The Bhartrihari temple is more than thousands years old and indeed a prime attraction of Rajasthan. It houses the Samadhi of Shri Bharthar who was the ruler of Ujjain. A beautiful locale on the hills, with waterfalls nearby, it is a perfect setting to calm the mind.
There are many myths about the Maharaja Bharthari. Some believe there was a Brahman in the city of Ujjain who meditated for years and received the fruit of immortality from the Kalpavriksha. The Brahman gifted to the then King of Ujjain, Bharthari. King in turn gave it to his wife, Rani Pingala. The fruit was passed by her to her beloved who was another official of the state of Ujjain. The official gave it to his wife Lakha who loved the King and gave it back to him. The King ate the fruit and became immortal. But getting back the gift, Maharaja Bharthari realized his wife’s disloyalty towards him and in his grief gave up his kingdom and became a sadhu in search of salvation.
Another story says that Raja Bharthari on his way back from hunting saw a woman sacrificing her life by jumping into her husband’s pyre. Maharaja Bharthari also wanted to test his wife’s devotion. So the next time he went for a hunt, a messenger upon the king’s request brought back news of his death to Rani Pingala. She died on hearing the news itself. When King Bharthari came to know this, he was shattered. In his grief, he gave up the worldly luxuries and became a monk.
The king became a disciple of Guru Gorakhnath. He meditated here in Rajasthan and prayed to God for water. His sincerity and devotion was answered by God and rivulet appeared from rock underneath.
Baba Bharthari as he was known later had buried himself live in the place where the temple stands today.
Disciples of Baba Bharthari have kept a lamp alight ceaselessly. In addition, a Dhuni (fire place) has been kept blazing constantly by the sadhus.
The temple observes and celebrates all festivals of Lord Shiva. A fair is held in the month of Bhadrapad, which is unique to this temple. The temple is considered very pious and has healed and fulfilled the desires of many. It thus has hundreds of foot falls every year.
October to March is in general the best time to visit Rajasthan. This spot may however be visited in the rainy season as well.