Bhimashankar Temple, dedicated to
, is one of the 12
in India. It is located 128 km from
in the village of Bhavgiri. Built in the Nagara style of architecture, Bhimashankar Temple, dating back to the 18th century, was erected over a
Linga. The temple was constructed by Nana Phadnavis, the discreet politician of Maratha kingdom. The Indo Aryan style of architecture is seen in the temple. The Linga is in the center of the floor of the sanctum. The pillars and the door frames of the temple are adorned with intricate carvings of divinities interspersed with human figurines. Inside the temple, there is a small shrine of Lord
. The image of
is installed at the entrance of the temple.
This is the place where an angry Lord Shankara (Shiva) killed
Rakshas Tripurasura. River Bhima originated from the heat of their conflict and the temple got the name Bhimashankar.
On the Manmad hills nearby are the Buddha style carvings of Bhootling, Amba-Ambika and Bhimashankar. A huge bell in Hemadpanthi structure built by Nana Phadnavis is another attraction.
The Hanuman Lake, Gupt Bhimashankar, source of river Bhima, Nag Phani, Bombay Point, and Sakshi Vinayak are to be visited. There is a wildlife sanctuary where a variety of birds, animals, flowers, and plants are protected. The place is protected red forest area and a rare animal, the giant flying squirrel called 'Shekaru' is found in the deep woods.
This is not only a place of religious importance, but a favourite haunt for nature lovers too on account of the beautiful scenery and the wildlife sanctuary.
The nearest airport and railway station are at Pune (95 km).