The 226 years old Kalyaneshwar Shiv Mandir at Telangkhedi is one of the proud historical monuments of Nagpur. It was constructed by Raje Raghuji Bhosale in 1785. The day at Kalyaneshwar Mandir starts by offering prayers to the idol of Lord Shiva, which is the routine tradition followed from the times of Raghuji Maharaj.
During Shravan month, the king’s family lived in the temple which is east facing. The temple was initially managed by the Bhonsle Devasthan Trust. In 1925 all the properties of Bhonsle went under the possession of the Courts of Wards but the temple continued to be in the possession of Bhonsles.
In 1983, after the division of the Bhonsle property, the Telangkhedi temple came under the possession of Kamlaraje Jaisinghrao Bhonsle. It again went to the ‘Courts of Wards’ in 1984 amid a legal battle. The temple was bought by Ashutosh Shewalkar in 1995 and since then it is in the possession of the Shewalkar family. Now the temple is their private property.
The Kalyaneshwar Shiv Mandir is listed as Grade I structure in the list of heritage buildings and conservation areas published by the state government in 2003. Its status is reported to be fair. It has ‘garbha gruha’, ‘antralaya’ and ‘mandap’ in stone masonry.
The temple has a domed roof over the ‘garbha gruha’. The structure has been renovated three times until now. Before being taken over by Shewalkars, the artistic work on the shikhar had disappeared due to the thick layer of whitewash. Shewalkar removed the layer and restored the art. Post independence, many sadhus took refuge in the temple.
Devotees of Shiva renovated it and organized a big ‘yagya’ which was performed by Kanchi Kamkothi Peeth Shankaracharya. There are 97 pillars made out of grey stones. The temple is made of black stones. Its ‘shikhar’ is in a bad shape and small shrubs and trees have come up on it. The temple has idols of Parvati in the form of Laxmi, Ganga and Durga. Idols of Annapurna Mata, Nag and Ganapati are also installed here.
Everyday around 100-150 devotees visit the temple. About a lakh come for darshan on Mahashivratri. Many devotees from the city and outside visit the temple during in the month of Shravan month. Many religious programmes like bhajans, kirtans, path, mahaprasad and ‘abhishek’ too are held during the auspicious month. Eight years ago, Shewalkar repaired the temple floor. Old tiles were replaced with marble. Every year, the temple is white-washed to keep the structure in good condition.