The Stambheshwar Mahadev temple is a 150 year old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in the town of Kavi Kamboi towards the Southern part of the state of Gujarat.
This ancient Shiva temple is located on the betwixt of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Khambhat. The temple has an ordinary architecture, and nothing would generally catch the eye of an onlooker in particular. And yet, it manages to be one of the most unusual religious sites there ever existed in India. What makes this temple stand apart is the fact that during the time of a high tide this temple gets completely submerged into the sea, and then it emerges inch by inch as the water recedes during the low tide. The temple has a four feet tall Shiva Lingam which also gets submerged during the high ride and it emerges out again during the low tide.
If you wish to visit the temple, it is important that you plan it in a way that you get an opportunity to see the submerging as well as emerging of the temple to get the complete experience. In order to be able to do this, one would mostly need an entire day, so it is ideal to spend a complete day and night here. One could enter the temple in the early hours of the morning when it is still low tide, and then meditate in the peaceful surroundings of the temple. One could also take a stroll in the vicinity of the temple and feel themselves being one with the nature around. There are many restaurants as well as a big parking lot just about 500m away from the temple. At the Ashram at the temple, one can also avail the lunch for free which is prepared for the numerous devotees who visit every day by the temple trust. After having lunch, one could see the temple submerging into the sea as the tide comes in. One must also watch the temple and the Shiva Lingam in its complete glory against the shimmer and darkness of the sea and when the quietness of night engulfs it.
This is a temple where God plays hide n seeks. When the flowers which were placed on the Shiva Lingam by the devotees at the time of low tide comes afloat on the surface of the sea water at the time of high tide, it lends a spectrum of bright colours to the sea. Here the Mother Nature performs the ‘Jal Abhishekh’ of the Holy Shiva Lingam, herself.
Another unique feature of the place is the union of the Mahi river and the Sabarmati River. The scenic beauty of the place along with its religious prominence pulls a lot of visitors to the place.
According to mythology, when the Gods hailed the glory of Lord Kartikeya for killing the demon Tarakasura, Karthikeya himself was quite saddened by the act. He regretted having killed a great devotee of his father, Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu consoled him saying that killing a wicked and evil person was not a sin. He said that if Karthikeya still felt guilty, he could qorship Lord Shiva and ask for his forgiveness. As a result, Karthikeya asked Vishwakarma (The God of Architecture) to build three Shiva Lingams which were then installed by Lord Karthikeya in three different places. He performed all the rituals of worship on these Shiva Lingams. These three holy places were Pratigyeshwar, Kapaleshwar and Kumareshwar.
At Kapaleshwar, Karthikeya sprinkled holy water on the Shiva Lingam and prayed that Tarakasura’s soul may rest in peace. He also offered sesame seeds to Lord Shiva. Hence, Karthikeya was absolved of his sins. This place is today the Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple.
Kavi Kamboi is about 75 km from Vadodara. The nearest railway station is Kavi Kamboi, you can get a train to here from Vadodara. You can also get a bus and a train from Vadodara to reach this place. The place is well connected to Vadodara, Bharuch as well as Bhavnagar.