The Lakhamandal Temple is an ancient Hindu temple complex, located in the Jaunsar-Bawar area of Dehradun district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Lakhamandal temple is completely dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is popular for Shaktism, in which it is believed that a visit to Lord Shiva at the Lakhamandal temple removes one's misfortunes. Lakhamandal Temple is also known as Lakhamandal Shiva Temple.
Lakhamandal gets its name from two words: Lakha (Lakh) means 'many' and mandala means 'temple' or 'lingam'. Many artistic works have been found in the excavation done by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Lakhamandal Temple is situated at a distance of about 154 km from Rishikesh and about 128 km from Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand. The temple is built in the North Indian architectural style, which is common in the hilly regions of Garhwal and Himachal Pradesh state. Yamuna River flows along Lakhamandal village where the temple is located.
This temple of Lord Shiva was built in Nagara style around 12th – 13th century. A large number of sculptures and architectural members are scattered in the surrounding area, indicating the remains of more temples of the same sect in the past but only this temple survives at present. The earliest evidence of structural activity in Lakhamandal dates to around 5th-8th century BC. The pyramid structure is built on the basis of the structure of bricks seen under the stones. A stone inscription (6th century CE) of the site records the construction of a Shiva temple at Lakhamandal by princess Ishvara, belonging to the royal period of Singhapura.
The main attraction of the shrine of this temple is the lingam made of graphite stone. When water is offered to the Shivling, the Shivling shines and reflects its surroundings.
According to legends, in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Lakhamandal is the place where Duryodhana conspired to burn the Pandavas alive in the 'Laksha Griha', a house made of wax.
The twin idols of demon and human are situated next to the main temple. The idols are its gatekeepers. Some consider these idols to be of the Pandava brothers Bhima and Arjuna. They also resemble Jaya and Vijaya, the gatekeepers of Lord Vishnu.
It is believed that when a person who had died some time ago was placed in front of these gatekeepers, he would come back to life when the priest sprinkled the blessed holy water. Thus the dead person was brought here and became alive again within a few moments. After being alive, the said person takes the name of Shiva and takes the water of the Ganges. As soon as he takes the water of the Ganges, his soul leaves the body again. In the rear direction of the temple, two gatekeepers are seen standing as guards, one of the two gatekeepers has a severed hand which remains an unsolved mystery.
Another cave near this place is called Dhundhi Odari in the local Jaunsari language. Dhundi or Dhund means 'hazy' or 'foggy' and Odar or Odari means 'cave' or 'secret place'. Locals believe that the Pandavas took shelter in this cave to save themselves from Duryodhana.
Lakhamandal is known for the unique temple of Mahadev Shiva and Shivling and idols are found here and there.
The Lakhamandal temple is popular for Shaktism, in which it is believed that a visit to Lord Shiva at the Lakhamandal temple removes one's misfortunes. Lakhamandal Temple is also known as Lakhamandal Shiva Temple.
The main attraction of the temple of Lakhamandal temple is the lingam made of graphite stone. When water is offered to the Shivling, the Shivling shines and reflects its surroundings.