6 SHRI BHIMA SHANKAR


Distance:From Pune:95 Kms,Mumbai:249 Kms,Aurangabad:332 Kms
On the banks of the River Chandrabhaga (Bhima) on the expansive meadows, a large number of devotees (Varkari) can be seen dancing as if they are in a trance. This is a constant scene in Pandharpur. Bheemaniayya (mother Bhima) is equated with Ganga-Bhagirathi and people take a holy dip in this river. In Pandharpur, river Bhima came to be known as Chandrabhaga, become it is here that Bhima curves towards Chandrakor.


River Ganga came jumping down from the Jata (Hair) of Lord Shankar, straight through Swarg (Heaven), to the earth. Bhimamayya is the perspiration of Lord Shankara, The origin of River Bhima is BhimaShankar, which is one of the twelve JyotirLingas. In Maharashtra, in Pune District in the Tehsil of Rajguru Nagar (Khed) ahead of Ghodegaon, there is Sahyadri mo, intain range. Bhavargiri, Rathachal and Bhima Shankar mountains are located here. On the Bhima Shankar mountains, the holy shrine of Bhima Shankar is situated. Although it is a very windy place, one does not experience any cold winds here.

There are lions in the forests here. In these thick forests there is other jungle life too. It is a treasure of various medicinal herbs. It is how quite easy to reach BhimaShankar. Direct and easy roadways are laid that take the pilgrims right up to the shrine. Reaching- here from Kokanpradesh is a little difficult because of the mountain terrain.

In the ancient times a demon by the name Tripurasura become drunk with power. He harassed every resident of Swarg (Heavens), Narak (Hell) and Patal (Nether orld).The gods were very scared.Then Lord Mahadev himself came to destroy Tiripurasur. Lord Shankar assumed colossal proportions. Tripurasur feared when he saw this Rudravatar. The dual went on for several days. In the end, Lord Shiva killed the wicked demon and set the three worlds, Tribhuvan, free. Lord Shankar in the form of a huge hunk (Virat) was very tired. In order to get some rest, he settled here on the high area of the Sahyadri mountains sweat started pouring down from his huge body in thousands of streams. It all joined together and collected in a pond or Kund. The river that started from there is known as Bhima, which can be seen even today Devotees then prayed to Bhimakaya Rudra thus: "In order to save the good people, reside here forever". Bholenath listened to his devotees and stayed there as a JyotirLinga forever.


Self-emanating Mahadev, in the shape of a chariot, the mountains have become the abode of BheemaShankara. It is also known as Rathachala. One Bhatirao Lakadhara. (wood-cutter) used to live here. Once he was cutting some wood. Just as he struck the tree with his axe, blood started to flow from the earth. Bhatirao got scared and ran away. Soon, a crowd had gathered there. Someone brought a milk cow and made it stand there. The milk that came from the cow's udders stopped the bleeding of the
earth. Surprising everyone, a glowing JyotirLinga of Shankara, emanated from the earth. People built a Temple there and installed the JyotirLinga in the Temple. This temple eventually came to be known as Bhima Shankara Temple.

The Temple of Bhima Shankara is built in Hemadpanthi style. It is decorated with the Dashavatar statues. These are very beautiful to look at. The Nandi temple is close to the main temple. A huge bell weighing 5 mans (1 man=40 seens) is located close to the temple. It has 1721 AD inscribed on it. When this bell is rung, the entire area echoes with its sound.


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