Koteshwar Mahadev Temple of Gwalior or simply Koteshwar Mandir of Gwalior is the main and ancient Shiva Pagoda or Temple of Gwalior city.
A Marathi Brahmin Pandit Gangadhar Rao Trimbak Ji of this temple or shrine had explained the history and importance of Koteshwar Shivling to Shrinath Mahdji Scindia. After which it was originally built by Mahayodha Srinath Madji Shinde Maharaj in the foothills of the fort. Just 100 years later, it was renovated by Srimant Jayajirao Shinde.
The Strange History of Koteshwar Mahadev Temple of Gwalior and its Devine Shivling
The Shivling of Koteshwar Mahadev Temple or Koteshwar Mandir was originally established as a Shiv Mandir and was situated on the fort of Gwalior. It was then the centre of worship of the Tomar dynasty.
Later, Gwalior fort came under the Mughals. During the reign of Aurangzeb, this shrine was torn down and destroyed and its Shivling was thrown from the fort down into the perimeter of the fort. The Mughals could not damage this Shivling as it was always surrounded by the serpents.
The cable broke down the temple itself. For almost 150 years it was buried in the rubble protected and surrounded by the serpents outside the periphery of the fort covered under the rubble of rocks.
It is said that Saint Dev Maharaj in his dreams has seen this Shivalinga protected from snakes and the shiv linga ordered the saint to build a temple. Then at his request, Maharaj Jayaji Rao Scindia removed the debris and removed the Shivling. A grand temple was built and Shivling was established. Since the Shivling came out of the fort’s rock debris. Hence it was named Koteshwar meaning god of rock.
Inside this temple, beautiful murals based on Shiva glory have been made on the walls, which are still safe today. This shrine is very much recognized in the Scindia dynasty. Same as Mahakal has the recognition in Malwa. Koteshwar in Gwalior State was considered the same to be of in North Gwalior. Presently this Devasthan is looked after by the Scindia Devasthan Trust.