Location: Bhiwandi Taluka, Thane District, Maharashtra
Located on the banks of Tansa river, about 80 kilometers from Mumbai is a town called Vajreshwari. This town was earlier called Vadvali. It was renamed after a temple – Shree Vajreshwari Yogini Devi Mandir. The temple is situated in a hilly area, said to be formed due to volcanic eruptions.
Originally the temple was built in a neighboring town of Gunj but had to be moved to this town after Portuguese invasion.
Main Deity:- The main deity at this temple is Goddess Vajreshwari, holding her mace,sword and trident. The idol is saffron in color. There are also shrines for Goddess Renuka, Saptashrungi Mahalakshmi (similar to Vani temple), Kalika Devi and Parshurama. Also, there are smallers shrines for Lord Shiva, Shree Ganesh, shree Hanuman and Dattatreya.
Legend:- The story of this temple is as follows –
During the ancient times a demon named Kalikut created problems for the sages. In order to put an end to their misery sage Vashishta performed a Yagna ritual. During this yagna, an offerring of Ghee (clarified butter) needs to be made to please the Gods. Somehow, an offering was not made to Lord Indra. Angrily, he threw his divine weapon (Vajra) into the Yagna fire. Fearing destruction, the sags prayed to to Chandi (Shakti or the Goddess of Power). The goddess appeared as vajreshwari and swallowed the vajra. She also killed Kalikut.
Architecture:- Mainly, the temple is a stone structure, built like a fort The construction is very similar to Bassein fort. It is necessary to climb up a few steps to reach the main shrine. At the entrance is a big golden idol of a Tortoise (the Kurma avtar of Vishnu).
Outside the main hall, there is a Yagnalay (a placec where fire rituals are held). The Goddesses wear traditional jewellary and have a silver umbrella that shelters them.
One interesting aspect of this location are the natural hot water springs in this area. Scientists say that since this is area is close to a Volcano, the water of these springs flows hot. The springs are named Agni, Surya, Raama, Sita and .
Festivals/Prayers:– Navratri, Ram navami, Durga Puja are the biggest festivals here. In the month of Chaitra – a huge fair is held during new moon days. This pilgrimage place sees a lot of devotees during the fair.
Devotees believe in the curative powers of the springs and also mention that the waters wash away all sins.
How to Reach:-
By Air- Nearest airport is Mumbai airport
By Rail- Nearest railheads are Thane (central line) and Virar (western line)
By Road-Maharashtra state transport buses run from Vasai and Virar stations.
Website:- Shree Vajreshwari Temple