Bhimashankar in Maharashtra is an ancient shrine, enshrining Bhimashankara one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. Bhimashankar is located in the village of Bhorgiri 50 km north west of Khed, near Pune. It is located 125 km away from Pune in the ghat region of the Sahyadri hills. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima.
LegendsThere was a demon Tripurasura who did penance in the jungle of Bhimashankar very long ago i.e. in Tretayug, to please Lord Shiva in order to achieve the gift of immortality. Lord shiva, who is specially known for his kindness towards his devotees, was pleased with Tripurasura's commitment towards him. So as usual, he blessed him with the power of immortality with a condition that, "He should strive in the best interest of people, or he may be sued permanently for violating the condition."
With the flow of time, Tripurasura forgot the condition to which he was abided, and eventually started harassing people as well as other deities. There was a chaos for which all the deities approached Lord Shiva for remedy.
Thus in order to sue Tripurasura, Lord Shiv prayed to Goddess Parvati (Kamalaja Mata) in order to help him to accomplish this task. Accordingly Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati underwent a new form which is popularly known as "Ardha-Narya-Nateshwar" and killed Tripurasura on Kartik Pournima which is known as "Tripurari Pornima". After the death of Tripurasura his wives (Dakini and Shakini) went to Lord Shiva with a question of their existence without Tripurasura. Thus Lord Shiva blessed both of them, with the power of immortality which he did to Tripurasura. Henceforth the realm Bhimashankar is known as "Dakinyam Bhimashankaram".
Place to visitBhimashankar area is an excellent place to move around, enjoy scenic beauty and a visitor can also have a trekking experience in the Sahyadri range of Hills. Gupta Bhim - Gupta means hidden. It is the place of origin of river Bhima. Situated at 3 km South West from Bhimashankar Temple, Gupta Bhim is a place of river Bhima, which swirls with terrifying force over a linga that has been placed on a stone ledge. Itís a paradise for the trekkers. It is about three hour journey. However, one has to take permission from the forest department.
It is said that there are 108 tirthas in Bhimashankar. The prominent ones inlude Sarvatirtha,Gyantirtha,Moksha tirtha, Papmochan tirtha, Krida Tirtha, Bhima Udgam Tirtha,Bhasha Tirtha, etc.