Neelkanth Temple is at Kalinjar in Banda District
of Uttar Pradesh
, towards the western face of Kalinjar Fort. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva
, widely referred to here as 'Neelkanth' which literally stands for ‘blue throated’.
Legend recounts that Shiva, after the Sagar Manthan (the churning of the ocean of milk), drank all the effluent venom, which caused his throat to turn blue. After this incident he came to be called Neelkanth.
This great temple of Neelkanth was built during the reign of Parmardi Dev, a Chandela Rajput. Here the shivling is made of a dark-blue stone, about 1.15m high. Besides this, there are rare stone images of Lord Shiva, Goddess Shakti, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, Bhairava and Bhairavi. It is a multi-pillared temple built in the Khajuraho style of architecture. Here along the stairs leading up to the temple are the stunning and magnificent rock carvings and sculptures of animals, birds, and apsaras.
Kalinjar is about 150 km west of Allahabad, 88 km from Chitrakut and 53 km south of Banda. At Lucknow is the nearest airport.