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Sinnar Gondeshwar Temple – Gondeshwar Mandir at Sinnar near Nashik – Maharashtra


Sinnar Gondeshwar Mandir, also known as Govindeshwara Temple, is located around 26 kilometers from Nashik near the Sinnar town on Nashik – Pune Road. Sinnar Gondeshwar Temple is a Panchayatana type temple. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is surrounded by four other temples dedicated to Vishnu, Ganpati, Surya, and Devi.

Shiva is worshipped here in the form of a Shivling. The other murtis are small in size.

History of Sinnar Gondeshwar Temple

During the medieval period, Sinnar was known as Sindinagar or Seunapura and was ruled by Bhillama III of the Yadava family. In 1025 AD, the Mahasamanta Bhillama III was ruling his hereditary province of Seunadesa, at this capital Sindinagar, as a feudatory of the Western Chalukya King Jayasimha II.

Later the area lost its prominence was founded again by a Gavli chief (Yadava) Ravi Singuni during the 11th or 12th century AD.

Gondeshwar Temple was built by Rav Govinda the son of Ravi Singuni in the 12th century AD.


Sinnar Gondeshwar Temple - Architecture

Sinnar Gondeshwar Temple is one of the most impressive and architecturally unique stone temples in Western parts of India, especially in Maharashtra.

At the main entrance of the temple stands the Nandi pavilion.

The temples stand on a rectangular podium. The temple complex is surrounded by a wall, with two gateways on the south and the east.

The height of the temple is 50 meters high and 21 meters in length.

Some of the impressive features of the temple include decorated pillars, the elephant band in the basement, deep porches, pilasters and lozenge-shaped flowers, and dwarf sidewalls. Attached to the pillars of the porches are ornamental bracket figures of females. There are panels dedicated to stories from Puranas the most impressive is the churning of the ocean or the Samudra Manthana.

Ceilings of the porches are formed of rings of cusped ornaments with a central pendant. On the face of the octagonal band are little figures representing processions, entertainment, musicians, dancers, and instrumentalists. The sculptures also include sages, warriors, cultural life and erotic scenes.

The main sculptors in the temple are on the outer walls. These are above the gargoyle on the north side and under the large niche on the south side of the mandir.

One sculpture is that of Brahmi with three faces and a goose below her.

The entrances have sculptor of Gaja Lakshmi carved above the cornice.

The lower niche on the south side is empty but the upper one has a sculpture of Shiva performing Tandava.

The Gomukh, the ornamental gargoyle through which water from the shrine passes out, upon the north side of the temple is in the shape of a Makara (crocodile). It is an impressive sculptural work.
Four central pillars support the central dome. The pillars 3 meters in height are elaborately carved. The pilasters are plainer in design.

The central dome rises in height of 6 meters and is noted for its simple but impressive design.

The main courtyard is about 100 meters in length and 80 meters in width.

There is a temple tank in the east of the temple complex, which may have resulted from quarrying of stones for the construction of the temple.

Like hundreds of other Hindu temples, the shrine is in a dilapidated condition and is under ASI (Archeological Survey of India).