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Bhimashankar Temple – Lord Shiva Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga

Bhimashankar Temple is the sixth among the twelve or Dwadash Jyothirlingas. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is located on the banks of the Bhima River and is about 125 km from Pune; 251 km from Mumbai and 250 km from Shirdi (map is given below). Lord Shiva appeared here in the form of a Jyoti (small flame). On the way to the temple is the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. During Shivratri a three-day fair is held at the temple and includes special Arati and Mahashringar of the Garbhagriha and Sabhamandap.

Bhimashankar Temple Timings
Bhimashankar Temple daily opens at 04:30 hrs. Aarti is performed thrice a day-04:30 hrs, 1500 hrs and 1900 hrs. The Sanctum Sanctorum is closed after 1500 hrs except on Mondays and during special tithis (days) like Pradosh etc. Mahapuja is performed at 1230 hrs. The temple closes at 2130 hrs. A devotee can enter the Sanctum Sanctorum and perform pujas and abhishek.

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.

Bhimashankar Temple Structure
Bhimashankar Temple is a perfect amalgamation of old and the new structures
and is built in the Hemadpanthi style of architecture in black stones. The temple was first built during the 13th century. A major part of the present structure was built during the 18th century.
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.

Bhimashankar Map

A few stories associated with Bhimashankar Temple

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 India

Hindu Puranas also talk about a Bhimashankar temple in Brahmapuri hill near Guwahati in Assam (northeast India.

Bhimashankar Temple at Kashipur near Nainital in Uttarakhand (North India).