Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga: A testimony of Vishwakarma sculptors

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Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple is a testimony to the skills of the Vishwakarma sculptors. Moreover, since it is one of the Jyotirlingas, it has always been on my list. Therefore, I added Bhimashankar temple to my Aurangabad trip. 

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga: A testimony of Vishwakarma sculptors
Bhimashankar Entrance

It was built around the 13th century. Maratha empire statesman Nana Phadnavis added the shikhara (spires) in the 18th century. It is also believed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj facilitated worship here through his endowments. Moreover, the temple resembles a chariot, for which the temple is also referred to as “Rathachala”. This design is believed to symbolize Lord Shiva as the divine charioteer guiding the universe’s cosmic journey. 

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga: A testimony of Vishwakarma sculptors

So, we took an early morning flight to Pune from Delhi. Upon arrival, we booked a cab to Bhimashankar and then dropped us to Aurangabad. The drive is about 125km and takes approximately 3.5 to 4 hours. Before we started our journey, we stopped at a tea shop to refresh ourselves.

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga: A testimony of Vishwakarma sculptors
Tea point

It was a smooth drive, passing through small villages, lush vegetation, densely forested regions, steep mountain terrains, flowing waterfalls, picturesque lakes and streams. But post village of Khandas, there are no eateries; it’s only the dense forest.

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga: A testimony of Vishwakarma sculptors
Lush Greenery

 This temple is located beside the Bhima River and has a fascinating myth associated with its creation. Also, the ancient shrine was built around a Swayambhu linga, i.e. a linga that originated on its own. Travelling just after the monsoon is magic in Maharastra; nature urges us to leave our house and experience the greenery it spreads. Located in the lap of Sahyadri hills in Maharashtra, this holds a deep and captivating history that resonates with Hindu mythology and spiritual devotion. 

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga: A testimony of Vishwakarma sculptors
Sahyadari hill

This temple is also a source of river Bhima, which further becomes Chandrabhaga in the shape of a Crescent in Pandharpur. Devotees believe the river has healing properties, and taking a dip in the river or performing ablutions here can purify the soul and cure ailments.

Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga: A testimony of Vishwakarma sculptors
Bhima River & Dam


There is a legend associated with the Bhima River. It is believed the birth happened during a violent conflict between Lord Shiva and the demon Tripurasura. The temple’s historical legacy spans centuries and talks about an Asura named Tripurasura. He performed penance in the forest of Bhimashankar to please Lord Shiva and to ask him for mortality. Lord Shiva was pleased and granted him immortality, but with the condition that he would use it to help ordinary people. 

Nandi, before entering the temple

However, Tripurasura forgot the condition over the years and harassed the humans and gods. So the gods went to Lord Shiva to stop Tripurasura from causing all the chaos; Lord Shiva prayed to Goddess Parvati. Both of them appeared as Ardhanari Nateshwar and killed him, establishing peace and dharma again. There is also a Kamalaja (Ardha-Nari-Nateshwar) temple in the Jyotirlinga compound.

Bhima Shankar Jyotirlinga

Another folklore associated with the temple- is an asura named Bhima with his mother, Karkati, who used to live in the Dakini forests on the ranges of the Sahyadri Mountains. He was the son of Kumbharkarna, the younger brother of King Ravana. When he learns that Lord Vishnu has killed his father in his avatar as Rama, he is furious. Therefore, to please Lord Brahma, he performed severe penance and vowed revenge.

Inside the temple

Lord Brahma, happy and with penance, blessed Bhima with immense strength. But he used it to terrorize the world and, in course, imprisoned an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, Kamrupeshwar. Moreover, he demanded that he pray to him instead of Lord Shiva. When Kamrupeshwar refused to do so, Bhima raised his sword to destroy the Shivalinga. That is when Lord Shiva appeared before him and reduced him to ashes. The spot where Lord Shiva manifested himself is where the Shivalinga is believed to be.

The Temple

The last legend is the ‘column or pillar of light’ for all Jyotirlinga. The representation of ‘Stambha‘ symbolizes no beginning or end. When Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu argued about who the supreme god. Then Lord Shiva appeared as a column light and asked the Lords to find the ends. Unfortunately, neither could see it. Therefore, it is believed that Jyotirlingas were formed at the places where these columns of light fell. This manifestation signifies the eternal and infinite nature of Lord Shiva.

These myths and legends contribute to the enchantment of the Bhimashankar  Jyotirlinga Temple, drawing pilgrims and curious visitors alike to experience the spiritual and historical aura of this sacred place in Maharashtra. We reached Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple parking at 10.45 am, and parking arrangements were made 1-2km before the temple compound. Due to the weekend and the start of Pitri Paksha, there was a huge crowd. So we had to walk or take private jeeps and buses to reach the temple. Due to lack of time, we took a private jeep and did a VIP darshan. By the grace of Lord Shiva, we were able to get his darshan within an hour.

Way to the temple

We even tried the Kandi Peda, the local sweet offered at the temple as prasad. The Peda was mouth-watering and sinfully delicious sweet.

Kandi Peda Stall Inside the temple premises

A journey to Jyotirlinga Bhimashankar allowed me to engage myself in the breathtaking natural beauty of the location. 

How to Reach

By Air

The city has the nearest Pune Airport, which is 125 km from the temple. One can book a cab from the airport to reach the temple. 

By Rail 

The Pune railhead is well connected with all major cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Pune, Madurai, Bhopal and Gwalior. The railway station is 2-3km away from the bus stand. One can book a cab to reach the temple. 

By Road

The road connectivity of State and National Highways is excellent. State and private buses from Mumbai, PuneKal, Nashik, and Kalyan are available. These buses ply at regular intervals. One can also book a cab or self-drive to Aurangabad.


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