Bhimashankar temple is an old shrine found in the Sahyadri hills in Maharashtra. This pilgrimage site is listed among the 12 Jyotirling of Shiva. The temple was founded dates back to the 13th Century. In contrast, the Shikhara (mountain peak of a temple) and Sabha Mandap (an open space of a temple where people assemble) were built in the 18th Century by the eminent Maratha minister Rana Padmanavis.
There are other significant and shocking facts about the Bhimashankar temple, including:
- The temple architectural style combines the old and new structures in the Nagara structural style.
- This Ancient Temple is also the source of the Bhima river, which later merges with the Krishna river near Raichur. Since it’s situated at the extreme edge of the lofty ranges, the location offers a Marvellous view of the local rivers and hills.
- The temple legend states that a long time ago, an Asura named Bheema used to live in the dense forest of Dakini with his mother, who was the son of Kumbhakarna. Since Kumbhakarna was defeated and destroyed by Lord Rama, Bheema pledged to take revenge on Lord Vishnu.
- By offering severe penance to Lord Brahma, he pleased the Lord, who granted him immense powers. Due to his strong powers that got more paramount every day, both divine and mortals feared him.
- He constantly tormented the sages for worshipping the Gods. He also defeated a dedicated devotee of Lord Shiva, Kamrupeshwar, plus trapped and tortured him.
- One day, when Kamrupeshwar was worshipping the Shivalinga in prison, Bheema ordered him to worship him instead of Shivalinga. But Kamrupeshwar declined, which made Bheema angry and ran his sword to strike the Shivalinga.
- Therefore, Lord Shiva appeared before Bheema and ground him into ashes.
- Due to the praise of sages, Shiva manifested himself in the form of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga at the site of the present temple.
- This way, Lord Shiva settled his place in the form of awakened Jyotirlinga.
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