Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bhimashankar Jyothirlingam

Bhimashankar Temple
Bhimashankar Temple
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is situated in the north of Pune, on the Sahayadri, by the banks of the river Bhima and 50-km north west of Khed, near Pune in Maharashtra. Bhima Shankar Temple lies on the banks of the river Bhima. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna River near Raichur. The other Jyotirling shrines in Maharashtra are Tryambakeshwar and Grishneshwar.
It is from here that the Bhima River flows. It is believed that Lord Shiva was pleased by the devotion of a king named Bhimak of the sun Dynasty and is called the Jyotirlinga in the place. But according to the Shiv Purana the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is situated on the Mountain Brahmapur, district Kamrup of Assam. Lord Shiva had incarnated so that he could destroy the demons and protect his devotees and for the welfare of one and all.

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 Jnaneshwar is said to have visited Tryambakeshwar and Bhimashankar.

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. Kamalajaa was worshipped with offerings of lotus flowers by Bhrama. 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.


Legend
There was a demon Tripurasura who did penance in the jungle of Bhimashankar very long ago i.e. in Tretayug, to please Lord Shiva in order to achieve the gift of immortality. Lord shiva, who is specially known for his kindness towards his devotees, was pleased with Tripurasura's commitment towards him. So as usual, he blessed him with the power of immortality with a condition that, "He should strive in the best interest of people, or he may be sued permanently for violating the condition."

With the flow of time, Tripurasura forgot the condition to which he was abided, and eventually started harassing people as well as other deities. There was a chaos for which all the deities approached Lord Shiva for remedy.

Thus in order to sue Tripurasura, Lord Shiv prayed to Goddess Parvati (Kamalaja Mata) in order to help him to accomplish this task. Accordingly Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati underwent a new form which is popularly known as "Ardha-Narya-Nateshwar" and killed Tripurasura on Kartik Pournima which is known as "Tripurari Pornima".

After the death of Tripurasura his wives (Dakini and Shakini) went to Lord Shiva with a question of their existence without Tripurasura. Thus Lord Shiva blessed both of them, with the power of immortality which he did to Tripurasura. Henceforth the realm Bhimashankar is known as "Dakinyam Bhimashankaram". 

How to reach Bhimashankar Temple
  • By Road :Bhimashankar is situated around 260 kms from Mumbai via Pune.From Pune You have to take the road that goes to Wada to reach Bhimashankar.
  • By Rail :The nearest Railhead is the Pune which is at a distance of 95 kilometres from Bhimashankar.
  • By Air :The nearest airport is the Pune Airport which is at a distance of 95 kilometres from Bhimashankar.

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