Bhimashankar Temple is located at Bhimashankar, district of Pune, Maharashtra, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The place Bhimashankar is also known as the origin of Bhima River, flows southeast and later merges with River Krishna. Bhimashankar Temple was said to be existence from 13th century and the Vimanam (the tower above the sanctum sanctorum) and some more portions of the temple was built by Nana Phadnavis in 18th century. Bhimashankar Temple is one of the twelve Jyotrilinga temples (the sacred abodes of Lord Shiva) dedicated to Lord Shiva. The 12 Jyotrilinga Temples are:
- Somnath Temple
- Mallikarjun Temple
- Mahakaleshwara Temple
- Omkareshwar Temple
- Kedarnath Temple
- Vaidyanath Temple
- Bhimashankar Temple
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple
- Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple
- Rameshwaram Temple
- Nageshwar Temple
- Grishneshwar Temple
The mythology says that Lord Brahma (the god of creation) and Lord Vishnu (the god of Harmony) had a tough argument on who holds the superiority in creation. To test Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva penetrated the three worlds as an endless pillars of light, called Jyotrilinga. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu was assigned separate directions, one to the upward direction and the other towards the downward direction to find the end of the light in either directions.
Lord Vishnu admitted His Vanquishment whereas Lord Brahma lied that he found the end of the light. Hence, Lord Shiva appeared to be the second pillar of light and proclaimed that Lord Vishnu would be worshipped by all till the end of the eternity and cursed Lord Brahma that He will not be worshipped in any etiquette.
The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Bhimashankar (Lord Shiva), in the form of Lingam, which is said to be Swayambhu (self-emanated Shiva Lingam). The other shrines inside the temple complex are dedicated for Lord Saneeswara, and Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. Each Jyotrilinga temples takes different manifestation of Lord Shiva and the idol of Lingam is considered as a presiding deity in every Jyotrilinga temples.
Lingam represents the beginning less and endless, which symbolizes the infinite nature of Shiva. The pillars and doorframes of the temple are adorned with wonderful sculptures of divinities scattered with human statuette. Bhimashankar Temple is constructed in the style of Nagara architecture which exhibits the outstanding quality achieved by the ancient Vishwakarma sculptors.
- Temple opening – 4:30 am
- Aarti Pooja – 4:45 am to 5.00 am
- Nijarup (Original Shiva linga) Pooja – 5:00 am to 5.30 am
- Normal Darshans and Abhisheka Pooja – 5:30 am to 2:30 pm.
- Maha Pooja (Naivedya Pooja) – 12.00 pm. to 12.30 pm
- Aarti Pooja – 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm
- Shringar Pooja – 3:30 am to 9:30 pm.
- Aarti Pooja – 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm
- Temple closing – 9.30 pm.
Mahashivaratri – March
Pune is well-connected to other cities by Indian highways and state highways. National Highway 4 (NH 4) connects it to Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolhapur. NH 9 to Hyderabad, and NH 50 to Nashik. State highways connect it to Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, and Alandi.
Nearest railhead is Pune which connect Pune to Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Nagpur, Kanpur, Howrah, Jammu Tawi, Chennai, Bangalore, Goa, Varanasi, Patna, and Jamshedpur.
Nearest airport is Pune, 95 kms. In addition to domestic flights to all major Indian cities, this airport serves international direct flights to Dubai (operated by Air India Express) and to Frankfurt (operated by Lufthansa).
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