Sri Bheemashankar Temple is a Lord Shiva temple in Pune in Maharashtra.
It is one of the 12 jyotirlingams in India.
This temple is the mystical abode of Lord Shiva is situated amidst the lush Sahyadri Mountains and is the source of the Bhima river.
Legend has it that Lord Shiva defeated the demon Tripurasura with the help of the unconquerable flying citadels known as “Tripuras.” On the peak of the Sahyadri hills, Shiva is claimed to have assumed the form of “Bhima Shankara” at the behest of the Gods, and the sweat that spilled from His body after the battle is said to have formed the Bhimarathi river.
The Bhimashankar Temple, built in the 18th century, is a beautiful example of Nagara-style architecture, and is made up of both old and new buildings. It’s so well-crafted that you might even mistake it for being new. The temple complex also houses a minor shrine dedicated to Lord Shani Mahatma.
Intricate sculptures of holy beings and people adorn the temple’s pillars and door frames, and scenes from mythology are depicted in these carvings. There’s even a statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s vehicle, right inside the entrance to the temple. And if you’re looking for some good luck, there’s a shrine to Kamalaja nearby, an incarnation of Parvathi who helped Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura.
As per the Shiv Mahapuran, once Brahma and Vishnu had an argument about creation, and to test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds with 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 and said he found out where it ends, while Vishnu accepted defeat. Shiva showed up as the second pillar of light and cursed Brahma, telling him that he would never be included in ceremonies again while Vishnu would be worshipped forever.
So come visit Bhimashankar, where you can see an antique Portuguese bell gifted by Chimaji Appa himself, take a stroll through the nearby forest, and maybe even catch a glimpse of one of the nearby forts on the mountains. And who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself imbued with some of Lord Shiva’s legendary strength after visiting this sacred site.