In the dense forests of Dakini, on the lofty ranges of the Sahaydris lived the evil Asura by the name Bhima with his mother Karkati. Compassion and kindness shivered in the presence of Bhima. The divine and the mortals were scared of him alike. But he was confronted by certain questions about his own existence which continuously tormented him. When Bhima could no longer sustain his agony and curiosity, he asked his mother to unveil the mysteries of his life. He urged his mother to tell him who his father was and why had he abandoned them in the wilderness of the forest. After much hesitation and with a lingering fear Karkati, his mother revealed to him that he was the son of the mighty Kumbhakarna, the younger brother of the Lankadheeswara the mighty all powerful King Ravana of Lanka. Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Lord Rama annihilated Kumbhakarna. Karkati told Bhima, that her husband and his father was killed by Rama in the great war. This infuriated Bhima and he vowed to avenge Lord Vishnu. To achieve this he embarked on a severe penance to please Lord Brahma. The compassionate creator was pleased by the dedicated devotee and granted him immense prowess. This was a terrible mistake, Bramha did. The evil tyrant caused havoc in the three worlds. He defeated King Indra and conquered the heavens. He also defeated a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva - Kamarupeshwar and put him in the dungeons. He started torturing Rishies and Sadhus. All this angered the Gods. They all along with Lord Brahma beseeched Lord Shiva to come for their rescue. Lord Shiva consoled the Gods and agreed to rescue them from the tyrant. On the other hand Bhima insists and orders Kamarupeshwara to worship him instead of Lord Shiva. When Kamarupeshwara denied doing that and refused to do pooja to him, tyrant Bhima raised his sword to strike the Shiva Linga, to which Kamarupeshwara was doing abhishekam and pooja. As soon as Bhima managed to raise his sword, Lord Shiva appeared before him in all his magnificence. Then the terrible war began. But then the holy sage Narada appeared and requested Lord Shiva to put an end to this war. It was then that Lord Shiva reduced the evil demon to ashes and thus concluded the saga of tyranny. All the Gods and the holy sages present there requested Lord Shiva to make this place his abode. Lord Shiva thus manifested himself in the form of the Bhimashankara Jyotirlingam.
It is believed that the sweat that poured forth from Lord Shiva's body after the battle formed the Bhimarathi River. 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.
There is a shrine known as Kalmaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kalamaja is a goddess dedicated to a tree named Kalamb. It is a local tribal godess and many other stories are formed after the influence of hinduism to this region.
The Mokshakund thirtha is behind the Bhimashankara temple, and it is associated with the rishi Kaushika. There are also the Sarvathirtha, the Kusharanya thirtha where the Bhima river begins to flow eastward, and the Jyanakund.
From Pune Airport the temple is 106 Km, 110 Km from Pune Railway station. Government MSRTC buses (non luxury) run from Pune to Bhimashankar every 30 minutes from 5:30 am till 4:00 pm. You can get State Transport buses from Shivajinagar, Pune. Bhimashankar bus station is 360 m from the temple.
Traveling from Mumbai to Bhimashankar takes 6 hours by private car and state transport vehicles takes 8 hours. Alternatively u can go via Kalyan also.
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