The Twelve Jyotirlingas we have covered are
X I I-GRISHNESHWAR JYOTIR LINGA
Grishneshwar temple or Dhushmeshwar temple, is one of the 12j\Jyotirlingas, GrIshneshwar means "Lord of Compassion", The temple is an important pilgrimage site located less than a kilometer from Ellora Caves – a Unesco World Heritage site. It is about 30 kilometres (19 miles) north-west of the city of Aurangabad
This temple was destroyed by the Delhi Sultanate during the Hindu-Muslim wars of 13th and 14th-century. The temple went through several rounds of rebuilding followed by destruction during the Mughal-Maratha conflict.
The Grishneswar temple is an illustration of south Indian temple architectural style and structure. The temple, built of red rocks, is composed of a five tier shikara. The temple was re-constructed by Maloji Bhosale grandfather of Shivaji in the 16th century and later again by Ahilyabai Holkar in the 18th century.
This 240 ft x 185 ft temple is the smallest Jyotirlinga temple in India. Halfway up the temple, Dasavataras of Vishnu are carved in red stone. A court hall is built on 24 pillars. On these pillars there are carvings depicting various legends and mythologies of Shiva. The Garbhagriha measures 17 ft x 17 ft. The Lingamurty faces eastward. There is a Nandi bull in the court hall.
This was originally a settlement of the Naga tribes. The place of the Nagas is Bambi, which is known as "Varul" in Marathi--- "Varul" gradually changed into "Verul" and is known by this name only. River Yelaganga flows here. The name "Verul" is derived from Yelaganga, on whose banks the village is located. There was a King by the name "Yela" here. The capital of his kingdom was Yelapar, or Yelur or Verul.
The very devout Shiva devotee, Bhosale once found a treasure hidden in the snake pit (ant hill) by the grace of Lord Grishneshwar. He spent that money to renovate the temple and built a lake in Shikharshinganapur.
Grishneshwar Temple, also known as Ghushmeshwar, has a very interesting legend attached to it. It is said that there was once a very religious woman, known as Kusuma, who used to worship Lord Shiva every day. She used to immerse the Shivalingam in a tank, as part of her everyday prayer. Her husband had a second wife, who got jealous of the devotion of Kusuma and her resultant respect in the society. In a fit of rage and resentment, she murdered Kusuma's son.
Kusuma became extremely depressed when she came to know that her son had been killed. However, she continued worshipping the Lord. It is said that when she immersed the lingam into the tank, after the death of her son, he miraculously came back to life again. The legend further states that Lord Shiva appeared before Kusuma as well as the villagers. On Kusuma's request, Lord Shiva manifested Himself at the very site, in the form of the Jyotirlinga Ghusmeshwar. The temple is highly revered by people and attracts devotees from far and wide.
According to Shivapuran, in the southern direction, on a mountain named Devagiri lived a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm along with his wife Sudeha. The couple did not have a child because of which Sudeha was sad. Sudeha prayed and tried all possible remedies but in vain. Frustrated of being childless, Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. On the advice of her sister, Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and discharge them in the near by lake.
Soon Ghushma was blessed with a son. The happiness of the couple made her sister Sudeha jealous and in a fit of envy, she killed the young child and threw the baby in the same lake where Ghushma used to release the holy lingams. When Ghushma came to know of the incident next day morning, she remained calm and unshaken and remained engrossed in worship of the Lord. She firmly believed that Lord Shiva who had blessed her would protect her child too. Her unshakable faith bore fruits and soon she saw her son coming to her from the lake, hale and hearty.
When the Lord appeared before her, she asked forgiveness for her sister and asked Him to remain at the place eternally for the benefit of others in the form of a Jyotirlinga. The wish was granted and soon Lord Shiva assumed the Jyotirlinga form and took the name of Ghushmeshwara. The lake is called the Shivalaya after the incident.
The temple is an excellent example of traditions followed by Hindus in the pre-historic times .The temple is rich with beautiful carvings and is a fine example of medieval architecture.The temple is made of spotted red stone. Decorative friez and sculpturd depoct the pantheon of HINDU Gods, including Brahma, Vishnu, Ganesh, the marriafe of Shiva and Parvati, celestial beings and even Maratha heroes. Close to the temple is a pond called Shivalaya and other temples.