The Sanctum Sanctorum at Bhimashankar
More than 25 people can worship inside the garbhgriha or sanctum sanctorum at the same time. The murti of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga is in an underground chamber and is visible through the light of a lamp. Marigolds and Bilva leaves are offered here.
The main Bhimashankar temple is surrounded by Temples of Lord Ram, Datta Maharaj, Lord Vitthal and Mataji.
There are two important temples of Shani Maharaj and Nandi near the main temple. Another attraction is a huge bell located near the temples.
A few stories associated with
Legend has it that Lord Shiva entered the body of Goddess Parvati here to take the form of Ardha Nari to kill demon Tripurasura at Bhimashankar. After completing the divine act, saints and gods asked Shiva to stay at Bhimashankar to bless humans. He appeared here in the form of a jyoti. This is one among the numerous stories associated with Bhimashankar.
Another legend has it that a demon named Bhimasur was ruling the area and he wanted all the people to worship him. Once Bhimasur attacked a Shiva devotee and tried to destroy the Shivling he was worshipping. Lord Shiva came to the rescue of the devotee and killed Bhimasur. The devotee requested him to stay here and Shiva obliged.
The Swayambhu Linga (self appeared) was first discovered by a woodcutter – who discovered blood emerging from a spot. He informed the villagers and they brought a cow and offered its milk and suddenly a glowing Jyotirlinga became visible.
Bhimashankar in other parts of
Hindu Puranas also talk about a Bhimashankar temple in Brahmapuri hill near Guwahati in
Assam (northeast . India