Temples of Khidrapur: Kopeshwar

Day 1: Pune > Siddhagiri > Stavnidhi > Kothali > Khidrapur > Kuntugiri
Day 2: Kuntugiri > Ramlingh Tirth > Ichalkarnji > Kumbhoj
Day 3: Kumbhoj > Audumbar > Pune
Clocked 700+ KMs

Where: Khidrapur (Around 60 KMs from Kolhapur) How to reach: Best way is to travel to Kurdunwad and the proceed to Khidrapur.
Time of visit: May 2011

Since I was approaching from Kothali I had to take Sadalga-dattawad-takli-Kidhrapur road. Most of it was interior road road and was not in a good condition. Best wasy to approach is from Kolhapur-Sangli highway and then proceed via Kurdunwad. You can do Narsobachi wadi on the way too.

This is ancient temple believed to be built in 11th century during satvanah period. Often described as the Khajuraho of Maharashtra, the Khidrapur temple complex is a distinct piece of art and architecture.

The mythological story behind the name ‘Kopeshwar’ is – Devi Sati (daughter of King Daksha) was married to lord Shiva. Daksha didn’t like in son-in-law at all. He was about to perform some yagna (hindu ritual performed along with holy fire) and he didn’t invite Sati & Shiva. Devi Sati felt sad and went to meet her father asking the reason behind not inviting her husband. In turn, King Daksha insulted Shiva and it was unbearable for Sati to tolerate her husband’s insult. She jumped in the yajna. Hearing this news, Shiva was furious and he punished Daksha by cutting his head. Later on, due to request of other deities, Shiva took back the curse and granted him life with goat’s head. It is believed that angry Shiva was brought to this place (temple) to cool his anger. Hence the temple got its name i.e. ‘Kop’ means anger and ‘Eshwar’ means lord Shiva.

The temple is built as if resting on aga japeeth, a platform on the backs of many carved elephants.

The most Fascinating is Swargmandap complete with 48 Carved pillars.

The astounding carvings on the celiengs are worth dekko.

The main Mandap, has a huge circular open to sky portion called Akashdarshan supported by 12 superbly carved pillars. Beneath is is a beautiful round black stone slab of same size called the ‘rangshila’. It is an amazing experience to sit on the centre of the stone round open ‘akaash gavaksh’ on the ceiling and look towards the dark inner sanctum of the grabha griha

Temple stand firm with all its glory of stone carvings of 92 elephants and 108 pillars and hundreds of sculptures depicting scenes about from the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Shiva, the twelve astrological signs and flowers, trees, birds, human figures. 

It is said that all ‘adhyaaya‘ (parts) of ‘Shivlilamrut‘ are carved on the walls of the temple. Nandi is missing in this temple. Next comes Sabhamandap, Antaral-kaksha and Garbhagriha. The Garbhagriha is more cold and dark. The shiva linga, burning lamps make the atmosphere peaceful and divine.

The outer walls of the shrine are broken at oblique angles as in the Nilanga Hemadpanti temple. By the south door of the temple is a Devgiri Yadav inscription of Sinhadev in Devnagari dated sak 1135 (A.D. 1213) granting the village of Khandalesvar in Miraj for, the worship of Kopeshvar.

The whole of temple has beautiful carvings specifically of women in various poses that depict various joyful emotions.

There is huge yaksh-dwarpal which is now broken.

Flower Pattern Details on 6 windows are worth watching.

Unfortunately the destruction believed to be done by Aurangzeb is widely seen but fortunately the mystic intricate carvings and the beauty still prevails.

We were fortunate to locate a person who guided us throughout this marvellous breath-taking temple. We then proceed to another historic Jain Digamber temple built on similar lines.


  1. It is a good history about kompeshwara temple.

  2. आम्ही सुद्धा १२ ते १६ मार्च २०१३ दरम्यानच्या सांगली ट्रीपचे वेळी खिदरपूरच्या ह्या प्राचीन शिल्पकलेचा व वास्तुशास्त्राचा अद्भुत चमत्कार असलेल्या कोपेश्वर मंदिरास भेट दिली होती व गाईड सुद्धा घेतला होता त्यामुळे नेमके काय बघायचे ते आभाळा त्याने दाखवले.


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