Nishkalank Mahadev Temple in Koliyak, Bhavnagar, Gujarat is full of wonders and awe. This temple is buried at the sea. On a heavy tide day, all that can be seen are the flag and a pillar. It is beyond one's comprehension that there is a Lord Shiva Temple just under the fierce sea. This temple is still in use, and people visit this place on foot! The temple has 5 distinct swayumbu Shiva lingams inside. This is definitely one of the best spiritual destinations!
The following temple story dates back to Mahabharata era. Pandavas killed all the Kauravas and won the battle. Pandavas were grief stricken knowing they acquired sins for killing their own relatives. In order to find redemption for their sins, Pandavas met Lord Krishna. To remove the sins, Krishna hands over a black Flag and a Black COW. He asks the Pandavas to follow it when both Cow and flag turns white, they all will be pardoned. Krishna also advises them to do penance to lord Shiva, after that. The angst-stricken brothers followed the cow wherever it went and carried the flag. They walked for days, to different places and the color did not change. Finally, when they arrived at the Koliyak Beach, both cow and the flag color turned to white. Pandavas were exalted. And all the 5 brothers sat for deep penance, meditated on lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva impressed by the brothers showed up in lingam form to each brother. As they meditated, each lingam appeared in front of each brother. In total there were 5 (Swayumbu) lingams that showed up on their own. Pandavas were delighted to see this and they worshiped all the five lingams with great devotion. Lord Shiva here is known as Nishkalan Mahadev. ‘Nishkalank’ has many meaning they are clean, pure, guiltless, to cleanse, to purify, etc. It is said that Pandavas established Nishkalank or Nakalank Mahadev on an Amavasai of the Indian calendar month of Bhadarva. The famous fair popularly known as ‘Bhadarvi’ is held on the no moon night in the month of Shravan (August), as per the Indian calendar. An idol of Lord Shiva was established on an island, over the sea about 3 km to the east of Koliyak. Each lingam has a Nandhi facing it. The lingams are spread across a square Platform. There is a pond called Pandavas pond and devotees’ first wash their hands and legs and only then they visit the Lord Shivas shrines.