Bhimashankar Temple: One of 12 Jyothirlingas in Khed Taluka, Pune (2021)
The Bhimashankar Temple is in the Khed Taluka in Pune, Maharashtra. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines in all of India. Therefore, it is a tourism location and a place of religious importance in Maharashtra. The concept of a jyotirlinga has a deep meaning and enjoys a prominent place in Indian history and mythology. In some cases, the temple is also spelled as Bhimashanker Temple.
The Bhimashankar Temple is around 103 km away from Pune, so that would be a two to three-hour drive.
The Bhimashankar Temple Legend
The legend of Bhimashankar is a fascinating piece of Indian mythology. According to legend, Bhimashankar was a demon and was the son of Kumbhakarana, Ravana’s brother. When Bhimashankar found out that Lord Vishnu had vanquished his father, he vowed revenge and prayed to Lord Brahma. With Lord Brahma’s boon, he became all-powerful and became a tyrant. Lord Shiva defeated him and manifested himself in the form of Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam.
The Maratha General Nana Phadnavis built the dome of Bhimashankar Temple sometime in the eighteenth century. The Bhimashankar temple premises are also home to an ancient bell, an example of the Hemadpanti architecture. You also see a Divyasthamb.
In the vicinity, there is a lot of commercial activity, ranging from shops that sell ancient medicines to shops that sell trinkets.
Bhimashankar Temple Experience
The Bhimashankar Temple is of black rock, and all around the place, you will see various carvings and sculptures from Hindu texts and mythology. While the walls are mostly gray, you see a Hanuman idol that’s bright orange. There is a Shivling in the Bhimashankar temple as well. The Shivling of this Temple is unique, as it is quite thick. That is also the reason some devotees regard it as Moteshwar Maharaj.
The temple schedule starts from around four in the morning and ends at about nine in the night. The Bhimashankar temple is one of the many in rural Maharashtra that is in the epicenter of the village. Spending some time in the shops nearby, looking at the different people who visit the Temple is an incredible experience for the uninitiated.
The premises are well maintained, and it is not a hassle to visit at any time of the year. The Bhimashankar temple is one of the few that allow photography. You can complete your Bhimashankar visit by early afternoon if you reach the place early in the morning. So, you have the whole evening to yourselves.
Some local vendors serve food as well as snacks for you to spend a typical morning and afternoon in the Bhimashankar area. Other than these, you will find some small restaurants and hotels that provide you the local dishes and comfort food that you would be looking out for during a visit.
You will find several types of accommodations at and near Bhimashankar. If you are visiting a religious place, make sure that you dress conservatively. You will see people from all walks of life, and you must blend with them. This holds true for both men and women. One of the many experiences that you have when you are near any religious place is that of safety and a kind of divinity. It is a unique experience to look at how the village life revolves around the temple.
The weather in Maharashtra can be very harsh. Therefore, pack for whatever season you are going there. The rains can be sudden and punishing, and the afternoons in the summer can be sweltering. Locals will suggest that you complete your visit by afternoon and do whatever sight-seeing you would like to do in the evening.
Since Bhimashankar Temple is a tourist location, you will see economical accommodations as well, which will not have the frills of an expensive hotel room. However, you might need to find accommodation in Pune, which is about four hours from the Bhimashankar area.
Places to Visit Near Bhimashankar
Bhimashankar is a tourist location, and apart from the Temple, there are some other places that you can visit. The Bhimashankar Temple is surrounded by the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, famous for its lush greenery and as the habitat of the Indian Giant Squirrel. You can also visit the Hanuman Lake.
If you have a weekend on your hands, you can even visit nearby Pune and spend a day there. Pune has some lively locations like FC Road, JM Road, and others, where you can experience the Pune life, a mix of the urban and the rural life.
If you would rather not visit Pune, you can head over to the two hill stations nearby, Lonavala and Matheran. The hill stations have several places of interest, or you can also check into a hotel and spend a calm evening to recharge your batteries. Both Lonavala and Matheran are popular for its beautiful weather, and the experience that it provides during the monsoon and the winter season. People from Pune and Mumbai regularly turn up in both these hill stations during the summer season for some respite.
How Far Is Shirdi From Bhimashankar Temple?
- Shirdi is at a distance of 125 kms from Bhimashankar Temple.
- Distance Of Other Popular Places From Bhimashankar Temple
- Mumbai to Bhimashankar Temple distance is 195 Kms.
- Pune to Bhimashankar Temple is 110 kms
- Malshej Ghat to Bhimashankar Temple is 95 Kms
- Lonavala to Bhimashankar is 106 Kms
- Jejuri Khandoba Temple to Bhimashankar Temple Distance is 155 kms. Image Source
How To Reach Bhimashankar
Bhimshankar is near Pune, so it is easy to visit it. Pune is connected well to several locations in Maharashtra and beyond. Mumbai to Pune is about a three-hour drive.