Ambarnath Temple Matheran is an ancient Hindu temple situated on the banks of the Waldhuni River in Ambarnath. It is one of the popular historical places to visit near Mumbai city. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a famous religious shrine of the region. It is also known as Puratana Shivalaya and Ambreshwar Shiva Temple. The temple is believed to be constructed in 1060 AD by King Mahamandaleshwar as a tribute to his ancestors. The temple is carved out of black basalt stone and is known for its resemblance to the famous Dilwara Temples of Mount Abu in Rajasthan. It is an excellent example of Vesara architecture - a blend of North Indian, Dravidian and South Indian Nagara styles of temple making. In simple words, it is a mix of North Indian and South Indian styles of temple making.
The Vesara style at Ambernath is of interlocking black stone in the Hemadpanti style named after legendary Prime Minister Hemadpanti who was a great patron of temple architecture during the regime of Devgiri rulers. The main attraction of this shrine is the marvelous architectural designs carved on the walls and ceilings which grab the attention of the visitors. The beautiful images of Lord Shiva in different moods, including his renowned dancing pose, adorn the ceilings and pillars. To reach the Garbhgriha, one has to descend 20 steps and the Garbhgriha is open to the sky as the shikara tower ends abruptly above the Mandapa as it was never completed. It is in bhumija form, and if completed would have been similar to the Udayesvara Temple in Udaipur, Madhya Pradesh and the Gondeshwar Temple at Sinnar. If completed the shikhara would have had four corner bands of gavaksha-honeycomb sweeping uninterrupted up the full height of the tower. The Mandapa has three porches with beautiful sculptures carved on it. In between each face, there are rows of five spirelets on individual podia, reducing in size up the tower. There is a Swayambhu (self-manifested) linga enshrined under the open sky in the inner sanctum. A statue of Nandi Bull is located at the center of the main porch of the temple.
There is a big fair celebrated in Ambarnath on the occasion of Mahashivratri for 4 days. Ambarnath Temple Matheran is visited by pilgrims from across the state on this auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri.
Ambarnath Temple Matheran Timings: 6:00 A.M to 8:00 P.M
Ambarnath Temple Matheran Entry Fees: Nil