Sunday 27 January 2013

The temple in an ocean

There are temples in India and abroad at almost every conceivable place. There are hundreds of temples near rivers, on rover beds, islands and even on hills and mountains.
The Tugnath Temple is believed to be the highest structure. Similarly some of the temples in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir are located in places where there is very little or no human presence.
However, this temple takes the cake as it is located bang in the middle of the ocean. This could perhaps be the only temple in India and if not the world to be situated within an ocean.
This is the temple of  Koliyak and it is located  about 23 kilometres to the east of Bhavnagar in Gujarat. According to a legend, the   Pandavas consecrated the idol of Shiva or Nishkalank or Nakalank Mahadev on a new moon night in the Indian calendar month of  Shravana.
The idol was consecrated on a small plot of land surrounded by the Arabian Sea. This small island, which is submerged most of the time in the ocean, is situated about 3 kms from Koliyak.
The Pandavas consecrated the idol soon after the Kurukshetra war. Since they wanted to wash away their sins of having killed their cousins, the Pandavas prayed at the Linga here which is, therefore, also called as Nish kalank or the sin less. There are five lingas and each of the linga was consecrated by a Pandava. There is a beautiful statue of Nandi in front of the lingas.
The temple can be accessed the day next to the new moon day between 9 a.m., and 12 noon. The temple and even the small island-it is only a small outcrop and not and island-gets inundated by the ocean and all visitors and pilgrims should leave the temple by 1 p.m.
Generally, the waters of the ocean recede after the new moon. Infact, the adventurous walk to the temple in knee-deep water.    
You can access the temple only in low tide and you have to row into the ocean to get there. The temple is 1.5 kms into the ocean.
When the ocean gets rough or during times of high tide, you can find pilgrims anxiously waiting for the waters to recede. They spend time in prayer meditation and singing. The months of August and September see the maximum recession of the ocean waters and this considered to be the ideal time to visit the temple.    
Bhavanagar is a city and it is 200 kms from Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat. It is well-connected by road and rail network. There are a variety of transport from Bhavanagar to Koliyak.


  1. Nice Blog!! very informative!! Thanks!