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The shrine Bhimashankaram (and the Bhimarathi river) have been referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century. Built in the Nagara style of architecture, this temple is a modest yet graceful temple and dates back to the 18th century. One can also find borrowed influences from the Indo Aryan style of architecture.
It is believed that the ancient shrine was erected over a Swayambhu Lingam (that is the self emanated Shiva Lingam). It can be observed that the Lingam is exactly at the centre of the floor of the Garbagriham (the Sanctum Sanctorum) of the temple. Intricate carvings of divine beings, interspersed with human figurines adorn the pillars and the doorframes of the Hindu temple. Scenes from mythology find themselves captured in these magnificent carvings.
As per the Shiv Mahapuran, once Brahma (the Hindu God for creation) and Vishnu (the Hindu God for protection) had an argument about creation. To test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga. Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to search downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either direction. Brahma lied that he found out where it ends, while Vishnu conceded defeat. Lord Shiva appeared as the second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that He would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped till the end of eternity. The jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The jyotirlinga shrines, thus are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light.
Bhimashankar is an ancient shrine, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Far away from the tumult of urban life, peeping through the white clouds, Bhimashankar can be termed a pilgrim's paradise. The dense forests surrounding the high ranges are an abode for rare species of flora and fauna. Situated at the extreme end of the Sahyadri Ranges, this place gives a wonderful view of the world around the local rivers and hill stations.
Bhimashankar is the source of the Bhima River, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna River. With endless stretches of virgin forests, lofty peaks that seem to reach out to the heavens, and the whispering waters of the Bhimā River, Bhimashankar is definitely one of God's choicest creations.
The best time to visit the temple is from September to January. As bhimashankar is 3500 feet above sea level, it observes low temperatures as well as heavy showers in the monsoon season.
There are Buddha style carvings of Amba-Ambika, Bhootling, and Bhimashankar in the hills of Manmaad near Bhimashankar at a height of 1034 metres. A big bell in Hemadpanthi structure built by Nana Phadanavis is a feature of Bhimashankar. Places that can be visited in the vicinity include Hanuman Lake, Gupt Bhimashankar, Origin of River Bhima, Nag Phani, Bombay Point, and Sākshi Vinayak. Bhimashankar is a reserved forest area of 130.78 km and was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1985. This sanctuary is a part of the Western Ghats, so it is rich in floral and faunal diversity.
5:30 am to 12 pm Abhisheka timings.
4:30 AM to 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Located 50 km Khed taluka, near Pune, in Maharashtra