day

Kṣhetra Purāṇam: This is a Gramadevata temple. Once upon a time there was a great devotee of Goddess Durga. She once saved the locality by sacrificing her own life and the baby inside her womb. She performed a jala-samādhi in a pond near by, which is now called the Varālādevi Talao. It is her idol (Varālā Devi), along with Goddess Durga, which is worshiped in this place. Darshan of Varālā Devi is enough to get blessed with sat-santānam.

Tungareśvar Mahādev Mandir (Vasai, Thane)

ImageLocation: ~70kms from Mumbai (map).

Timings: Not advisable to visit after sunset as the temple is inside a forest.

Kṣhetra Purāṇam: This is a very ancient temple, from the times of Lord Śrī Rāma. The temple is located on a hill by name “Tungara“. This hill is a part that broke and fell from the Sanjīvanī Parvata (droṇa giri) while Lord Śrī Hanuman carried it over for saving the life of Lakṣhmaṇa.

During the period when Lord Paraśurāma slayed the wicked kings, a rākṣhasa king by name Vimalāsura, in the fear of getting killed, took shelter in the sacred Tungara giri. He later did a ghora tapas for Lord Śiva. Impressed by the tapas, Parameśvara appeared before him and gave His ātma lingam to Vimalāsura. This is the lingam that we now can have darshan of in this divya khetra.

About the Temple: This temple is located mid-way on the hill Tungara. The road leading to the temple is narrow and deserted. It goes through the Tungareśvar Abhayāraṇya (protected forest). The area near the temple is however not deserted and due to the excellent efforts of the temple management, the place is maintained very well. Inside the main temple reside Lord Tungareśvar, Parvatīdevi, Gaapati and Mahāvihu. The consort of the Lord here is Śrī Jāgmātā and resides in another temple structure further up the hill (picture on left). Though the temple is ancient, the temple structures now existing are renovated and painted.

Special Pūja: On the days of vaikuṇṭha chaturdaśi and tripurāri pourṇima, special abhiṣhekam to  Lord Tungareśvara is performed and 1001 raktakamalās are offered to the Lord.

Near-by Temples: Vajreśvarī Yoginī Temple (map).