Galteshwar Mahadev Mandir, is a prominent temple of Shiv also called as Mahadev, the ultimate God. This temple is built in the recent past and is a piece of architecture, art, sculpture, spirituality, meditation and religious importance.
Galteshwar is a village near by the outskirts of Surat. It is located around 15km from Kamrej, which is a major bus halt on the national highway between Mumbai-Vadodara, further going to Ahmedabad, Jaipur or Delhi. When you go from Kamrej towards Galteshwar, you will go through villages with lot of greenery, farming and simple living. The smell of the mud, sugarcane will make you soon recall what a beautiful countryside we have in India. Not so far from the fastest growing city, you will experience the beauty of nature and be close to mother Earth.
As wonderful and heartwarming the journey to Mahadev Mandir will be, once you reach the premises of the temple, you will realise another beautiful aspect of India, divinity, spirituality and magnificent impact on the lifes of India. You can see Mahadev (Shiv) from far glazing in blue and attracting you to be in close contact to the divinity. You can sense an auro of sacred place and instantly connect with the surrounding.
SHIV, IN MEDIDATION
This is one of the simplest of all the temples you may find. As the meditating Shiv, is deeply engrossed within himself, not disturbed by the constant hustle of the people who are only interested in taking selfies with him, never bothered about the importance of sitting quietly for once. As you will realise that the art has been dealt with precision and care. If you observe the Shiv, you will find that intricate details of meditation, being one with self and the sense of awakening being in that state for a long time, is very well projected out from magical blue and his presence is instantly felt.
To become one with Him and experience divinity, you don’t necessarily have to travel to the Mount Kailash, you can come to Galteshwar and keep your phone/camera aside. Just look at the magistic beauty of Shiv in meditation, listen to the musical resonance of the giant bell and take a dip in Tapi river only to feel clean within and happy about the entire experience. Walk home with a new sense of reawakening.
The Shiv is built over a man-made replica of Kailash parvat(hills), underneath with neatly crafted cave, takes you through a walk of replicas of Jyotirling in India. Jyotirling are the 12 prominent place of worship of Lord Shiv in India. This places of worship are spread across various states in India. Inside the cave, you will find the history of each place as well as the replica of Shiv Ling (the marvelous symbolic representation of Shiv). One particular Ling of Kailash Mansarovar (Amarnath) is very well replicated like you walk through the mountains of Himalayas and look at the Ling made from ice. All other replicas are also very well demonstrated.
Once you walk through the cave, you come out with a feeling of reaching various places in India. As you look behind you the tall structure of Shiv, gigantic and shining in every sense, you cannot stop feeling mesmerized by the divinity in himself. As it is located near Tapi River, you can see Sunrise and Sunset alongside this place. It adds to the experience of this temple.
As you walk around you will find a huge temple bell, which creates a resonating sound that lasts for around a minute, when you ring it. The resonance seems to wash off all your negativity and disturbance in your mind, if only you let that music reach your heart. There are other temples with some history around. You can visit each one of them.
DIP IN TAPI RIVER
Near by the bell, there is a walk way down towards the Tapi River for the devotees to take a bath in the river. However it seems to be closed for some renovation. Once open, this place is considered to be of equal importance as taking a bath in of the Triveni Sangam (meeting of rivers).
HOW TO REACH
This place is located in a village, a bit secluded from the city so you must plan your travel before hand. The best experience would be if you take personal vehicle or book a cab/auto for entire journey. Also preferably go with the sunlight times that is 8am-6pm. After sunset this place and the route becomes too dark, however roads are in good condition.
If you take bus till Kamrej BRTS, try to take an auto on the other side of Highway to the temple and return. It may cost you anywhere between 150-200 Rs. If you can find a direct bus that runs from Surat Bus Stand to Galteshwar, then nothing like it but it will be recommended to check your return plan before you start.
If you drive, then follow the below route to the location.