The Bhimashankar temple is located in the village of Bhorgiri, in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is about 125 km from the city of Pune and is in the Ghat area of the Sahyadri Mountains. It is known as the source of the Bhima river.
The temple is believed to have been constructed in the 13th century and is credited to the skilled craftsmanship of Vishwakarma sculptors. In the 18th century, Maratha Empire statesman Nana Phadnavis added structures such as the shikhara (spires) to the temple.
The Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is also said to have made contributions to the temple through endowments.
The Bhimashankar Temple is known for its intricate carvings and sculptures on the pillars and doorframes, depicting scenes from mythology. Inside the temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shaneeshwara and a statue of Lord Shiva’s mount, Nandi, at the entrance. The temple’s sanctum is said to house a swayambhu linga, a linga that originated on its own.
There are different legends surrounding the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga. One legend states that a demon named Tripurasura performed penance in the Bhimashankar jungle to gain immortality from Lord Shiva but later began to harass humans and gods.
Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati then appeared as Ardhanari Nateshwara and killed the demon, restoring peace. Another legend tells of Bhima, a demon who vowed vengeance on Lord Vishnu for killing his father and terrorised the world with his immense strength.Lord Shiva appeared and reduced Bhima to ashes, and the spot where this occurred is believed to be the location of the temple’s Shivalinga.
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