Bhimashankar Temple Historical Significance

Jyotirlingas are Lord Shiva’s sacred temples, and it is thought that Lord Shiva has visited them; as a result, Shiva’s followers hold them in high regard. In India, there are a total of 12 of them. Jyotirlinga is a Sanskrit word that means “light column or pillar.” The ‘Stambha’ sign represents the nothingness of a beginning and an end.

The Jyotirlingas are Shiva’s many incarnations, whose majesty has enchanted believers since the dawn of time. Thousands of pilgrims go from all over the world to visit Lord Shiva’s sacred sites in search of spiritual serenity.

The 12 Jyotirlingas are: 

  • Somnath Temple, Gujarat
  • Mallikarjuna Temple, Andhra Pradesh
  • Mahakaleshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
  • Omkareshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
  • Baidyanath Dham, Jharkhand
  • Bhimashankar Temple, Maharashtra
  • Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram
  • Nageshwar Temple, Gujarat
  • Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Uttar Pradesh
  • Trimbakeshwar Temple, Maharashtra
  • Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
  • Grishneshwar Temple, Maharashtra

Bhimashankar Temple:

bhimashankar jyotirlinga
bhimashankar jyotirlinga

Bhimashankar is a prominent temple town located around 100 kilometers from Pune and 223 kilometers from Mumbai. The Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is an ancient temple in Maharashtra’s Sahyadri highlands. It’s in the hamlet of Bhorgiri, near Pune. The source of the Bhima river may be located here. This river eventually joins the Krishna River. It has recently attracted a lot of attention after being designated as the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. Bhimashankar is enveloped by hills and covered with dense green rainforests and sits at a height of roughly 3,250 feet. Bhimashankar is also a renowned trekking location.

The ancient shrine is thought to have been constructed around a swayambhu linga, or a linga that appeared on its own. In the sanctuary of the temple, the linga is exactly in the center of the floor. On the pillars and entryways of the temple, there are elaborate sculptures of divine creatures. Within the temple, there is also a temple dedicated to Lord Shaneeshwara. As is customary in Shiva temples, a sculpture of Lord Shiva’s mount, Nandi, may be found at the temple’s entrance.

The current temple’s Garbhagriha (sanctum) and Shikara (tower) are constructed in the Nagara or Indo-Aryan style, with a considerable influence of Rajasthani and Gujarati architectural traditions on the figures and motifs. Scenes from the Ramayana, Krishna Leela, Shiv Leela, and Dashavataras are depicted on the sanctum’s external walls. A massive bell stolen from the Vasai Fort by the Maratha Commander Chimaji Appa stands in front of the Sabhamandapa, and inscriptions in the courtyard provide a chronicle of donations awarded (Assembly Hall).

Legend of the Temple:

bhimashankar jyotirlinga temple
bhimashankar jyotirlinga temple

To satisfy Lord Shiva and plead for the boon of immortality, a demon named Tripurasura undertook atonement in the Bhimashankar forest. Lord Shiva praised his dedication and awarded him immortality on the requirement that he utilize his abilities to benefit the locals.

He was decided upon by Tripurasura. He eventually forgot about his oath and began harassing both mortals and gods. When the gods pleaded with Lord Shiva to intervene and bring order to the turmoil, the Lord appeared to his spouse, Goddess Parvati. They both emerged as Ardhanari Nateshwara and murdered Tripurasura, bringing peace to the land.

How to reach the temple?

  • The Pune airport is the closest one. It is well-constructed and well-connected to India’s major cities. 
  • Karjat station is the closest railway station. The station is 168 kilometers away from Bhimashankar. As a result, it takes two hours to get there.
  • Bhimashankar is connected by road to several cities. This route is served by taxis and regular bus services.

Best time to visit:

Bhimashankar is best visited between November and February. Though the temple may be visited at any time of year, first-time climbers should come during the winter months because the climb might be difficult during the monsoons due to the slippery slopes. However, skilled trekkers will enjoy monsoon trekking due to the hard nature of the terrain and the cool temperature.

Places to visit: 

  • Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Bhimashankar Trek
  • Hanuman Lake
  • Ahupe Waterfalls

Suggested Itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Bhimashankar early in the morning. Breakfast is served, and then you can unwind for a bit. Following that, you may visit the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. There is a diverse diversity of vegetation and wildlife to be found there. After lunch, you can go to Hanuman Lake. It’s a great area for a family picnic. There is a place where you may spend your evening.
  • Day 2: Visit Bhimashankar Temple first thing in the morning. If you want to escape traffic and crowds, go out early. You can return to your hotel for lunch after staying 1 to 2 hours there. After that, take some time to unwind before embarking on the most exciting portion of the trip: hiking. You will be able to view the picturesque and overpowering grandeur of Bhimashankar while trekking.

How to commute within local areas?

Bhimashankar is served by state-run buses from Mumbai, Pune, and Karjat. Rickshaws can also be found here. A six-seater rickshaw (Tum-Tum) is accessible from Karjat, and you may also take advantage of shared taxis, which must be filled with at least nine passengers but are rather inexpensive.

A gift for Trekkers:

bhimashankar trek
bhimashankar trek

Bhimashankar is 3,250 feet above sea level. It is well-known for hiking due to its rich green trees, surrounding mountains, and steep slopes. The Bhimashankar temple, which is well-known among hikers, may be reached by two paths. Both of them begin in Khandas’s base village. To go to Khandas, take a train to Karjat Station, which is around 40 kilometers from Khandas. Buses or tumtums may easily transport you from the station to the settlement.

Ganesh Ghat and Shirdi are the two hiking routes. The first is a long but simple task. If you’re a beginner, this is the one to go for. It takes approximately six hours to complete this route. Between the two, you’ll pass by a Ganesh Temple. The second path is short, but it is not for the faint of heart. Because the slopes are steep, you will need to utilize a ladder for several sections. It takes three to four hours to complete this trip. If you enjoy hiking, make a point of visiting Bhimashankar for an exciting adventure.

What about the food?

Maharashtrian cuisine dominates the local cuisine, which is a mix of south and north Indian cuisines. Bhimashankar is noted for its hot curries and fries.

Misal, spicy gravy made with potatoes, peas, and other sprouts, is a delectable dish.

Things to know before visiting:

  • Aarti times may be found on the official website.
  • You might not be able to find nice eateries near the temple, so eat ahead of time. Before the ghat part, there are a few good eateries along the way.
  • Intoxicating chemicals should not be consumed on temple grounds.
  • You can bring phones but photography is prohibited.

Image Source: Google

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