BHIMASHANKAR

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Location : 50-km North West Of Khed And 110-km Away From Pune
Presiding Deity: Lord Shivaa
Built By: Nana Pandnavis


Bhimashankar is a small village, 50-km north west of Khed, near Pune , which houses Bhimashankara, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shivaa. It is located 110-km away from Pune in the ghat region of the Sahyadri hills.

Bhimashankar is a very important pilgrimage place in Maharashtra. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows south-east and merges, with the Krishna river near Raichur. Nana Pandnavis constructed this beautiful Shivaa temple.

Legend

It is believed that Lord Shivaa had killed the demon Tripurasura, when the Gods were tired of his bad deeds. Shivaa is said to have taken abode in the Bhima form, upon the request of the Gods, on the crest of the Sahyadri hills. Bhimarathi River is said to have formed out of the sweat that poured from the body of Shivaa after the battle.

The Temple

This temple dating back mid 18th century is a blend of old and the new structures. It was built in the Nagara style of architecture. The temple is modest but yet graceful. Nana Phadnavis built the shikhara of the temple. It is also said that the great Maratha ruler Shivaaji has made some endowments to this temple. The sanctum of the temple is at a lower level.

The structure here is fairly new, the shrine Bhimashankaram is referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century. Saint Jnaneshwar is said to have visited Tryambskeshwar and Bhimashanka, the other Jyotirlinga shrines of Maharashtra. The deity is offered each day three worship services.

Other Attractions

Other attractions include the famous MahaShivaratri fair, the fascinating bird and game sanctuary and the pleasant climate and natural scenery. There is a shrine of Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple, Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shivaa in his battle against Tripuraasura. Bhrama worshipped her with offerings of lotus flowers. The two Shivaaganas, Shaakini and Daakini, who helped Shivaa in the battle against the demon are also honoured and worshipped here.

A Thirta called "Mokshakund" is located behind the Bhimashankara temple, which is associated with the Rishi Kaushika. There are also the Sarvathirtha, the Kusharanya thirtha where the Bhima river begins to flow eastward, and the Jyanakund. There are two other Bhimashankara temples at Bhimapur Hill in Guwahati, Assam, and Kashipur at Nainital.

HOW TO GET THERE

Air: Nearest airport is Pune , 95-km.

Rail: Nearest railhead is Pune.

Road: Mumbai -Bhimashankar is 265-km via Pune.

WHERE TO STAY

Accommodation is available in the Dhramshalas and hotels at Pune.



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