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Trimbakeshwar Temple Nashik History – Architecture – Kushavarta Kund Importance

Trimbakeshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one among the 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India and it is located in Nashik. The architecture style of Trimbakeshwar Temple is North Indian or Yadava. The mandir structure seems to have been inspired by the Sahyadri mountain peaks on the way to the temple. Kushavarta kund (ghat or tirth) is of great importance and it has a long history.

Trimbakeshwar Temple History

The current temple construction was started by Bajirao and it was completed by his son Nanasaheb Peshwa around 1785 AD.

It cost more than a million rupees in those days.

The main Shivling in the sanctum sanctorum is small and is in a recess. It also has representations of Brahma and Vishnu.

A silver crown is place over the deity but a golden an ancient bejeweled crown is placed on the Shivling during special occasions.

A rath or chariot procession is taken out in a wooden chariot donated by Sardar Vinchurkar in 1866 AD. It is a fine example of Maratha wooden carving.

Trimbakeshwar Temple Architecture

The structure is mostly in black basalt. Marble is used in some places.

The temple is surrounded by a 5-meter high wall and the courtyard is paved with stones.

The temple has four doors. The Northern door has a Nagarkhana and is the main entry from the town.
Amrutakunda is the tank in the temple.

Nandimandapa is a separate structure and is very elegant.

The Shikhara has series of replicas of the main Shikhara and the plan is stellar and the roof over the Sabhamandapa is intricately carved.

The pillars in the mandapa as well as the doorways have Dwarpala, Shankra, Vishnu, Ganga and other deities carved in different postures.

Pilasters on the entrance have chain and bell motifs carved on it.

Artisans from Malwa, Gujarat and Rajasthan worked on the construction of the edifice.

The main hall is 212 square meters and in the center is the 4 square meter marble turtle.

The ribbed shikhara on top of the Sabhamandapa is centered on this marble turtle.

The hall is decorated with kalasha, patra, vine motif and ornamental bands.

One corner of the Sabhamandapa has the wooden bedroom (shejghar) of the presiding deity. All comforts are provided in the bedchamber.

The gabhara is lighted by samai or oil lamps.

The main worship at Trimbakeshwar Temple is the pradakshina or circumambulation of the Brahmagiri Mountain in the rear. The holy Brahmagiri mountain contains the rudra element. The circumambulation is about 16 kilometers.

Kushavarta Tirtha Importance

The Tirtha or holy water body of Trimbakeshwar Temple is known as Kushavarta Tirtha.

The belief is that Sage Gautama did penance here to atone for the sin of accidentally killing a sacred cow. The sage obtained the Ganga from Shiva for washing off the sin. But she vanished. Sage Gautama then with the help of Vishnu constructed a dam out of Kusha grass. Thus the holy tirtha got the name Kushawarta Tirtha.

The construction of Kushavarta Tirtha is elegant and it has bracketed portico and enclosures.

The structure in stone reveals the strength and charm of Maratha architecture.

Thousands of devotees perform holy dip here on special occasions and during the Tripurari Purnima – full moon day in Kartik Month.

The other important tirthas here are Chakra Tirtha, Varaha Tirtha, Ram Lakshman Tirtha and Gangasagar.