Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Monday, December 5, 2022

Bhimashankar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bhimashankar, located about 100 km from Pune and 223 km from Mumbai, is a popular temple town. It is among one of the twelve traditional 'Jyotilinga' shrines of Lord Shiva in India. 

 

 

Bhimashankar is located in the village Bhorgiri in the ghat region of the Sahyadri range. Situated at a height of around 3,250 feet, Bhimashankar is surrounded by hills and is covered by thick green rainforests. 

 

 

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva resided in the form of Bhima in the Sahyadri hills at the request of the Gods to kill demon Tripurasura. Hence, the site surrounding the jyotirling came to be called Bhimshankar. 

 

 

This temple is closely associated with the legend of Shiva slaying the demon Tripurasura associated with the invincible flying citadels Tripuras. Shiva is said to have taken abode in the Bhima form, upon the request of the Gods, on the crest of the Sahyadri hills, and the sweat that poured forth from his body after the battle is said to have formed the Bhimarathi river. 

 

 

 

The Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bhimashankara temple is a composite of old and the new structures and is built in the Nagara style of architecture. It is a modest temple yet graceful temple and it dates back to mid 18th century. The shikhara of the temple was built by Nana Phadnavis. The great Maratharuler Shivaji is also said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate the carrying out, of worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level. 

 

 

Although the structure here is fairly new, the shrine Bhimashankaram (and the Bhimarathi river) have been referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century CE. Saint Jnaneshwar is said to have visited Tryambakeshwar and Bhimashankar. 

 

 

 

Other temples and shrines

 

 

 

There is a shrine to Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura. Kamalajaa was worshipped with offerings of lotus flowers by Bhrama. Shaakini and Daakini the Shivaganas who helped Shiva in the battle against the demon are also honored and worshipped here. 

 

 

The Mokshakund thirtha is located behind the Bhimashankara temple, and it is associated with the rishi Kaushika. There are also the Sarvathirtha, the Kusharanya thirtha where the Bhima River begins to flow eastward, and the gyanakund. 

 

 

Mahashivratri  is a season of great festivity here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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