Bhimshankar-A Unique Mix of Nature & Serenity
Situated in the Pune district of Maharashtra, Bhimshankar is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas dedicated to Shiva. Surrounded by the Sahyadri mountain range, this place of pilgrimage attracts a lot of pilgrims.
The temple is also the source of the Bhima river, which flows in the southeast direction before merging with the Krishna river. Surrounded by endless stretches of virgin forests and the lofty peaks of the Sahydari, Bhimshankar is a place of abundant natural beauty.
The forests surrounding the shrine are known for medicinal herbs. Therefore it also attracts people with a deep love for nature. Here are some of the interesting facts related to the Bhimshankar Temple-
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Shiva killed a demon named Bhima, who was the son of Kumbhakarna, the brother of Ravana. Bhima grew up in between these mountains by his mother and was kept ignorant of his lineage.
When Bhima came to know that Rama killed his father, he was filled with hatred towards Vishnu and wanted to kill the latter. He performed a penance to please Bramha and acquired boons which made him undefeatable.
Bhima created on both heaven and earth. The gods and mortals now begged Shiva for help, who defeated the demon after a well-contested battle. Bhima was filled with repentance while dying for his actions while dying, Shiva blessing him by deciding to stay at the place and joined his name with that of the demon.
According to another legend, the temple is associated with the story of Shiva slaying Tripurasura, a demon and ending his tyranny after taking the form of Rudra. Shiva’s sweat flowed as a river which today is known as Bhima.
The pillars of the temple and spire do not have intricate details which is the case with temples which were built by the Peshwas. But there are a number of detailed figures in stones around its outer walls which represent gods as well as human beings.
There also some figures which depict saints, especially the ones who have visited the temple in the past. Constructed in the Nagara style, it shows the expertise of the Vishwakarma sculptors.
This is a modest, yet elegant temple and was first constructed in the 13th century. Its sabhamandap was built by the Maratha statesman Nana Phadnavis who also built the shikhara.
Shivaji is believed to have made endowments to the temple to ensure worship to be done. As in the case of other Shiva temples in the region, the sanctum is located at a lower level.
Diwali, one of the major festivals of the Hindus is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur here during the month of October or November. However, since this is a temple dedicated to Shiva, most devotees come here during Mahashivratri which is celebrated in February or March every year.
Best Time To Visit Bhimshankar
The best time to visit Bhimshankar is between October to March when the weather is pleasant. The place is about 90 KM’s from Pune and around 150 KM’s from Mumbai.