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-: Hindu Temples :-
Bhimashankar Temple is located in the village of Bhorgiri 50 km north west of Khed, near Pune, in India. It is located 110 km away from Pune in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri hills. Bhimashankar is also the source of the Bhima river, which flows south east and merges with the Krishna river near Raichur. The other Jyotirlinga shrines in Maharashtra are Tryambakeshwar and Grishneshwar. Regular pilgrims near Mumbai visit Bhimashankar from Karjat via Khandas. The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary located here is a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai and Pune.
Legend of Temple
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.
Architecture of Temple
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 Maratha ruler 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 Jńāneshwar is said to have visited Tryambakeshwar and Bhimashankar. Chimaji Appa ( brother of Nanasaheb Peshva & son of Bajirao Peshva) has presented a large chime which he has won in war against Portuguese at Vasai Fort.
Bhimashankar is an ancient shrine, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. Far away from the tumult of the urban life, peeping through the white fleecy clouds, Bhimashankar, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, can certainly be termed as a Pilgrim Paradise. The dense forests surrounding the high ranges also play an abode to the rare species of flora and fauna. Situated at the extreme end of the Sahyadri Ranges, this place gives a wonderful view of the world around the rivers and the hill stations around.
Bhimashankar is also the source of the Bhima River, which flows south-east and merges with the Krishna River. Endless stretches of virgin forests, lofty peaks that seems to reach out to the heavens and the whispering waters of the Bhima River, Bhimashankar is definitely one of God’s choicest creations.
It seems as if Lord Shiva is keeping a silent vigil over the majestic ranges of the Sahyadris. The serenity interrupted only by the silent murmuring of the cool breeze and the occasional chirping of birds, Bhimashankar is definitely a pilgrim’s paradise, a trekker’s delight and a traveller's sojourn.
How to reach:
Bhimashanker is seventy-four miles or 110 km from Pune by road. State buses go there from Pune twice a week with more than five hours of bus journey. During the Mahasivaratri festival, when there is a great fair at the temple, buses ply to and fro daily. It is also accessible from Karjat on the Pune - Bombay section of the Central railway. There is not a proper road from karjat to Bhimashankar and only the devotees who wish to go to the temple on foot during festivals use this road.
Pilgrims usually stay here for three days. The local upadhyayas or priests make arrangements for the lodging and boarding of pilgrims at a small cost. Visitors are accommodated in either temporary hutments or in dharamshalas near the village. A new dharamshala is under construction.
Best Visit Times
Best Time to Visit is between August to February. Though any time of the year is good to visit Bhimashankar, it is better to avoid visiting during summer. Similarly during monsoon unless one likes trekking, it is better to avoid. That leaves the best period to seven months between August to end February.
Story of Bhimashankar
Eons ago in the dense
forests of Dakini, on the lofty ranges of the Sahaydris lived the evil Asura
by the name Bhima with his mother Karkati. Compassion and kindness shivered
in the presence of Bhima. The divine and the mortals were scared of him
alike. But he was confronted by certain questions about his own existence
which continuously tormented him.
When Bhima could no longer sustain his agony and curiosity, he asked his mother to unveil the mysteries of his life. He urged his mother to tell him who his father was and why had he abandoned them in the wilderness of the forest. After much hesitation and with a lingering fear Karkati, his mother revealed to him that he was the son of the mighty Kumbhakarna, the younger brother of the Lankadheeswara the mighty all powerful King Ravana of Lanka.
Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Lord Rama annihilated Kumbhakarna. Karkati told Bhima, that her husband and his father was killed by Rama in the great war. This infuriated Bhima and he vowed to avenge Lord Vishnu. To achieve this he embarked on a severe penance to please Lord Brahma.
The compassionate creator was pleased by the dedicated devotee and granted him immense prowess. This was a terrible mistake, Bramha did. The evil tyrant caused havoc in the three worlds. He defeated King Indra and conquered the heavens. He also defeated a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva – Kamarupeshwar and put him in the dungeons.
He started torturing Rishies and Sadhus. All this angered the Gods. They all along with Lord Brahma beseeched Lord Shiva to come for their rescue. Lord Shiva consoled the Gods and agreed to rescue them from the tyrant. On the other hand Bhima insists and orders Kamarupeshwara to worship him instead of Lord Shiva.
When Kamarupeshwara denied doing that and refused to do pooja to him, tyrant Bhima raised his sword to strike the Shiva Linga, to which Kamarupeshwara was doing abhishekam and pooja. As soon as Bhima managed to raise his sword, Lord Shiva appeared before him in all his magnificence.
Then the terrible war began. But then the holy sage Narada appeared and requested Lord Shiva to put an end to this war. It was then that Lord Shiva reduced the evil demon to ashes and thus concluded the saga of tyranny. All the Gods and the holy sages present there requested Lord Shiva to make this place his abode. Lord Shiva thus manifested himself in the form of the Bhimashankara Jyotirlingam.
It is believed that the sweat that poured forth from Lord Shiva’s body after the battle formed the Bhimarathi River.
Three worship services are offered every day. Mahashivratri is a season of greate festivity here. Normal Puja - Rs 21; Abhishek Puja - Rs 51; Rudra Abhishek - Rs 151; Maha Puja - Rs 351; Lagu Rudra Abhishek (Includes 11 Brahmans) - Rs 751 (Includes 11 Brahmans)
Morning - 4:30 am
Aarti - 5:05 am
Normal Darshans - 5:15 am to 11:30 am.
No Abhishekam between - 11:30 am to 11:50 am.
Maha Puja - 12 pm.
/noon Maha Nivedhyam - 12:30 pm.
Abhishekam and Normal Puja - 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm.
Shringar Puja - 2:45 pm to 3:15 pm.
Aarti - 3:15 pm to 3:30 pm
Shringar Darshan - 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm
(Except Pradosham on Monday or Amavasya or Grahan or Maha Shiv Ratri. Kartihik Month, Shravan Month - No Mukut and no Shringar Darshans).