Bhimashankar Travel Guide
Other temples and shrines
Other temples and shrines
There is a shrine to Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura. Kamalaja was worshipped with offerings of lotus flowers by Brahma. Shaakini and Daakini the Shivaganas who helped Shiva in the battle against the demon are also honored and worshipped here.
The Mokshakund thirtha is located behind the Bhimashankara temple, and it is associated with the rishi Kaushika. There are also the Sarvathirtha, the Kusharanya thirtha where the Bhima river begins to flow eastward, and the Jyanakund.
Get There and Around
get there and around
The Khed is the administrative taluka in Pune district, comprising the upper reaches of the Ghod and Bhima rivers. The most famous place in this division is Bhimashankar Temple, located in the village of Bhavagiri 50 km in the north west of Khed. It is located 110 km away from Pune in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri hills. It is also the location of the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, a popular weekend getaway from Mumbai and Pune. It is about 130 km from Pune by Road and 62 km away from Manchar. Bhimashankar comes under Pune District.
If coming from Mumbai, take Pune road. About 31.02 km from Deonar traffic junction lies the Mumbai Pune Expressway (NH-4) after crossing Navi Mumbai and Panvel. After 52 km from Panvel is Lonavala and 50 km from there is on NH-4 is Wadgaon. At Wadgaon, turn left on State Highway towards Chakan which is about 12 km. At Chakan, take NH 50 towards Manchar which is around 50 km to Bhimashankar
If starting from Pune, drive along the Pune-Nasik highway and turn off at the road leading to Bhimashankar. The mountain road is quite a steep climb. The distance is about 160 km from Pune. Accommodation at Bhimashankar mainly comprises two bungalows [with a capacity of 8 beds] and tents.
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 Parli, 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
Although the present structure of the Temple appears to be of comparatively recent origins, the shrine Bhimashankaram (and the Bhimarathi river) have been referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century. Built in the Nagara style of architecture, this temple is a modest temple yet graceful temple and dates back to the 18th century. One can also find borrowed influences from the Indo Aryan style of architecture.
It is believed that the ancient shrine was erected over a Swayambhu Lingam (that is the self emanated Shiva Lingam). It can be seen in the temple that the Lingam is exactly at the centre of the floor of the Garbagriham (the Sanctum Sanctorum). Intricate carvings of divinities interspersed with human figurines adorn the pillars and the doorframes of the temple. Scenes from mythology find itself captured in these magnificent carvings.
Within the temple precincts there is also a small shrine dedicated to Lord Shani Mahatma (also called Shaneeswara). The image of Nandi Lord Shiva's vahanam is installed as is the case with all the Siva Temples, just at the entrance of the 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 Shankara' 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.
The Gopura-shikharam 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. The 'Shani temple' is located inside the main complex of the temple of Bhimashankar.
Between the two pillars outside the 'Shani' temple, one comes across an ancient huge Portuguese bell. Behind the temple, there is a small pathway that leads us to the banks of a river. Stepping out from the Temple one is awed with a bewitching view of the virgin wilderness occasionally interrupted by the glimpses of the majestic forts on the surrounding mountains greets us.
History unveils itself in the peaks of the Sahayadris. Bhimashankar – a place where spiritual splendor merges with Nature's magnificence is definitely a pilgrim's paradise. There are other temples and shrines, near the main Temple. There is a shrine to Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura. Kamalajaa was worshipped with offerings of lotus flowers by Bhrama.
There is a shrine for Siva Ganams, Shaakini and Daakini who assisted Shiva in the battle against the demon. Kaushika Maha Muni is said to have did 'Tapas' (penance) here. The place where he bathed is called Mokshakund thirtham which is located behind the Bhimashankara temple. There are also the Sarvathirtha, the Kusharanya thirtha where the Bhima river begins to flow eastward, and the Jyanakund