Krishnabai Temple: Famous Historical Shrine of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna

Krishnabai Temple, found in the hill station of Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, is a revered Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna. It stands as one of India’s oldest and most significant shrines, reputed to be the starting point of the Krishna River, a prominent waterway in the country. Also recognised as Krishnadevi Temple or Krishna Mandir, it holds great historical and religious importance.

Significance of Krishnabai Temple

The temple was built in the 13th century by Raja Singhandeo, king of the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri (now called Daulatabad). He installed a stone-carved cow statue in the temple, from which the Krishna River is said to emerge. The cow statue represents Lord Vishnu, the preserver of life, according to the Hindu tradition.

In the 17th century, the great Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj made improvements to the temple. He installed a Shiva Linga and performed rituals there.


The temple is believed to hold immense spiritual power and grace. Devotees think that bathing in the holy water of the Krishna River can cleanse their sins and cure diseases. Additionally, tourists visit the temple to admire its ancient architecture and beautiful surroundings.

Temple Location, Timings and Entry Fees

The temple sits in the Old Mahabaleshwar region, close to both the Mahabaleshwar Temple and the Panchganga Temple. Accessible by road, it’s about 120 km from Pune and 260 km from Mumbai. The nearest railway station is Satara, approximately 60 km away, while Pune airport is the closest air hub, about 120 km distant.

Visitors can explore the temple daily from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, with no admission fee required. Devotees have the option to donate or participate in rituals during their visit.

How to Reach Krishnabai Temple

Krishnabai Temple is accessible from different parts of Maharashtra and India through various transportation options:

– By Bus: Regular state-run and private buses link Mahabaleshwar with Pune, Mumbai, and nearby cities. Bus fares typically range from Rs 200 to Rs 500, depending on the bus type and distance.

– By Car: You can drive to Mahabaleshwar via NH 48 or NH 66. The journey takes approximately 3 to 4 hours from Pune, and 5 to 6 hours from Mumbai. Toll charges for a round trip are around Rs 200 to Rs 300.

– By Train: The nearest railway station is Satara, well-connected to major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. From Satara, it’s about an hour’s journey to Mahabaleshwar by bus or taxi, costing around Rs 100 to Rs 200.

– By Air: Pune airport is the nearest, offering domestic flights from cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. From Pune airport, it takes about 2 to 3 hours to reach Mahabaleshwar by bus or taxi, costing around Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000.

Things to Do/Must See in Krishnabai Temple

Krishnabai Temple holds not just religious significance but also has rich historical and cultural value. Here’s what you can experience in and around the temple:

– Witness the extraordinary origin of the Krishna River, believed to emerge from a stone-carved cow’s mouth within the temple premises. This sacred river changes colours and names along its path.

– Offer prayers and seek blessings from the Shiva Linga and the statue of Lord Krishna. The Shiva Linga, placed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the 17th century, and the statue of Lord Krishna with his cows and flute are revered by visitors.

– Explore the temple grounds, which are adorned with various idols and sculptures of Hindu deities like Ganesha, Hanuman, Nandi and Parvati. The architecture reflects the ancient Hemadpanti style, evident in the stone-carved columns and ceilings.

– Venture to nearby attractions such as the Mahabaleshwar Temple, Panchganga Temple, Arthur’s Seat Point, Wilson Point and Venna Lake. These spots offer breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding hills, adding to the allure of the visit.

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