Indreshwar and Goutameshwar [Canto 82]

Once Indra, King of Gods went in to the hermitage of great Sage Gautam. He was enchanted, enamored and infatuated by the beauty of Ahilya, Sage Gautam’s wife. He developed uncontrollable lascivious desire for Ahilya. The lust had taken total control of his mind and he waited for an opportunity. In the afternoon Sage Gautam went out of his hermitage to collect Yadnya Samugri. This was a chance for him. Indra masqueraded as Sage Gautam and acted as if he returned early. Ahilya was surprised by this sudden return. Unsuspecting Ahilya could not distinguish the imposter Indra and his devious disguise. Before she could ask her him anything, Indra in the disguise of Sage Gautam expressed immediate desire for sex.

Ahilya could not believe her ears. She sharply criticised the hideous and sinister act of having sex by a Sage during day time. She told her husband that all his Tapashcharya shall go futile and he will knock the doors of Narak Puri. Imposter Indra craving for sex did not listen to her and using husband’s supremacy seduced Ahilya and ran away after satiating his sexual desire. Ahilya was very sad and she was full of distress. After some time Sage Gautam returned and looking at his wife’s poignant face Sage Gautam realised Indra’s cheating by his supernormal powers. He became very angry and cursed his wife that she will transform in to entablature for her infidelity. He also cursed Indra. Due to his curse, thousand vulvas developed on the body of King of Gods Indra.

Ahilya pleaded her innocence and Sage Gautam reduced her curse to ten thousand years and assured her that she shall return to her original form when brushed by the lotus feet of Prabhu Ramchandra.

Prey of wrath of Sage Gauatm, Indra could not return to his kingdom. His wife Shachi urged Sage Gautam to redeem the curse of her Husband. Sage Guatm asked Shachi to send her husband to Gokarna realm and to engage in penance for redeeming his sins of adultery. Accordingly Indra came to south east of Rudra Yoni, consecrated a Shivalinga near Kubereshwar and engrossed himself in severe penance. It is here in Gokarna, that Indra did Tapascharya of ages and ultimately succeeded in redeeming sin of adultery by the boon of Lord Shankar. This Shivalinga is between Dwi Bhuja Ganesh and entrance of Lord Mahabaleshwar Temple.


Due to these unforeseen circumstances Sage Gautam lost his interest in life and went for pilgrimage. He visited almost all the sacred places and ultimately reached Gokarna realm. He constructed his hermitage on the south of Rudra Yoni, consecrated a Shivlinga and did severe meditation, practicing austerities and ascetic penance. This is the Gautameshwar Linga of Gokarna realm, blessed by Lord Shankar. It is inside the compound wall of Lord Mahabaleshwar Temple.