Mukteshwar Temple is a popular shrine of Lord Shiva and is also known as Mukesaran Mandir - located near Pathankot on Shahpur Kandi Dam road. It is the holy temple of the Hindu religion, where the idols of Lord Ganesha, Lord Bramha, Lord Vishnu, Lord Hanuman and Goddess Parvati are present. This temple is one of the most sacred places around Pathankot. There are some caves which date to the time of the Mahabharata. According to a legend, the Pandavas stayed in those caves for a night during their exile (Agayatwas). Locals say that these caves near the Mandir dates back to the period of the Mahabharata. These caves are on the way to Shahpur Kandi and is situated on the bank of the River Ravi, 22 km from Pathankot City in Shaupur Kandi at Doongh village.
The caves and temple has been carved on one of the rocky hill. This temple stands tall at the hill top and is a landmark around the city.
Situated at the hilltop, Mukteshwar temple has a white marble Shivling, with a copper Yoni. The Shivling is surrounded by the idols of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Paravati, Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha.
A Fair, called the Mukesran Da Mela, is held anually at this place, in April, to mark Baisakhi festival. Also every year big festival on day of Shivratri and after one month of shivratri there is three day festival Chaitra Chodiya and also Navratri festival. Somvati Amavasya is another big fair temple committee organizes. Lots of pilgrim from all over the Punjab and nearby state Himachal, J &mp K comes here for to worship God every year mainly on Mukesran mela and Shiv Ratri.
These are 5500 year old caves & a temple built by Pandavas. According to the Hindu Mythology, these caves are as old as the Mahabharata. It was built by pandavas during their exile, as according to a legend states in the mythology, these caves served as home to the pandavas as they rested and took shelter over here during their exile. It was during their 'Agayatwas' that they stayed in these caves for six months.
Pandvas stayed here for six months, in that time period they built four caves and a shiv temple. They crafted the Shivlingam present in the temple and worshipped the lord shiva here. The Havan Kund (हवन कुंड) made by them, is still present there in temple.
This place is also known as mini (small) haridwar. Those people who can not do ash immersion of their kin at haridwar, they flow it in Ravi River at Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple.
The Greatness of Mukteshwar Dhaam
Mukteshwar mahadev Dham was established by the legendary Pandavas during the 12th year of their exile, in the Dwapar Yuga (3rd of 4 Yugas as per Hindu Philoshphy). During their journey the Pandavas reached Mukteshwar Dham after praying to Goddess Mother Chintpurni via Dsuha, Distt Hosiyarpur. They choose the peaceful and serene location of Mukteshwar Dham for their stay. It is believed that they stayed here for 6 months. After carving 5 caves to stay here and reverently establishing the Shivling, they prayed for Lord Shiva's boon for victory in the probable war in the future. Apart from this they also enshrined a Holy Fire (Akand Dhuna) and a Kitchen (Rasoi). This Kitchen is now known as Drapaudi’s Kitchen. With the turning of the wheel of time one of these caves has collapsed and closed. Before the start of their period of incognito exile the Pandavas crossed the River Ravi and entered the Kingdom of Virat whose centre is believed to be today’s Akhnoor in Jammu & Kashmir
In the Shivling of the dhaam the vertical and horizontal lines are visible, which are represent of blood veins and are a symbol of Energy & Strength. This Shivling is unique of its type in the entire world. In upper region of the 3rd Cave there is a symbol of Chakra, under which the Pandavs used to meditate. There is a he gathering and fair every year on the occasion of MahaShivratree, Chaitra Chaturdashi, Baisakhi and Somvati Amavasya at the Dhaam. On such holy occasion a bath and prayer to the Mahadev is consider as pious as a a journey to Haridwar. The asthiyan (ash remains) of the departed are also offered to divinity in the waters here so that they can achieve the state of Nirvana. Pind-daan for the release of the ancestors is also performed here on the occasion of Baisakhi. Mukeshtwar Dhaam is also famous as Small (Chota) Haridwar.
Note: Tourists and devotees heading towards Dharamsala, Mcleodganj, Dalhousie, Chamba and ManiMahesh take a halt to visit this sacred and historical place. Unfortunately not many people know about this historic place but its really amazing to see how the caves and temple has been built by carving in the rocky mountain.