It is believed that a Yadava King of Devgiri had constructed the temple about 800-900 years ago. Mahur is amongst the four places of pilgrimage having the abodes of the three and a half goddesses that are of major importance in the state of Maharashtra. The other three, respectively are, Kolhapur, Tuljapur and Saptashringi and Mahur is half, because it is only the head of the goddess that is visible. The three and half Shakti Peethas of Maharashtra are Tuljapur enshrining Bhavani, Kolhapur enshrining Mahalakshmi, Mahur enshrining Mahamaya, and Renuka and Saptshringi enshrining Jagadamba. Goddess Renuka performs the role of Mother Goddess and is responsible for the welfare of her devotees, for curing diseases and protecting the cattle. On the day of Dussehra every year a very big fair is held in honour of Renuka Devi.
Location of Renuka Devi Temple
Mahur is situated on the Sahyadri Ranges, also known as the Western Ghats. All three important temples "Renuka Temple", "Dattatreya Temple" and "Anusaya Temple" are built on three mountain ranges. Mahur is surrounded by jungles rich with trees and wild life. Peacocks, dears, black bears, and panthers are very common in the jungle.
History of Renuka Devi Temple
Renuka was the daughter of the King Renu of Kubaj country and the wife of the Sage Jamadagni. When the King Sahastrarjuna paid a visit to Jamadagni in his abode, he was taken by surprise by the hospitality of the sage. When asked about the same, the sage told him that it is all because of the "Kamadhenu", i.e., cow that fulfils the desires of the owner given to him by Indra, the King of the Gods.
Thinking that if the Kamadhenu was in his possession he would be able to maintain his vast army easily, the King Sahastrarjuna tried to seize the Kamadhenu from the sage by farce when his request to hand over the Kamadhenu to him was turned down by the sage. In the scuffle the sage died and his wife Renuka was injured due to 21 wounds she had received at the hands of the king. At this juncture many soldiers appeared on the scene from the body of the Kamadhenu by divine magic and farced the king to retreat.
On coming to know of the above incident Parashuram, the son of Jamadagni who rushed there vowed to defeat and punish the king 21 times. His mother asked him to cremate his father. He carried his father and mother to Mahur and cremated his father there. His mother became a sati.
The religious rites were conducted on this occasion by the God Sri Dattatreya himself. However, after everything was over Parashuram was stricken by grief and at this time a voice from the heavens told him that his mother would came out from the earth but he should not look behind. Being eager to see his mother, Parashuram turned the head to have a look at his mother again and the Renuka Mata stopped there as a head only and said that I will be residing here only and will not live the place.
Attractions at Renuka Devi Temple
There are several nearby attractions to visit at Mahur, such as Renuka Temple, Dattatreya Temple, Anusaya Temple, Devdeveshwar Temple, Parashuram Temple, Sarvatirtha, Matru-Tirtha, Pandav Leni, Mahurgad Fort, Mahakali Temple, Mahur Museum, Sonapir Dargah, Shaikh Farid Water fall, Palace of Raje Udaram. People who visit Mahur also visit "Unkeshwar", which has natural sources of hot water. This sulphur rich water is supposed to have medicinal value.
Tourist can avail from the nearest airport situated at Nagpur. The nearest railway station is Kinwat which is 50km away, but Nanded which is 126km is the more convenient railway station on South Central railway.