Kopeshwar Temple is at Khidrapur, Kolhapur district, Maharashtra. It is at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka It is also accessible from Sangli as well.
About Kopeshwar Temple:
It was built by Shilahara King Gandaraditya in the 12th century by Shilahara kings Gandaraditya, Vijayaditya and Bhoj-2 between 1109 and 1178 AD and then by Seuna Yadavas. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is to the east of Kolhapur, ancient & artistic on the bank of the Krishna river.
There is a folklore behind naming the temple as ‘Kopeshwar’. Devi Sati. Daughter of King Daksha was married to Lord Shiva. King Daksha was not fond of his son-in-law. Once, King Daksha decided to perform grand “Yajna” ceremony. He invited all the gods, goddess and sages except his daughter Sati and his son-in-law Lord Shiva. Devi Sati felt insulted, and she went to meet her father. When she asked the reason behind not inviting her husband, King Daksha abused Lord Shiva. Sati couldn’t tolerate the abuses hurled towards her husband. In the fit of rage, she jumped in the Havan Kund. When Lord Shiva came to know about the immolation of Sati, he became furious. He destroyed Daksha’s Yajna ceremony and punished King Daksha by beheading him. Later, on the request of other deities, Lord Shiva granted him a new life with Goat’s head. An angry Shiva was brought to this place to calm down his anger. Hence the temple got its name Kopeshwar where ‘Kop’ means anger and ‘Eshwar’ means Lord Shiva.
The entire temple is divided into four parts Swargamandapa, Sabhamandapa,Antaral kaksha and Garbha gruha.The Swargamandapa has a vestibule with an open top. The sanctum is conical. The exterior has stunning carvings of deities and secular figures. Elephant statues sustain the weight of the temple at the base. ln the interior we first see Vishnu (Dhopeshwar) & Shivaling facing north. But there is no Nandi who has separate Mandir. Separate Actor-Pendal also called as swarga mandap, hall, old pillars, carvings of gods & male and femnale artists in various poses are attractive. The ceiling is semi-circular with rnatchless engravings. On the out side, complete ‘Shivaleelamrit’ is carved. The Kopeshwar, Ancient & artistic temple situated on the bank of Krishna is a fine example of ancient sculpture. It was built in 11-12 century by Shilahara. The ceiling is semi-circular with matchless engravings. Inside there is statue of Vishnu( Dhopeshwar) and Shivling ” Kopeshwar ” facing north. There is no nandi who has separate Mandir. Separate Actor-Pendal, hall, old pillars, carvings of gods & male-female artists in various poses are attractive. This is the only Shiva temple in India with idol of Vishnu.