Mukti-Gupteshwar Mandir is the first and so far the only man-made cave mandir dedicated to the Lord Shiva, the 13th Jyotirlingam, Mukti-Gupteshwar Mahadev.
Along with the Mahadev, there are scale model replicas of 12 other Jyotirlinga, 108 human made lingas represent the Rudra names of the Lord Shiva and 1008 fannings Lord Shiva representing his Sahastra namas. Each figuring represents a small mandir of Lord Shiva and therefore there are total of 1128 small mandirs inside the Mukti-Gupteshwar mandir which is very unique to its kind.
In the Sanctum there is a 10 metre deep ‘vault’ which comprises 2 million handwritten notes each saying ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ from devotees around the world. There is water from 81 rivers including major rivers from Australia and from five oceans, and eight precious metals. Good wishes from holy men and other dignitaries around the world have also been placed in the ‘vault’.
Each morning a Brahmin priest conducts the ritual sustenance of the 13th Jyotirlingam, 12 replicas of other Jyotirlinga, 108 Rudra Shivas and 1008 Sahastra nama Lord Shivas.
There are three other mandirs besides the Mahadev’s mandir. These are the Matha Mandir, Ramparivar Mandir and Lord Ganesh Mandir.
Some Facts About The Construction of the Mandir
Construction began in September 1997.
The 13th Jyotirlinga was consecrated on the day of Mahashivratri on 14 February 1999.
Approximately 1450 square metres of floor area is built underground. The only structures above ground are the amenities building and Lord Ganesh’s mandir which is built in the middle of the Mandir ‘sarovar’ (dam).
65,000 cubic metres of earth was moved to build the subterranean structures.
Total concrete used: (a) High-strength concrete (32 Mpa) 860 cubic metres, and (b) Normal concrete (20 Mpa) 380 cubic metres.
Ten precast concrete elliptical arches were laid for the main hall of Lord Shiva each weighing 18 tons. A 130 ton capacity crane was required to erect the arches and the operation took nearly 10 hours.
230 tons of reinforcing steel was used. The total length of the accessway and driveway is 350 metres.
When full, the dam holds 4.5 million litres of water. The dam is 4.0 metres deep at its centre.
The dam required approximately 30,000 cubic metres of earth to build its embankment.
The maximum height of the embankment is 9.0 metres from natural ground.
4500 trees and shrubs have been planted throughout to beautify the site.
Total cost of the project to date is approximately $AUD 5.0 million.