Trimbakeshwar-The Abode of the Three-Eyed God
The Trimbakeshwar Temple is Located on the Nashik district of Maharashtra and houses one of the 12 Jyortirlingas of Shiva. The river Godavari has its source here and people from far and wide come here to take a dip in the river.
The Hindu genealogy registrars are kept here and some interesting facts related to the temple are mentioned below-
Bramha worshipped Shiva with the holy water of the Ganga when he came to earth so that the latter would hold the water of the river for flowing from his head. There was a famine for a period of 24 years and there was a great scarcity of water.
Varuna was satisfied with Gautama and ensured that there were rains in his ashram at Trimbakeshwar on a daily basis.
Gautama used to sow rice on the fields close to his ashram during the morning and reap them in the afternoon to feed many saints who had taken shelter in his ashram during the famine.
Their blessings increased Gautama’s punya (merit) and Indra’s position became shaky. Therefore Indra ordered clouds for raining all across Trimbakeshwar for the famine to end.
This would cause the saints to go back and Gautama’s merits would be weakened. Though the famine ended, Gautama persuaded the saints to stay back. He continued feeding them and gained more merit.
One day, a cow was grazing in the field and Gautam drove it away by throwing a Darbha (pointed grass). The cow, who was actually Jaya, Parvati’s friend who had taken its form died immediately.
The saints were upset to know this and refused to have lunch at Gautam’s ashram. Gautam asked them a way to get rid of the sin.
Shiva and Ganga
The saints suggested him to approach Shiva and request him to release Ganga. Bathing in the Ganga would free him from the sin. Gautama practiced penance on the Bramhagiri peak for 1000 years. Shiva was pleased and gave him Ganga.
But Ganga refused to part from Shiva. Feeling irritated, Shiva performed Tandav on this mountain and dashed his jata. Ganga was frightened and appeared at Bramhagiri before appearing at Trimnbakeshwar.
Though Gautama praised her, she went off and appeared at different places on the mountain before disappearing in anger. Gautama, therefore, could not take his bath in her waters. Ganga then appeared in Gangadwar, Varaha tirtha and Ganga Sagar tirtha.
But still, Gautama could not take a bath in her water. Then Gautama surrounded Ganga using enchanted grass. He put a vow on Ganga. Ganga’s flow stopped there and the place came to be known as Kushavarta. The river Godavari flows from Kushavarta to the sea. Gautama was freed from his sin here.
The unique feature of the Jyotirlinga here is that it has three faces signifying Bramha, Vishnu and Mahesh. Because of the excessive use of water, the linga has started eroding and symbolizes human society’s eroding nature.
It is covered with a jeweled crown which is placed over the linga every Monday during the evening. The crown is believed to be from the time of Pandavas and includes diamonds, emeralds, and numerous precious stones.
Every Monday the priests carry the Idol around their shoulders.
Best Time To Visit Trimbakeshwar
The best time for visiting the temple is between October-March when the weather remains pleasant here.
It is around 30km away from city of Nasik in Maharashtra and the best way to travel from Nasik to Trimbakeshwar is by road for approximately 41 minutes.