Bhimashankar Temple is situated in the Shayadri range of Western Ghats in Maharashtra, with serene beauty and architectural grandeur. It is positioned in the Pune district, about 110 kilometres away from the city of Pune. Perched at an elevation of 3,250 feet in the Sahyadri Range. The Bhimashankar temple history is rich in its values and heritage. The temple’s construction reflects a seamless blend of Nagara and Hemadpanti styles of architecture, showcasing intricate carvings and ornate embellishments. The Bhimashankar temple story also proves that pure devotion could solve any peril in a person’s life.
Where is the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga located?
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is located in Sahyadri Range, Pune Maharashtra. Bhimashankar is surrounded by lush forests, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and trekkers. The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to diverse flora and fauna. The temple showcases Nagara-style architecture with intricate carvings and a towering spire. The surrounding forests provide a tranquil ambience. Rich Bhimashankar temple history is also a treat for devotees to listen to.
Complete Legend and Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga story
The legend of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a tale of divine intervention, penance, and the triumph of good over evil. Here is the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga history and legend:
The shrine is linked to the legendary asura known as Tripura. The Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga story goes that Tripura did penance, and Brahma, delighted with Tripura’s penance, manifests and grants him three wishes. Tripura demanded that he be invulnerable to the gods, devils, yakshas, and gandharvas. His three “puras” should be unbreakable, and he should be able to travel anywhere in the universe.
All his desires were fulfilled. Tripura was also told to be the son of the Demon Kumbhakarna, the brother of Ravana. Tripura embarked on a conquest to subjugate three Loka and avenge his father’s death from Lord Vishnu. Indra, the deity associated with the heavens, was also vanquished. Indra made the decision to seek blessings from the deity Shiva and performed penance. Shiva made a vow to annihilate Tripura. On the peak of the Sahyadri hills, it is said that Shiva assumed the form of “Bhīmā Shankara” at the behest of the Gods, and the sweat that spilt from his body after the battle is said to have formed the Bhimarathi river.
Hence from then on Lord Shiva started residing as Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga.
Bhimashankar temple history
Maratha rulers had a strong role to play in the Bhimashankar temple history. They protected and worshipped the temple throughout their rule.
- The Bhimashankar temple is a testament to the skills of the Vishwakarma sculptors. The Bhimashankar temple history dates back to the 13th century.
- The reconstruction of the Bhimashankar Temple is attributed to the Maratha Empire and the patronage of various rulers.
- During the Maratha rule, many temples, including Bhimashankar, were restored and renovated. This was a period of revival of Hindu architecture and temple culture in the region.
- The Maratha ruler, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, is also believed to have facilitated worship here through his endowments.
- Structures such as the shikhara (spires) were added by Maratha empire statesman, Nana Phadnavis, in the 18th century.
- The Bhimashankar Temple underwent significant renovations and was restored to its present form, reflecting the classic Nagara architectural style.
Special and interesting features of Bhimashankar temple
It is believed that the ancient shrine was built around a swayambhu linga i.e. a linga that originated on its own. The linga is exactly at the center of the floor, in the temple’s sanctum. There are intricate carvings of divine and human beings on the pillars, and doorframes of the temple. You can also see scenes from mythology depicted here
There is also a shrine for Lord Shaneeshwara inside the temple. A statue of Lord Shiva’s mount, Nandi, can be found at the entrance of the temple as is common in Shiva temples.
How to reach Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga
Bhimashankar Temple, a revered pilgrimage site in Maharashtra, India, is located in the lush Sahyadri Range. To reach the temple, you can follow these steps:
- The nearest major airport is Pune International Airport, which is approximately 150 kilometers away from Bhimashankar Temple.
- From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use other local transportation options to reach the temple.
- The nearest railway station to Bhimashankar is Pune Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities in India.
- From Pune Railway Station, you can take a train or opt for road transport to reach Bhimashankar.
- Bhimashankar is accessible by road from Pune, Mumbai, and other nearby cities.
- From Pune: You can drive from Pune to Bhimashankar, which is approximately 110 kilometers away. The journey takes around 4-5 hours, depending on the route and traffic conditions.
- From Mumbai: The distance from Mumbai to Bhimashankar is around 210 kilometers. You can take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and then proceed towards Bhimashankar.
- From other cities in Maharashtra: Depending on your starting location, you can plan your route to Pune and then head to Bhimashankar.
- Once you arrive in Bhimashankar village, you can park your vehicle and then hire a local taxi or take a shared vehicle to the temple.
- The temple is located at an elevation, and there are steps leading to the shrine. You may need to trek a bit to reach the temple, so wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a short hike.
It’s essential to check road and weather conditions, especially during the monsoon season when some routes may be challenging. Also, consider local customs and regulations when visiting the temple and respect the sanctity of the religious site.