Updated May 25, 2023
About Bhimashankar Temple
Hinduism stands strong with its beautiful pilgrimage sites. From white marble to red-stone carved walls, India has it all. The land of Hinduism attracts millions to its divinity stops. One of them is Bhimashankar Temple.
Charming Location of Bhimashankar Temple
In the temple town of Maharashtra lies this 12th Century spectacular marvel.
Nestled in the lap of the Sahyadri hills of Western Ghats in Bhorgiri village, this is amongst the twelve jyotirlingas in India.
Bhimashankar Temple is the ideal attraction for both nature lovers and spiritual believers. Its spectacular location amidst the myriad flora and fauna with lakes mirroring the scenic beauty.
Glorious Architecture of Bhimashankar Temple
Sculpted with the hands of meticulous Vishwakarma sculptors, it is a modest-yet elegant masterpiece ever-created. The Nagara architectural intricate design with the Hemadpanthi style of Deccan is a treat for an onlooker. The small main temple complex dates back to the 13th CE.
Locals believe that the great Maratha ruler, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, also helped in the worship rituals through endowments.
Tirthas of Bhimashankar Temple
The temples have several Tirthas or sacred natural springs. Legends say that sage Kaushika meditated near its Mokshakunda Tirtha. The Kusharanya tirtha of the temples marks the origination of the Bhima or Chandrabhaga river.
Other tirthas are namely Hanuman Kund, Sarva Tirtha, and Jayakund. You can dive into these sacred water bodies as they are known to have medicinal properties. Bhimashankar Temple got its Sabha Mandap Gopura and spines(Shikhara) designs in the 18th Century, built by Nana Phadnavis.
Religious Significance of Bhimashankar Temple
Different legends surround this temple of Lord Shiva that lies 150 km from Pune city of Maharashtra.
These are the following:
#1 Tripurasura and his Greed for Power
Tripurasur was a demon who penanced hard to please Lord Shiva. On grant of the gift of immortality, he turned to misdeed, threatening the three worlds of God. On requests from the Gods to end Tripurasur’s menace, Lord Shiva, with Goddess Parvati, took the form of Ardhanari Nateshwara and killed the demon.
#2 Killing of Bhima: The Asura
Bhima was a demon, the son of Ravana, the king of Lanka’s brother, Kumbhakaran. In great anguish, the demon wanted to avenge his uncle’s death. So, he started penancing to please Lord Brahma, who ultimately fulfilled his wish of being the strongest one alive. On his failure to compel Kamrupeshwar to worship him instead of Lord Shiva, he attacked Shivalinga and got burnt to ashes by Lord Shiva. Tale says that Lord Shiva’s dripping sweat amidst the fight with Bhima gave rise to the Bhima river.
#3 Bell of 1712 AD
The bell in the temple was a gift from Chimaji Appa, one of the five he got for his win over the Portuguese in Vasai fort.
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
The temple surrounding biodiversity got the title of a Wildlife sanctuary in 1984. This beautiful rainforest is a part of the Western Ghats, one of India’s biodiversity hotspots.
It is home to the sanctuary’s highlight and Maharashtra’s state animal, the Malabar Giant Squirrel. Home to the sacred groves and wildlife, you can witness Malabar Grey Hornbill or a Striped Hyena.
Festivities in Bhimashankar Temple
The graceful masterpiece shines the brightest during the auspicious occasions of Mahashivratri, Kartik Purnima, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Diwali. One can not miss the frenzy of strolling through colorful shops, pandals, and food stalls during the Mahashivratri fair.
When to Visit Bhimashankar Temple?
While the temple welcomes visitors all-round the year, you can best visit the temple after monsoons. Visiting in monsoons amidst heavy rains can be dangerous to climb its lofty mountain ranges. You can also enjoy trekking and hiking in winter while reaching this spiritual place. Visiting Bhimashankar Temple from September to February can be a great idea.
Take part in Mahapujas, Rudrabhishek, and Laghurudra as you experience the divine aura that envelops you. Bhimashankar temple in the lap of Sahyadri hills feels like a heavenly abode you can visit in Maharashtra.
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