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Jejuri Khandoba – Malhari Martand Bhairav Festival and Rathotsav

Malhari Martand Bhairav is a form of Lord Shiva worshipped in Maharashtra and parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Khandoba – Malhari Martand Bhairav Rathotsava and Festival is held at Jejuri Temple near Pune for six days starting from Kartik Amavasya as per traditional Marathi calendar. In 2023, Malhari Martand Bhairav Rathotsav and festival begins on December 13 and ends on Champa Shashti day on December 18.

Legend has it that Khandoba had fought the demons Malla and Mani for six days starting from Kartik Amavasya. The festival celebrates the victory of Khandoba over the demons – victory of good over evil. Mhalsa and Banai are his consorts.

Khandoba is known by numerous names - Khanderao, Khanderaya, Malhari Martand and Mallu Khan in Maharashtra. He is known as Mallana in Andhra Pradesh and Mailara in Karnataka.

Malhari Martand is a very popular family deity in Maharashtra. He is worshipped by all class of people and is the patron deity of warriors, farmers, herders, hunters and gathers and tribals.

The stories of Khandoba are mentioned in the text Malhari Mahatmya.
Most of the temples dedicated to Malhari Martand are found in Karnataka and Maharashtra.