Bhimashankar Temple is a Jyotirlinga shrine located 50 km northwest of Khed, near Pune, in India. It is located 127 km from Shivaji Nagar (Pune) in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri hills. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva .
Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna river near Raichur.
According to Shiv Mahapuran, once Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma had a heated argument related to superiority of creation of the universe. To test them, Lord Shiva divided the 3 worlds into pillars of light and named them jyotirlinga.
This temple is closely associated with the legend of Shiva slaying the demon Tripurasura associated with the invincible flying citadels Tripuras. Shiva is said to have taken abode in the Bhima form, upon the request of the Gods, on the crest of the Sahyadri hills, and the sweat that poured forth from his body after the battle is said to have formed the Bhimarathi river.
The Bhimashankara temple is a composite of old and the new structures and is built in the Nagara style of architecture. It is a modest temple yet graceful temple and it dates back to mid 18th century. The shikhara of the temple was built by Nana Phadnavis.
The great Maratha rulervShivaji is also said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate the carrying out, of worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level.
Bhimashankar in Maharashtra is an ancient shrine, enshrining Bhimashankara one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. Bhimashankar is located in the village of Bhavagiri 50 km north west of Khed, near Pune. It is located 110 km away from Pune in the ghat region of the Sahyadri hills.
It is believed that the ancient shrine was erected over a Swayambhu Lingam (that is the self emanated Shiva Lingam). It can be seen in the temple that the Lingam is exactly at the centre of the floor of the Garbagriham (the Sanctum Sanctorum).
Intricate carvings of divinities interspersed with human figurines adorn the pillars and the door frames of the temple.Scenes from mythology find itself captured in these magnificent carvings.
Within the temple precincts there is also a small shrine dedicated to Lord Shani Mahatma (also called Shaneeswara). The image of Nandi Lord Shiva's vahanam is installed as is the case with all the Siva Temples, just at the entrance of the temple.
The Gopura-shikharam of the temple was built by Nana Phadnavis. The great Maratha ruler Shivaji is also said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate the carrying out, of worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level. The 'Shani temple' is located inside the main complex of the temple of Bhimashankar.