Mankameshwar Temple PrayagrajDedicated to Lord Shiva, the Mankameshwar Temple is situated on the banks of the Yamuna River in Allahabad which makes it a temple of immense religious importance. It is located very close to Saraswati Ghat which is a famous bathing ghat in Allahabad. The temple is under the jurisdiction of Jagath Guru Shankaracharya and is run and maintained by them. Mankameshwar means the God of fulfilment of wishes and the temple derives its name from an interested legend. Sita desired to pray to the Lord Shiva following her ritual bathing at the Sangam, which is the confluence of the three holiest rivers of the country – Ganga, Saraswati and Yamuna. Since there was no Lord Shiva temple in the vicinity, Lord Ram, her husband, built a new temple for her this granting Sita her wish. It is still believed that wishes made at this temple do not go unfulfilled.
This ancient Shiv temple is located in Barra tehsil 40 km south-west from Allahabad. The Mankameshwar Temple is situated close to Minto Park, which was laid out by Lord Minto famous for the Morley-Minto reforms. Devotees can take a rickshaw or a cycle to the temple which holds the distinction of being open all year round especially on Mondays and on the day of Shivratri. It is believed that in the month of ‘Sawan’ according to the Hindu calendar, Mondays are considered especially auspicious and one can see thousands of devotees thronging to the temple to offer their prayers to the Lord. The temple is open from 6:00 am in the morning to 10:00 pm in the evening. Since this temple is located on the rear banks of the River Yamuna and on top of a hillock, the view of the river and the new Yamuna Bridge from Mankameshwar temple terrace is stupendously breath taking especially in the moon light.
The main idol of this temple is the black stone ‘lingam’ which has been installed upon an 80-feet hillock amongst beautiful surroundings. It is believed that the 3 and a half feet Shivling is a lot deeper underground and is said to have been installed by Lord Ram himself on his way to Chitrakoot, another place of religious importance. The Shivling is the main idol of the temple but there are many other idols installed in and around the temple which include a Nandi and Lord Ganesh, a grand statue of Lord Hanuman, a Banyan and Peepal tree and a well all of which are worshipped with immense faith by devotees. In the complex of the Mankameshwar Temple is installed another Shivling and it is known as the ‘Rann Mukteshwar Mahadev’ which literally means ‘Great God, absolver of debts’. Devotees visit this temple and especially this particular Shivling to clear themselves debts and loans.
In the holy city of Allahabad, also known as Prayag, the specialty of the Mankameshwar temple is the decoration of the statue of Lord Shiva which is changed daily. During aarti, the continuous blowing of the ‘shankh’ or the conch shell, beating of drums and ringing of the temple bells produce melodious music which is very soothing to the ears. This is accompanied by chanting and loud recitation of prayers and religious songs. One of the most prominent Shiva Temples in Allahabad, Mankameshwar is also known as the Pishach Mochan Tirtha. Prayag has been one of the greatest pilgrimage sites since the ancient period. A visit to this holy city and especially to Mankameshwar offers devotees one of the greatest forms of salvation that one can hope for.