HIV MANDIR, MOKESHWAR
Mokeshwar is situated in Vadgam taluka, on the banks of River Saraswati. It is 45 kms from Palanpur.
There is a temple of Mokeshwar Mahadev there, which is visited by a large number of people to make offerings to their forefathers for the peace of the departed souls. There is also an ancient cave known as Pandava Gupha (cave) here.
It is said that after losing all their belongings and property in a game of 'shatranj', the Pandavas had to go to the jungle for twelve years, after which they had to spend one year in total disguise.
In the thirteenth year, the Pandavas, after traveling through dense jungles and across high mountains, reached a place in the Banaskantha district. Looking at the soothing riverbank surrounded by mountains and the enchanting sunset, a tired Yudhishthira told Bhima that he thought the place was suitable. All the four brothers agreed because the place was suitable to live in considering various aspects.
As Yudhishthira did not eat anything in the morning without praying to Lord Shiva, Bhima set out to search for a Shiva temple. After searching for a long time, he did not find one, and was worried that his brother would have to remain hungry due to his oath. He then thought about Lord Shri Krishna and started digging the mountain. He dug a big hollow, installed a Shivling in it, brought his brother to the spot and made him pray in front of the Shivling. Yudhishthira was very pleased to see a beautiful Shivling at such a magnificent place. The Pandavas spent a long period of their Agyatwas (disguised stay) at this place.
During this period Trikalgyani (omniscient) Lord Shri Krishna, using his super powers, discovered the whereabouts of the Pandavas and came to meet them. In the auspicious presence of Lord Shri Krishna, the Pandavas performed the Shradh of their father and his soul was liberated. This is why the place is also known as Mukteshwar.
Hundreds of pilgrims visit this Mandir during the period of Shradh.