शनिवार, 7 जुलाई 2012

Bhimashankar Temple Bhimashankar Temple is in the village of Shiradhon 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. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna river near Raichur. The other Jyotirlinga shrines in Maharashtra are Trimbakeshwara near Nashik and Grishneshwar near Ellora around Aurangabad. The Bhimashankara temple is a composite of old and the new structures in the Nagara style of architecture. It shows the excellency of the skills achieved by ancient Vishwakarma sculptors. It is a modest yet graceful temple and it dates back to 13th century and the sabhamandap developed in 18th century by Nana Phadnavis. The shikhara was built by Nana Phadnavis. The great Maratha ruler Shivaji is said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level. Bell BM.jpg Although the structure here is fairly new, the shrine Bhimashankaram (and the Bhimarathi river) have been referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century CE. Saint Jñāneshwar is said to have visited Tryambakeshwar and Bhimashankar. A unique bell (Roman style) can be seen in front of the temple which was presented by Chimaji Appa (Brother of Bajirao Peshwa I and uncle of Nanasaheb Peshwa). Chimaji Appa collected two large bells after he won in war against the Portuguese from Vasai Fort. He offered one here at Bhimashankar and the other at Menovali near Wai in front of a Shiva Temple on the banks of the Krishna river. There are Buddha style carvings of Amba-Ambika, Bhootling and Bhimashankar in the hills of Manmaad near Bhimashankar at a height of 1034 metres. A big bell in Hemadpanthi structure built by Nana Phadanavis is a feature of Bhimashankar. Places that can be visited in are Hanuman Lake, Gupt Bhimashankar, Origin of River Bhima, Nag Phani, Bombay Point, Sakshi Vinayak and a lot more. Bhimashankar is a conserve red forest area and wildlife sanctuary where a variety of birds, animals, flowers, plants can be seen. A rare animal "Shekru" can be found in deep woods. Bhimashankar is worth visiting for jungle lovers and trekkers as well as for pilgrims. This temple is very famous in Pune and people from all around the world come to visit this temple. There is a shrine to Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura. Kamalaja was worshiped with offerings of lotus flowers by Brahma. Shaakini and Daakini the Shivaganas who helped Shiva in the battle against the demon are also honored and worshiped here. 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. Bhimashankar is an ancient shrine, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. Far away from the tumult of the urban life, peeping through the white fleecy clouds, Bhimashankar can be termed a pilgrim paradise. The dense forests surrounding the high ranges are an abode for rare species of flora and fauna. Situated at the extreme end of the Sahyadri Ranges, this place gives a wonderful view of the world around the rivers, and hill stations. Bhimashankar is the source of the Bhima River, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna River. With endless stretches of virgin forests, lofty peaks that seem to reach out to the heavens, and the whispering waters of the Bhima River, Bhimashankar is definitely one of God's choicest creations. It seems as if Lord Shiva is keeping a silent vigil over the majestic ranges of the Sahyadris. The serenity interrupted only by the silent murmuring of the cool breeze and the occasional chirping of birds, Bhimashankar is a trekker's delight and a traveler's sojourn. Bhimashankar is approximately 127 km from Pune and 200 km from Mumbai. The route to Bhimashankar is via Manchar. The second route is from Rajgurunagar via Vada. One can go to this place, full of natural beauty and lovely scenery, and be back to Pune in one day. Bhimashankar is a good paradise for nature lovers, trekkers, jungle lovers and bird watchers. The best seasons to go are monsoon and winter. Bhimashankar is 74 miles or 127 km from Pune by road. State buses go there from Pune daily, with more than five hours of bus journey. During the Mahashivaratri festival, when there is a great fair at the temple, buses ply to and fro daily. It is accessible from Karjat on the Pune — Mumbai section of the Central railway. There is no proper road from Karjat to Bhimashankar and only the devotees who wish to go to the temple on foot during festivals use this road. If coming from Aurangabad or Ahmednagar, move towards Alephata which is 30 km from Nagar. Then go to Manchar which is 60 km from Alephata. Take right from Manchar and after 59 km to reach Bhimashankar (Aurangabad to Ahmednagar is 112 km). Another root is via Sangamner, which lies on Nashik-Pune Road; from Sangamner go to Manchar and then follow the same route towards Bhimashankar, which is 59 km. From Pune ST buses are available from Shivaji Nagar Pune to Bhimashankar at 5:30 in the morning to 2:00 pm and a ticket is approximately 91/-. From Pune -> Rajguru Nagar -> Chas Kaman Dam -> Wada -> Bhimashakar; from Pune -> Rajguru Nagar -> Manchar -> Ghodegoan -> Bhimashakar; from Mumbai ->Chakan [i.e., exterior part of Pune] -> Rajguru Nagar(Khed) -> Manchar -> Ghodegoan -> Bhimashakar. The best time to visit is between August and February. Though any time of the year is good to visit Bhimashankar, it is better to avoid visiting during summer. Similarly during monsoon unless one likes trekking, it is better to avoid. That leaves the best period to seven months between August and February. Eons ago in the dense forests of Dakini, on the lofty ranges of the Sahaydris lived an 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 he had 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 his father was killed by Ram 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. 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 Rishis and Sadhus. All this angered the Gods. They all along with Lord Brahma beseeched Lord Shiva to come to their rescue. Lord Shiva consoled the Gods and agreed to rescue them from the tyrant. On the other hand Bhima insisted and ordered Kamarupeshwar to worship him instead of Lord Shiva. When Kamarupeshwar denied, the tyrant Bhima raised his sword to strike the Shiva Linga, to which Kamarupeshwar 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. 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 Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam. It is believed that the sweat that poured forth from Lord Shiva's body after the battle formed the Bhimarathi River. Although the present structure of the Temple appears to be of comparatively recent origins, the shrine Bhimashankaram (and the Bhimarathi river) have been referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century. Built in the Nagara style of architecture, this temple is a modest temple yet graceful temple and dates back to the 18th century. One can also find borrowed influences from the Indo Aryan style of architecture. 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 doorframes 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. 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 Shankara' 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 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. Between the two pillars outside the 'Shani' temple, one comes across an ancient huge Portuguese bell. Behind the temple, there is a small pathway that leads us to the banks of a river. Stepping out from the Temple one is awed with a bewitching view of the virgin wilderness occasionally interrupted by the glimpses of the majestic forts on the surrounding mountains greets us.[8] History unveils itself in the peaks of the Sahayadris. Bhimashankar – a place where spiritual splendor merges with Nature's magnificence is definitely a pilgrim's paradise. There are other temples and shrines, near the main Temple. There is a shrine to Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura. Kamalajaa was worshipped with offerings of lotus flowers by Bhrama. There is a shrine for Siva Ganams, Shaakini and Daakini who assisted Shiva in the battle against the demon. Kaushika Maha Muni is said to have did 'Tapas' (penance) here. The place where he bathed is called Mokshakund thirtham which is located behind the Bhimashankara temple. There are also the Sarvathirtha, the Kusharanya thirtha where the Bhima river begins to flow eastward, and the Jyanakund. Three worship services are offered every day. Mahashivratri is a season of greate festivity here. Timings: Morning - 4:30 am Aarti - 5:05 am Normal Darshans - 5:15 am to 11:30 am. No Abhishekam between - 11:30 am to 11:50 am. Maha Puja - 12 pm. Maha Nivedhyam - 12:30 pm. Abhishekam and Normal Puja - 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. Shringar Puja - 2:45 pm to 3:15 pm. Aarti - 3:15 pm to 3:30 pm Shringar Darshan - 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm (Except Pradosham on Monday or Amavasya or Grahan or Maha Shiv Ratri. Kartihik Month, Shravan Month — No Mukut and no Shringar Darshans). Rudrasamhita sloka in its reference to Bhimashankar says, Daakine Bhimashankaram. There is also a Bhimashankar temple at Bhimapur hill near Guwahati in Assam where legend holds that a demon by name Bhima who inflicted havoc upon the beings in the area, was slain by Shiva, as he tried to kill a king enaged in Shiva worship. This is not to be confused with the legend Mruthumjaya Lingam, where Shiva emerged from a Shivalingam to vanquish Yama the Lord of death. The Shiva Purana and the Koti Rudra Samhita refer to Bhimashankar temple in the Kamarupa country. However there is also a reference to Mount Sahya, where it is stated that Shiva — Bhimashankara appeared on the Sahayadris. TopView BM.jpg Three worship services are offered each day. Mahashivratri is a season of great festivity here. It is to be noted that the Rudrasamhita sloka in its reference to Bhimashankar says, Daakine Bhimashankaram. There is also a Bhimashankar temple at Bhimapur hill near Guwahati in Assam where legend holds that a demon by name Bhima who inflicted havoc upon the beings in the area, was slain by Shiva, as he tried to kill a king enaged in Shiva worship. This is a legend similar to that where Shiva emerged from a Shivalingam to vanquish Yama the Lord of death. The Shiva Purana and the Koti Rudra Samhita refer to Bhimashankar temple in the Kamarupa country. However there is also a reference to Mount Sahya, where it is stated that Shiva — Bhimashankara appeared on the Sahayadris. There is also a Bhimashankara temple at Kashipur near Nainital in Uttarakhand, which was referred to as Daakini country in ancient days. It is believed that Bhima the Pandava prince was married to Hidamba, a Daakini here. Mahashivaratri is celebrated in great splendour here too. This temple also has shrines to Bhairavanath and Devi, and a temple tank by name Shivaganga. Kashi Vishwanath Temple Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Hindi: काशी विश्‍वनाथ मंदिर) is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in Varanasi, the Holiest existing Place of Hindus, where at least once in life a Hindu is expected to do pilgrimage, and if possible, also pour the remains (ashes) of cremated ancestors here on the River Ganges. It is in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganges, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara meaning the Ruler of the universe. The temple town that claims to be the oldest living city in the world, with 3500 years of documented history is also called Kashi and hence the temple is popularly called as Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Due to this 15.5m high golden spire(golden cover built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh-ruler of Lahore), the temple is sometimes called as the Golden Temple,. The temple has been referred in Hindu theology since a very long time and as a central part of worship in the Shaiva philosophy. The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times. The Gyanvapi Mosque, which is adjacent to the temple, is the original site of the temple.The current structure was built by the Maratha monarch, Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780.Since 1983, the temple is being managed by Govt. of Uttar Pradesh. During the religious occasion of Shivratri, Kashi Naresh (King of Kashi) is the chief officiating priest and no other person or priest is allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum. It is only after he performs his religious functions that others are allowed to enter. The temple complex consists of a series of smaller shrines, located in a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli, near the river. The linga the main deity at the shrine is 60 cm tall and 90 cm in circumference housed in a silver altar. There are small temples for Kaalbhairav, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Sanishwara, Virupaksha and Virupaksh Gauri in the complex. There is a small well in the temple called the Jnana Vapi (the wisdom well) and it is believed that the Jytorlinga was hidden in the well to protect it at the time of invasion. It is said that the main priest of the temple had jumped in the well with the Shiv Ling in order to protect the (Jyoti-r) Ling from the invaders.. The Varanasi city is addressed with vivid names such as ancient city of ghats, cultural capital and so on. Varanasi becomes immensely sacred due to the existence of Mahadev (Lord Shiva).The never ending joyous spirit of the city is in close proximity with the essence of Kashi Vishwanath. Displaying a gesture of impeccable harmony, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and a Mosque in Varanasi co-exists in the same premises. The tough security protocols at the temple entrance have not been even close to affect the spirit of devotees to visit their Lord. The Kashi Vishwanath temple registers a stunning visit record that tolls to around 3000 visitors every day. At certain occasions, the numbers reach lacs. The temple entrance is through a narrow street surrounded by unique, souvenir shops and guards. The temple is widely recognized as one of the most important places of worship in Hindu religion and most of the leading Hindu saints, including Adi Sankaracharya, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Goswami Tulsidas, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Gurunanak have visited this site. A visit to the temple and a bath in the river Ganges is one of many methods believed to lead one on a path to Moksha (liberation). Thus, people from all over the nation, try to visit the place at least once in their lifetime. There is also a tradition that one should give up at least one desire after a pilgrimage the temple, and the pilgrimage would also include a visit to the temple at Rameswaram in South India, where people take the water samples of the Ganges to perform prayer at the temple and bring back the sand from near that temple. Due to the immense popularity and holiness of this temple, hundreds of temples across the nation have been built with the same style and architecture. Many legends establish that the true devotee achieves freedom from death and samsara by worship of Shiva. Shiva's devotees on death are directly taken to Mount Kailash by his messengers to his abode and not to Yama(hinduism) hell. The superiority of Shiva and his victory over his own nature - Shiva is himself identified with death - is also ascertained. There is a popular belief that people who choose to end their lives here, Shiva himself blows the mantra of salvation into their ears. A Shiva temple has been mentioned in Puranas including Kashi Khanda (section) of Skanda Purana.In 490 AD, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple was built. In 11th Century AD, Hari Chandra constructed a temple. Muhammad Ghori destroyed it along with other temples of Varanasi during his raid in 1194. Reconstruction of the temple started soon after. This was demolished by Qutb-ud-din Aibak. After Aibak's death the temple was again rebuilt by many Hindu emperors. In 1351 it was destroyed again by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. The temple was rebuilt in 1585 by Todar Mal, the Revenue Minister of Akbar's Court. Aurangzeb ordered its demolition in 1669 and constructed Gyanvapi Mosque, which still exists alongside the temple. Traces of the old temple can be seen behind the mosque. It is said that the Shiv-Linga was thrown in the 'well'. So the original Shiv-linga now resides in the well. The current temple was built by Ahilya Bai Holkar, the Hindu Maratha queen of Malwa kingdom, in 1780. The temple spire and the dome are plated with 1000 kg of gold donated by the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, in 1835. Many noble families from various ancestral kingdoms(states) of India and their prior establishments, make generous contributions for operations of the temple. Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple Trimbakeshwar (Sanskrit: त्र्यम्बकेश्वर, Tryambakeśvara) or Trambakeshwar is an ancient Hindu temple in the town of Trimbak, in the Nashik District of Maharashtra, India, 28 km from the city of Nashik GPS Reference 20.021944 N, 73.729935 E. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. It is located at the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India. The Godavari River, which is considered sacred within Hinduism, originates from Bramhagiri mountains and meets the sea near Rajahmudry. Kusavarta, a kund is considered the symbolic origin of the river Godavari, and revered by Hindus as a sacred bathing place. Trimbakeshwar is a religious center having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra. Due to excessive use of water, the linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones. The crown is displayed every Monday from 4-5 pm (Shiva). All other Jyotirlingas have Shiva as the main deity. The entire black stone temple is known for its appealing architecture and sculpture and is at the foothills of a mountain called Brahmagiri. Three sources of the Godavari originate from the Brahmagiri mountain. Brahmadev worshipped God Trivikram when he came to Satya Loka (on earth) with the same holy water of the Ganges, to get the river Ganges held up by God Shankar on his head, to flow. River Ganges in the form of a woman was enjoying with Lord Shiva, which was noticed by Lord Shiva's wife Parvati. She planned to drive Ganges away from her husband. Parvati and her son Ganesh came to live in Gautama's Ashram with Parvati's friend Jaya. There was a famine of 24 years and people were affected by the pangs of hunger. However, Varun - the God of Rains, pleased with Sage Gautama arranged rains every day in Gautama's Ashram (dwelling place) which was in Trimbakeshwar. Gautama used to sow rice in the surrounding fields of his Ashram in the morning, reap the crop in the afternoon and with it fed a large group of rishis, who took shelter in his Ashram on account of the famine. The blessings of the group of rishis increased the merit (Punya) of Gautama. Lord Indra's position became shaky because of his increased merit. So Indra ordered clouds to rain all over Trimbakeshwar, so that the famine will be over and Rishis will go back and the increasing merits of Gautama will be weakened. Although the famine was over, Gautama urged the Rishis to stay back and kept on feeding them and gaining merit. Once he saw a cow grazing in the paddy field and he drove her away by throwing Darbha (sharp, pointed grass). The slender cow died by this. It was Jaya - Parvati's friend, who had taken the form of a cow. This news upset the Rishis and they refused to luncheon at his Ashram. Gautama requested Rishis to show a way out of this sin. He was advised to approach Lord Shiva and request him to release Ganges and a bath in the Ganges would set him free of his sins. Gautama then practiced penance by going to the peak of Brahmagiri. Lord Shankara was pleased by his worships and gave him the Ganges. Kusavarta, a place where river Godavari takes course. However, Ganges was not prepared to part with Lord Shiva, which irritated him. He made TandavNrutya (dance) on the peak of Brahmagiri and dashed his jata there. Frightened by this action, Ganges appeared on Brahmagiri. Later on Ganges appeared in the Trimbak Tirtha. Gautama praised her but she off and on appeared on the mountain at various places and disappeared in anger. Gautama could not bathe in her waters. Ganges then appeared in Gangadwar, Varaha-tirtha, Rama-Laxman tirtha, Ganga Sagar tirtha. Still Gautama could not bathe in her waters. The Gautama surrounded the river with enchanted grass and put a vow to her. The flow stopped there and the tirtha thus came to be called Kushavarta. It is from this Kushavarta that the river Godavari flows up to the sea. The sin of killing a cow by Gautama was wiped off here. This place is famous for lots of religious rituals (vidhis). Narayan Nagbali, Kalsarpa Shanti, Tripindi vidhi are done here. Narayan Nagbali puja is performed at Trimbakeshwar only. This puja is performed in three days. This puja is performed on special dates. Some days are not suitable to perform this puja. This puja is performed for many reasons like to cure an illness, going through bad times, killing a Cobra (Nag), childless couples, financial crisis or you want to perform some religious puja to have everything. Trimbakeshwar town has a large number of Brahmin households and is also a centre for Vedic Gurukuls (kind of boarding school). It also has ashrams and Muths devoted to Ashtanga Yoga, the Hindu art of living. The existing temple was built out of basalt after it was commissioned by Peshwa Nanasaheb. It so happens that the Peshwa made a bet on whether the stone surrounding the Jyotirlinga, is hollow from the inside or not. The stone was proved to be hollow, and on losing the bet, the Peshwa built a marvelous temple out of it. The Shiva idol of the temple consisted of the world famous Nassak Diamond. It was appropriated by the British in The Third Anglo-Maratha War and lies with one owner or the other ever since. The diamond presently lies with Edward J. Hand, a trucking firm executive from Greenwich, Connecticut, USA The place is known for its scenic beauty in rainy/monsoon season and is surrounded by lush green hills untouched by pollution. Anjaneri mountain, the birth place of Lord Hanuman, is 7 km from Trimbakeshwar. This temple is on top of the Neel mountain. All goddesses ('Matamba','Renuka','Mananmba') came here to see 'Parashuram' when he was performing penance (tapas). After his penance he requested all goddesses to stay there and the temple was formed for these goddesses. God Dattatreya दत्तात्रेय (Shripad Shrivallabh) stayed here for some years. Vaidyanath Temple in Deogarh Vaidyanath Temple in DeogarhVaidyanath Temple, also called Vaijnath Temple and Baidyanth Temple is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas region of Bihar in the south west of Keeul Station. Baidyanath shrine is revered as one of the twelve Jyotirlingams of Shiva. It may be noted that some schools of thought believe Vaidyanath near Parali in Andhra Pradesh to be the Vaidyanatha Jyotirlingam. Devotees of Lord Shiva believe that by sincere worship of Vaijnath Jyotirlinga a person is relieved of all worries and miseries in life. It is also said that by worshipping in the shrine a person attains Moksha and all types of happiness. As a tradition, devotees carry ‘Kanwars’ on their shoulders and complete their travel here. Legend Behind Vaidyanath Temple Legend has it that demon King of Lanka, Ravana meditated upon Lord Shiva, as he wanted to request him to come over to Sri Lanka and make his capital invincible. It is said that Ravana attempted to lift Mount Kailash and take it with him to his capital. However, Lord Shiva crushed it with his finger. Ravana prayed to him and sought his mercy, after which Bhagwan Shiva gave him one of the twelve Jyotirlingams on the condition that if it were placed on the ground it shall fix itself to the ground and shall remain there for eternity. Ravana thanked Lord Shiva and holding the Linga carefully started of to the Lanka. However, Varuna the God of Water, entered his belly and caused him to feel an urgent need to relieve himself. Vishnu then came down in the form of a lad and volunteered to hold the Jyotirlingam as he relieved himself. Before Ravana returned, Vishnu placed the Jyotirlingam on the ground and it became rooted to the spot. A disappointed Ravana offered severe penance to Shiva here, and cut off nine of his heads. Shiva revived him and joined the heads to the body, as if by the work of a Vaidya or a physician, hence this Jyotirlingam goes by the name Vaidyanath. According to another legend, Vaidyanath is one of the 52 Shakti Pitha shrines of Sati. It is believed that the heart of Sati fell here, when her half burnt body being carried by Shiva at the end of Daksha's Yagna was chopped to pieces by Vishnu's discus. Some people believe that this temple was re-discovered by a cowherd Baiju and hence named Baijnath. Structure of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Vaidyanath Temple at Deogarh houses a spacious courtyard bound by stone walls. In the temple complex are twenty-two other temples. The Baijnath or Vaidyanath temple faces east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken, keeping with the legend that it chipped away when Ravana tried to uproot it. Near the temple is the Shivaganga Lake. Nageshwar Temple in Dwarka Nageshwar Temple in DwarkaNageshwar Temple or Nagnath Temple is located on the route between Gomati Dwarka and the Bait Dwarka Island on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat. The Jyotirlinga enshrined in the Temple of Nagnath is known as Nageshwar Mahadev and attracts thousands of pilgrims all round the year. This powerful Jyotirlinga symbolizes protection from all poisons. It is said that those who pray to the Nageshwar Linga become free of poison. The Rudra Samhita sloka refers to Nageshwar with the phrase 'Daarukaavane Naagesham'. Legend Behind Nageshwar Temple According to Shiv Purana, a Shiva devotee by name Supriya was attacked by a demon Daaruka while in a boat. The demon imprisoned him along with several others at his capital Daarukaavana where he resided with his wife Daaruki. Supriya advised all prisoners to recite the mantra ‘Aum Namaha Shivaya’. When Daruk came to know about this he ran to kill Supriya. Instantly Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a Jyotirlingam and vanquished the demon with the Paasupata Astram. This Jyotirlinga manifestation of Shiva is worshipped as Nageswara. Two other sites in India, one near Audhgram near Purna in Andhra Pradesh and another near Almora in Uttar Pradesh also enshrine temples to Nageswara Jyotirlingam. According to the Shiv Purana, any one who ever with devotion reads the birth and greatness of this Jyotirlinga shall beget all material happiness and divine status in the end. Ramanathaswamy Temple Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva located in the island of Rameswaram ( in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints), Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnana Sambandar have glorified the temple with their songs. The temple was built during the 12th century by Pandya Dynasty . The temple has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India. The temple is located in Rameshwaram, an island town in South India, considered a holy pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites. The Temple is also one of the 12 Jyothirlinga temples, where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam meaning "pillar of light". According to Ramayana, Rama, the seventh incarnation of God Vishnu, is believed to have prayed to Shiva here to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon king Ravana in Srilanka. To worship Shiva, Rama wanted to have the largest lingam. He directed Hanuman, the monkey lietunant in his army to bring the lingam from Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita (the wife of Rama) built a small lingam, which is believed to be the lingam in the sanctum. The primary deity of the temple is Ramanathaswamy (Shiva) in the form of lingam. There are two lingams inside the sanctum - one built by Sita residing as the main deity, Ramalingam and the one brought by Hanuman from Kailash called Vishwalingam. Rama instructed that Vishwalingam should be worshipped first since it was brought by Hanuman - the tradition continue even today. Like all ancient temples in South India, there is a high compound wall (madil) on all four sides of the temple premises measuring about 865 feet furlong from east to west and one furlongs of 657 feet from north to south with huge towers (Gopurams) at the east and west and finished gate towers on the north and south. The temple has striking long corridors in its interior, running between huge colonnades on platforms above five feet high. The second corridor is formed by sandstone pillars, beams and ceiling. The junction of the third corridor on the west and the paved way leading from the western gopur


Bhimashankar Temple

Bhimashankar Temple is in the village of Shiradhon 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. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna river near Raichur. The other Jyotirlinga shrines in Maharashtra are Trimbakeshwara near Nashik and Grishneshwar near Ellora around Aurangabad.

The Bhimashankara temple is a composite of old and the new structures in the Nagara style of architecture. It shows the excellency of the skills achieved by ancient Vishwakarma sculptors. It is a modest yet graceful temple and it dates back to 13th century and the sabhamandap developed in 18th century by Nana Phadnavis. The shikhara was built by Nana Phadnavis. The great Maratha ruler Shivaji is said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level.
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Although the structure here is fairly new, the shrine Bhimashankaram (and the Bhimarathi river) have been referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century CE. Saint Jñāneshwar is said to have visited Tryambakeshwar and Bhimashankar. A unique bell (Roman style) can be seen in front of the temple which was presented by Chimaji Appa (Brother of Bajirao Peshwa I and uncle of Nanasaheb Peshwa). Chimaji Appa collected two large bells after he won in war against the Portuguese from Vasai Fort. He offered one here at Bhimashankar and the other at Menovali near Wai in front of a Shiva Temple on the banks of the Krishna river.

There are Buddha style carvings of Amba-Ambika, Bhootling and Bhimashankar in the hills of Manmaad near Bhimashankar at a height of 1034 metres. A big bell in Hemadpanthi structure built by Nana Phadanavis is a feature of Bhimashankar. Places that can be visited in are Hanuman Lake, Gupt Bhimashankar, Origin of River Bhima, Nag Phani, Bombay Point, Sakshi Vinayak and a lot more. Bhimashankar is a conserve red forest area and wildlife sanctuary where a variety of birds, animals, flowers, plants can be seen. A rare animal "Shekru" can be found in deep woods. Bhimashankar is worth visiting for jungle lovers and trekkers as well as for pilgrims. This temple is very famous in Pune and people from all around the world come to visit this temple.

There is a shrine to Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura. Kamalaja was worshiped with offerings of lotus flowers by Brahma. Shaakini and Daakini the Shivaganas who helped Shiva in the battle against the demon are also honored and worshiped here.

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.

Bhimashankar is an ancient shrine, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. Far away from the tumult of the urban life, peeping through the white fleecy clouds, Bhimashankar can be termed a pilgrim paradise. The dense forests surrounding the high ranges are an abode for rare species of flora and fauna. Situated at the extreme end of the Sahyadri Ranges, this place gives a wonderful view of the world around the rivers, and hill stations.

Bhimashankar is the source of the Bhima River, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna River. With endless stretches of virgin forests, lofty peaks that seem to reach out to the heavens, and the whispering waters of the Bhima River, Bhimashankar is definitely one of God's choicest creations.

It seems as if Lord Shiva is keeping a silent vigil over the majestic ranges of the Sahyadris. The serenity interrupted only by the silent murmuring of the cool breeze and the occasional chirping of birds, Bhimashankar is a trekker's delight and a traveler's sojourn.

Bhimashankar is approximately 127 km from Pune and 200 km from Mumbai. The route to Bhimashankar is via Manchar. The second route is from Rajgurunagar via Vada. One can go to this place, full of natural beauty and lovely scenery, and be back to Pune in one day. Bhimashankar is a good paradise for nature lovers, trekkers, jungle lovers and bird watchers. The best seasons to go are monsoon and winter.

Bhimashankar is 74 miles or 127 km from Pune by road. State buses go there from Pune daily, with more than five hours of bus journey. During the Mahashivaratri festival, when there is a great fair at the temple, buses ply to and fro daily. It is accessible from Karjat on the Pune — Mumbai section of the Central railway. There is no proper road from Karjat to Bhimashankar and only the devotees who wish to go to the temple on foot during festivals use this road.

If coming from Aurangabad or Ahmednagar, move towards Alephata which is 30 km from Nagar. Then go to Manchar which is 60 km from Alephata. Take right from Manchar and after 59 km to reach Bhimashankar (Aurangabad to Ahmednagar is 112 km).

Another root is via Sangamner, which lies on Nashik-Pune Road; from Sangamner go to Manchar and then follow the same route towards Bhimashankar, which is 59 km.

From Pune ST buses are available from Shivaji Nagar Pune to Bhimashankar at 5:30 in the morning to 2:00 pm and a ticket is approximately 91/-. From Pune -> Rajguru Nagar -> Chas Kaman Dam -> Wada -> Bhimashakar; from Pune -> Rajguru Nagar -> Manchar -> Ghodegoan -> Bhimashakar; from Mumbai ->Chakan [i.e., exterior part of Pune] -> Rajguru Nagar(Khed) -> Manchar -> Ghodegoan -> Bhimashakar.

The best time to visit is between August and February. Though any time of the year is good to visit Bhimashankar, it is better to avoid visiting during summer. Similarly during monsoon unless one likes trekking, it is better to avoid. That leaves the best period to seven months between August and February.

Eons ago in the dense forests of Dakini, on the lofty ranges of the Sahaydris lived an 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 he had 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 his father was killed by Ram 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. 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 Rishis and Sadhus. All this angered the Gods. They all along with Lord Brahma beseeched Lord Shiva to come to their rescue. Lord Shiva consoled the Gods and agreed to rescue them from the tyrant. On the other hand Bhima insisted and ordered Kamarupeshwar to worship him instead of Lord Shiva.

When Kamarupeshwar denied, the tyrant Bhima raised his sword to strike the Shiva Linga, to which Kamarupeshwar 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. 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 Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam.

It is believed that the sweat that poured forth from Lord Shiva's body after the battle formed the Bhimarathi River.

Although the present structure of the Temple appears to be of comparatively recent origins, the shrine Bhimashankaram (and the Bhimarathi river) have been referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century. Built in the Nagara style of architecture, this temple is a modest temple yet graceful temple and dates back to the 18th century. One can also find borrowed influences from the Indo Aryan style of architecture.

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 doorframes 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.

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 Shankara' 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 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.

Between the two pillars outside the 'Shani' temple, one comes across an ancient huge Portuguese bell. Behind the temple, there is a small pathway that leads us to the banks of a river. Stepping out from the Temple one is awed with a bewitching view of the virgin wilderness occasionally interrupted by the glimpses of the majestic forts on the surrounding mountains greets us.[8]

History unveils itself in the peaks of the Sahayadris. Bhimashankar – a place where spiritual splendor merges with Nature's magnificence is definitely a pilgrim's paradise. There are other temples and shrines, near the main Temple. There is a shrine to Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura. Kamalajaa was worshipped with offerings of lotus flowers by Bhrama.

There is a shrine for Siva Ganams, Shaakini and Daakini who assisted Shiva in the battle against the demon. Kaushika Maha Muni is said to have did 'Tapas' (penance) here. The place where he bathed is called Mokshakund thirtham which is located behind the Bhimashankara temple. There are also the Sarvathirtha, the Kusharanya thirtha where the Bhima river begins to flow eastward, and the Jyanakund.

Three worship services are offered every day. Mahashivratri is a season of greate festivity here.
Timings:
Morning - 4:30 am
Aarti - 5:05 am
Normal Darshans - 5:15 am to 11:30 am.
No Abhishekam between - 11:30 am to 11:50 am.
Maha Puja - 12 pm.
Maha Nivedhyam - 12:30 pm.
Abhishekam and Normal Puja - 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm.
Shringar Puja - 2:45 pm to 3:15 pm.
Aarti - 3:15 pm to 3:30 pm
Shringar Darshan - 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm

(Except Pradosham on Monday or Amavasya or Grahan or Maha Shiv Ratri. Kartihik Month, Shravan Month — No Mukut and no Shringar Darshans).

Rudrasamhita sloka in its reference to Bhimashankar says, Daakine Bhimashankaram. There is also a Bhimashankar temple at Bhimapur hill near Guwahati in Assam where legend holds that a demon by name Bhima who inflicted havoc upon the beings in the area, was slain by Shiva, as he tried to kill a king enaged in Shiva worship.

This is not to be confused with the legend Mruthumjaya Lingam, where Shiva emerged from a Shivalingam to vanquish Yama the Lord of death. The Shiva Purana and the Koti Rudra Samhita refer to Bhimashankar temple in the Kamarupa country. However there is also a reference to Mount Sahya, where it is stated that Shiva — Bhimashankara appeared on the Sahayadris.
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Three worship services are offered each day. Mahashivratri is a season of great festivity here.

It is to be noted that the Rudrasamhita sloka in its reference to Bhimashankar says, Daakine Bhimashankaram. There is also a Bhimashankar temple at Bhimapur hill near Guwahati in Assam where legend holds that a demon by name Bhima who inflicted havoc upon the beings in the area, was slain by Shiva, as he tried to kill a king enaged in Shiva worship.

This is a legend similar to that where Shiva emerged from a Shivalingam to vanquish Yama the Lord of death. The Shiva Purana and the Koti Rudra Samhita refer to Bhimashankar temple in the Kamarupa country. However there is also a reference to Mount Sahya, where it is stated that Shiva — Bhimashankara appeared on the Sahayadris.

There is also a Bhimashankara temple at Kashipur near Nainital in Uttarakhand, which was referred to as Daakini country in ancient days. It is believed that Bhima the Pandava prince was married to Hidamba, a Daakini here. Mahashivaratri is celebrated in great splendour here too. This temple also has shrines to Bhairavanath and Devi, and a temple tank by name Shivaganga.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi Vishwanath Temple (Hindi:
काशी विश्‍वनाथ मंदिर) is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in Varanasi, the Holiest existing Place of Hindus, where at least once in life a Hindu is expected to do pilgrimage, and if possible, also pour the remains (ashes) of cremated ancestors here on the River Ganges. It is in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganges, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara meaning the Ruler of the universe. The temple town that claims to be the oldest living city in the world, with 3500 years of documented history is also called Kashi and hence the temple is popularly called as Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Due to this 15.5m high golden spire(golden cover built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh-ruler of Lahore), the temple is sometimes called as the Golden Temple,.

The temple has been referred in Hindu theology since a very long time and as a central part of worship in the Shaiva philosophy. The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times. The Gyanvapi Mosque, which is adjacent to the temple, is the original site of the temple.The current structure was built by the Maratha monarch, Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780.Since 1983, the temple is being managed by Govt. of Uttar Pradesh. During the religious occasion of Shivratri, Kashi Naresh (King of Kashi) is the chief officiating priest and no other person or priest is allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum. It is only after he performs his religious functions that others are allowed to enter.

The temple complex consists of a series of smaller shrines, located in a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli, near the river. The linga the main deity at the shrine is 60 cm tall and 90 cm in circumference housed in a silver altar. There are small temples for Kaalbhairav, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Sanishwara, Virupaksha and Virupaksh Gauri in the complex. There is a small well in the temple called the Jnana Vapi (the wisdom well) and it is believed that the Jytorlinga was hidden in the well to protect it at the time of invasion. It is said that the main priest of the temple had jumped in the well with the Shiv Ling in order to protect the (Jyoti-r) Ling from the invaders..

The Varanasi city is addressed with vivid names such as ancient city of ghats, cultural capital and so on. Varanasi becomes immensely sacred due to the existence of Mahadev (Lord Shiva).The never ending joyous spirit of the city is in close proximity with the essence of Kashi Vishwanath.

Displaying a gesture of impeccable harmony, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and a Mosque in Varanasi co-exists in the same premises. The tough security protocols at the temple entrance have not been even close to affect the spirit of devotees to visit their Lord.

The Kashi Vishwanath temple registers a stunning visit record that tolls to around 3000 visitors every day. At certain occasions, the numbers reach lacs. The temple entrance is through a narrow street surrounded by unique, souvenir shops and guards.

The temple is widely recognized as one of the most important places of worship in Hindu religion and most of the leading Hindu saints, including Adi Sankaracharya, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Goswami Tulsidas, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Gurunanak have visited this site. A visit to the temple and a bath in the river Ganges is one of many methods believed to lead one on a path to Moksha (liberation). Thus, people from all over the nation, try to visit the place at least once in their lifetime. There is also a tradition that one should give up at least one desire after a pilgrimage the temple, and the pilgrimage would also include a visit to the temple at Rameswaram in South India, where people take the water samples of the Ganges to perform prayer at the temple and bring back the sand from near that temple. Due to the immense popularity and holiness of this temple, hundreds of temples across the nation have been built with the same style and architecture. Many legends establish that the true devotee achieves freedom from death and samsara by worship of Shiva. Shiva's devotees on death are directly taken to Mount Kailash by his messengers to his abode and not to Yama(hinduism) hell. The superiority of Shiva and his victory over his own nature - Shiva is himself identified with death - is also ascertained. There is a popular belief that people who choose to end their lives here, Shiva himself blows the mantra of salvation into their ears.

A Shiva temple has been mentioned in Puranas including Kashi Khanda (section) of Skanda Purana.In 490 AD, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple was built. In 11th Century AD, Hari Chandra constructed a temple. Muhammad Ghori destroyed it along with other temples of Varanasi during his raid in 1194. Reconstruction of the temple started soon after. This was demolished by Qutb-ud-din Aibak. After Aibak's death the temple was again rebuilt by many Hindu emperors. In 1351 it was destroyed again by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. The temple was rebuilt in 1585 by Todar Mal, the Revenue Minister of Akbar's Court. Aurangzeb ordered its demolition in 1669 and constructed Gyanvapi Mosque, which still exists alongside the temple. Traces of the old temple can be seen behind the mosque. It is said that the Shiv-Linga was thrown in the 'well'. So the original Shiv-linga now resides in the well. The current temple was built by Ahilya Bai Holkar, the Hindu Maratha queen of Malwa kingdom, in 1780. The temple spire and the dome are plated with 1000 kg of gold donated by the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, in 1835. Many noble families from various ancestral kingdoms(states) of India and their prior establishments, make generous contributions for operations of the temple.
Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple

Trimbakeshwar (Sanskrit:
त्र्यम्बकेश्वर, Tryambakeśvara) or Trambakeshwar is an ancient Hindu temple in the town of Trimbak, in the Nashik District of Maharashtra, India, 28 km from the city of Nashik GPS Reference 20.021944 N, 73.729935 E. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.

It is located at the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India. The Godavari River, which is considered sacred within Hinduism, originates from Bramhagiri mountains and meets the sea near Rajahmudry. Kusavarta, a kund is considered the symbolic origin of the river Godavari, and revered by Hindus as a sacred bathing place.

Trimbakeshwar is a religious center having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra. Due to excessive use of water, the linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones. The crown is displayed every Monday from 4-5 pm (Shiva).

All other Jyotirlingas have Shiva as the main deity. The entire black stone temple is known for its appealing architecture and sculpture and is at the foothills of a mountain called Brahmagiri. Three sources of the Godavari originate from the Brahmagiri mountain.

Brahmadev worshipped God Trivikram when he came to Satya Loka (on earth) with the same holy water of the Ganges, to get the river Ganges held up by God Shankar on his head, to flow. River Ganges in the form of a woman was enjoying with Lord Shiva, which was noticed by Lord Shiva's wife Parvati. She planned to drive Ganges away from her husband. Parvati and her son Ganesh came to live in Gautama's Ashram with Parvati's friend Jaya. There was a famine of 24 years and people were affected by the pangs of hunger. However, Varun - the God of Rains, pleased with Sage Gautama arranged rains every day in Gautama's Ashram (dwelling place) which was in Trimbakeshwar. Gautama used to sow rice in the surrounding fields of his Ashram in the morning, reap the crop in the afternoon and with it fed a large group of rishis, who took shelter in his Ashram on account of the famine. The blessings of the group of rishis increased the merit (Punya) of Gautama. Lord Indra's position became shaky because of his increased merit. So Indra ordered clouds to rain all over Trimbakeshwar, so that the famine will be over and Rishis will go back and the increasing merits of Gautama will be weakened. Although the famine was over, Gautama urged the Rishis to stay back and kept on feeding them and gaining merit. Once he saw a cow grazing in the paddy field and he drove her away by throwing Darbha (sharp, pointed grass). The slender cow died by this. It was Jaya - Parvati's friend, who had taken the form of a cow. This news upset the Rishis and they refused to luncheon at his Ashram. Gautama requested Rishis to show a way out of this sin. He was advised to approach Lord Shiva and request him to release Ganges and a bath in the Ganges would set him free of his sins. Gautama then practiced penance by going to the peak of Brahmagiri. Lord Shankara was pleased by his worships and gave him the Ganges.
Kusavarta, a place where river Godavari takes course.

However, Ganges was not prepared to part with Lord Shiva, which irritated him. He made TandavNrutya (dance) on the peak of Brahmagiri and dashed his jata there. Frightened by this action, Ganges appeared on Brahmagiri. Later on Ganges appeared in the Trimbak Tirtha. Gautama praised her but she off and on appeared on the mountain at various places and disappeared in anger. Gautama could not bathe in her waters. Ganges then appeared in Gangadwar, Varaha-tirtha, Rama-Laxman tirtha, Ganga Sagar tirtha. Still Gautama could not bathe in her waters. The Gautama surrounded the river with enchanted grass and put a vow to her. The flow stopped there and the tirtha thus came to be called Kushavarta. It is from this Kushavarta that the river Godavari flows up to the sea. The sin of killing a cow by Gautama was wiped off here.

This place is famous for lots of religious rituals (vidhis). Narayan Nagbali, Kalsarpa Shanti, Tripindi vidhi are done here. Narayan Nagbali puja is performed at Trimbakeshwar only. This puja is performed in three days. This puja is performed on special dates. Some days are not suitable to perform this puja. This puja is performed for many reasons like to cure an illness, going through bad times, killing a Cobra (Nag), childless couples, financial crisis or you want to perform some religious puja to have everything.

Trimbakeshwar town has a large number of Brahmin households and is also a centre for Vedic Gurukuls (kind of boarding school). It also has ashrams and Muths devoted to Ashtanga Yoga, the Hindu art of living.

The existing temple was built out of basalt after it was commissioned by Peshwa Nanasaheb. It so happens that the Peshwa made a bet on whether the stone surrounding the Jyotirlinga, is hollow from the inside or not. The stone was proved to be hollow, and on losing the bet, the Peshwa built a marvelous temple out of it. The Shiva idol of the temple consisted of the world famous Nassak Diamond. It was appropriated by the British in The Third Anglo-Maratha War and lies with one owner or the other ever since. The diamond presently lies with Edward J. Hand, a trucking firm executive from Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

The place is known for its scenic beauty in rainy/monsoon season and is surrounded by lush green hills untouched by pollution. Anjaneri mountain, the birth place of Lord Hanuman, is 7 km from Trimbakeshwar.

This temple is on top of the Neel mountain. All goddesses ('Matamba','Renuka','Mananmba') came here to see 'Parashuram' when he was performing penance (tapas). After his penance he requested all goddesses to stay there and the temple was formed for these goddesses. God Dattatreya
दत्तात्रेय
(Shripad Shrivallabh) stayed here for some years.
Vaidyanath Temple in Deogarh
Vaidyanath Temple in DeogarhVaidyanath Temple, also called Vaijnath Temple and Baidyanth Temple is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas region of Bihar in the south west of Keeul Station. Baidyanath shrine is revered as one of the twelve Jyotirlingams of Shiva. It may be noted that some schools of thought believe Vaidyanath near Parali in Andhra Pradesh to be the Vaidyanatha Jyotirlingam.

Devotees of Lord Shiva believe that by sincere worship of Vaijnath Jyotirlinga a person is relieved of all worries and miseries in life. It is also said that by worshipping in the shrine a person attains Moksha and all types of happiness. As a tradition, devotees carry ‘Kanwars’ on their shoulders and complete their travel here.

Legend Behind Vaidyanath Temple
Legend has it that demon King of Lanka, Ravana meditated upon Lord Shiva, as he wanted to request him to come over to Sri Lanka and make his capital invincible. It is said that Ravana attempted to lift Mount Kailash and take it with him to his capital. However, Lord Shiva crushed it with his finger. Ravana prayed to him and sought his mercy, after which Bhagwan Shiva gave him one of the twelve Jyotirlingams on the condition that if it were placed on the ground it shall fix itself to the ground and shall remain there for eternity. Ravana thanked Lord Shiva and holding the Linga carefully started of to the Lanka. However, Varuna the God of Water, entered his belly and caused him to feel an urgent need to relieve himself. Vishnu then came down in the form of a lad and volunteered to hold the Jyotirlingam as he relieved himself. Before Ravana returned, Vishnu placed the Jyotirlingam on the ground and it became rooted to the spot. A disappointed Ravana offered severe penance to Shiva here, and cut off nine of his heads. Shiva revived him and joined the heads to the body, as if by the work of a Vaidya or a physician, hence this Jyotirlingam goes by the name Vaidyanath.

According to another legend, Vaidyanath is one of the 52 Shakti Pitha shrines of Sati. It is believed that the heart of Sati fell here, when her half burnt body being carried by Shiva at the end of Daksha's Yagna was chopped to pieces by Vishnu's discus.

Some people believe that this temple was re-discovered by a cowherd Baiju and hence named Baijnath.

Structure of Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga
Vaidyanath Temple at Deogarh houses a spacious courtyard bound by stone walls. In the temple complex are twenty-two other temples. The Baijnath or Vaidyanath temple faces east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken, keeping with the legend that it chipped away when Ravana tried to uproot it. Near the temple is the Shivaganga Lake.
Nageshwar Temple in Dwarka
Nageshwar Temple in DwarkaNageshwar Temple or Nagnath Temple is located on the route between Gomati Dwarka and the Bait Dwarka Island on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat. The Jyotirlinga enshrined in the Temple of Nagnath is known as Nageshwar Mahadev and attracts thousands of pilgrims all round the year. This powerful Jyotirlinga symbolizes protection from all poisons. It is said that those who pray to the Nageshwar Linga become free of poison. The Rudra Samhita sloka refers to Nageshwar with the phrase 'Daarukaavane Naagesham'.

Legend Behind Nageshwar Temple
According to Shiv Purana, a Shiva devotee by name Supriya was attacked by a demon Daaruka while in a boat. The demon imprisoned him along with several others at his capital Daarukaavana where he resided with his wife Daaruki. Supriya advised all prisoners to recite the mantra ‘Aum Namaha Shivaya’. When Daruk came to know about this he ran to kill Supriya. Instantly Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a Jyotirlingam and vanquished the demon with the Paasupata Astram.

This Jyotirlinga manifestation of Shiva is worshipped as Nageswara. Two other sites in India, one near Audhgram near Purna in Andhra Pradesh and another near Almora in Uttar Pradesh also enshrine temples to Nageswara Jyotirlingam. According to the Shiv Purana, any one who ever with devotion reads the birth and greatness of this Jyotirlinga shall beget all material happiness and divine status in the end.
Ramanathaswamy Temple

Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva located in the island of Rameswaram ( in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints), Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnana Sambandar have glorified the temple with their songs. The temple was built during the 12th century by Pandya Dynasty . The temple has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India. The temple is located in Rameshwaram, an island town in South India, considered a holy pilgrimage site for both Shaivites and Vaishnavites. The Temple is also one of the 12 Jyothirlinga temples, where Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam meaning "pillar of light".

According to Ramayana, Rama, the seventh incarnation of God Vishnu, is believed to have prayed to Shiva here to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon king Ravana in Srilanka. To worship Shiva, Rama wanted to have the largest lingam. He directed Hanuman, the monkey lietunant in his army to bring the lingam from Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita (the wife of Rama) built a small lingam, which is believed to be the lingam in the sanctum.

The primary deity of the temple is Ramanathaswamy (Shiva) in the form of lingam. There are two lingams inside the sanctum - one built by Sita residing as the main deity, Ramalingam and the one brought by Hanuman from Kailash called Vishwalingam. Rama instructed that Vishwalingam should be worshipped first since it was brought by Hanuman - the tradition continue even today.

Like all ancient temples in South India, there is a high compound wall (madil) on all four sides of the temple premises measuring about 865 feet furlong from east to west and one furlongs of 657 feet from north to south with huge towers (Gopurams) at the east and west and finished gate towers on the north and south. The temple has striking long corridors in its interior, running between huge colonnades on platforms above five feet high.

The second corridor is formed by sandstone pillars, beams and ceiling. The junction of the third corridor on the west and the paved way leading from the western gopuram to Setumadhava shrine forms a unique structure in the form of chess board and it is popularly known as Chokkattan Madapam where the Utsva deities are adorned and kept during the Vasntotsavam (Spring festival) and on the 6th day festival in Adi (July–August) and Masi (February–March) conducted by the Setupati of Ramnad.

The outer set of corridors is reputed to be the longest in the world being about 6.9 m height, 400 feet in each in the east and west and about 640 feet in north and south and inner corridors are about 224 feet in east and west and about 352 feet each in north and south. Their width varies from 15.5 feet to 17 feet in the east and west about 172 feet on the north and south with width varying 14.5 feet to 17 feet. The total length of those corridors is thus 3850 feet. There are about 1212 pillars in the outer corridor. Their height is about 30 feet from the floor to the center of the roof. The main tower or rajagopuram is 53 m tall. Most pillars are carved with individual composition.

There are separate shrines for God Ramanathaswami and Goddess Visalakshi separated by corridor. There are separate shrines for Parvathavardhini, Utsava Idols, Sayanagriha, Perumal, Santanaganpathi, Mahaganapathi, Subrahmanya, Sethumadhava, Mahalaxmi, Natraja, Anjaneya. There are various halls inside the temple, namely Anuppu Mandapam, Sukravara Mandapam, Sethupathi Mandapam, Kalyana Mandapam and Nandi Mandapam.Jyotirlingas

There are sixty-four Tīrthas (holy water bodies) in and around the island of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India.According to Skānda Purāṇa, twenty-four of them are important. Bathing in these Tīrthas is a major aspect of the pilgrimage to Rameswaram and is considered equivalent to penance. Twenty-two of the Tīrthas are within the Rāmanāthasvāmī Temple. The number 22 indicates the 22 arrows in Rama's quiver. The first and major one is called Agni Theertham, the sea (Bay of Bengal).
Grishneshwar

Grishneshwar, also known as Ghushmeshwar, is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the sacred abodes of Shiva. The temple is located eleven km from Daulatabad, near Aurangabad in Maharashtra India. The temple is located near the famous Ellora Caves.

The Grishneswar temple was re-constructed by Maloji Raje Bhosale of Verul, (grandfather of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) in the 16th century and later by Ahilyabai Holkar in 18th century, who also re-constructed the Kashi Vishwanath temple at Benares, and the Vishnupad Mandir at Gaya.

Grishneshwar is an ancient pilgrimage site revered as the abode of one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. It is located at a distance of 11 km from Daulatabad near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Daulatabad was once known as Devagiri. Located nearby are the popular tourist attractions Ellora - featuring ancient rock cut monuments from the 1st millennium CE, and Ajanta known for its exquisite cave paintings again from the 1st millennium CE.

The Grishneswar temple was constructed by Ahilyabhai Holkar who also re-constructed the Kashi Viswanatha temple at Benares and the Vishnu Paada temple at Gaya. Grishneshwar is also known as Ghushmeshwar.

Legend has it that a devout woman Kusuma offered worship to Shiva regularly by immersing a Shivalingam in a tank, as a part of her daily ritual worship. Her husband's first wife, envious of her piety and standing in society murdered Kusuma's son in cold blood. An aggrieved Kusuma continued her ritual worship, and when she immersed the Shivalingam again in the tank, her son was miraculously restored to life. Shiva is said to have appeared in front of her and the villagers, and then one is believed to havebeen worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlinga Ghusmeshwar.
Aundha Nagnath

Aundha Naganath is a town and a tehsil in Basmat Subdivision of Hingoli district in Marathwada region of the Indian state of Maharashtra. There is famous Temple of Lord Shiva.

The Shiva Temple claims to be one of the Twelve Jyotirlingas in India. It is called as "NAGNATH TEMPLE" This claim is disputed by Nageshwar Temple at Dwarka, Gujarat.

It has been stated that this temple building was of seven-storyed before sacking it by Aurangzeb.

There is one famous story told about Sant Namdev and aundha nagnath, that when he was chanting Bhajan in front of Aundha Nagnath temple with Sant Dnyaneshwar, Visoba Khechara and few more Varkari, the temple pujari told them it is obstruting their temple prayer and asked them to go away from temple. Then all varkaris went back side of the temple and started chanting bhajan there. That time Lord Shiva turned the whole temple to listen bhajan that's why Nandi is located on back side of temple.

A pilgrim centre of great significance, since it is considered to be the first (aadya) of the 12 Jyotirlingas in the country. A part from this honour, the temple of Nagnath has exquisite carvings. Nanded, 64 km. by road from Aundha, is famous for the Such Khand Huzur Sahib Gurudwara where Guru Gobind Singh's ashes are buried. Aundha is a Holy place of eight jyotirlinga in the India. Getting there :

By Air : Aurangabad, 210 km is a convenient airport.

By Rail : Chondi, 21 km. is the convenient railhead, Mumbai - Chondi, 614 km.

By Road : Mumbai-Aundha, 579 km, Nagpur-Aundha, 359 km, Aurangabad - Aundha, 210 km, Parbhani - Aundha, 50 km. State Transport buses ply from Nanded, Parbhani, Chondi to Aundha.
अलसी में कई सारे असरकारी गुण हैं, लेकिन लोगों को इसके बारे में बहुत कम पता होता है। । अलसी का रोज सेवन करने से आप कई रोगों से छुटकारा पा सकते हैं। अलसी में ओमेगा 3 पाया जाता है। यह हमें कई रोगों से लड़ने की शक्ति देता है। ओमेगा 3 हमारे शरीर के अंदर नहीं बनता इसे भोजन द्वारा ही ग्रहण किया जा सकता है। शाकाहारियों के लिए अलसी से अच्छा इसका कोई और स्रोत नहीं है। माँसाहारियों को तो यह मछली से मिल जाता है। अगर आप स्वयं को निरोग और चुस्तदुरुस्त रखना चाहते हैं, तो रोज कम से कम एक दो चम्मच अलसी को अपने आहार में शामिल करिए। 

अलसी के फायदे

अलसी शरीर को ऊर्जा व स्फूर्ति प्रदान करता है।
कैंसररोधी हार्मोन्स की सक्रियता बढ़ाता है।
रक्त में शर्करा तथा कोलेस्ट्रॉल की मात्रा को कम करता है।
जोड़ों के दर्द में राहत दिलाता है।
पेट साफ रखने का घरेलू व आसान नुस्खा है। 
हृदय संबंधी रोगों के खतरे को कम करता है।
हाई ब्लड प्रेशर को कंट्रोल करता है।
त्वचा को स्वस्थ रखता है एवं सूखापन दूर कर एग्जिमा आदि से बचाता है।
यह शरीर में अच्छे कोलेस्ट्रोल को बढ़ाती है और खराब कोलेस्ट्रोल को कम करती है।
इसका नियमित सेवन रजोनिवृत्ति संबंधी परेशानियों से राहत प्रदान करता है। मासिक धर्म के दौरान ऐंठन को कम कर गर्भाशय को स्वस्थ रखता है।
यकृत को स्वस्थ रखता है।

बिमारी के अनुसार अलसी का सेवन

अगर आपको खांसी है तो आप अलसी की चाय पीएं। पानी को उबालकर उसमें अलसी पाउडर मिलाकर चाय तैयार करें। इसका सेवन दिन में दो तीन बार करें। 
दमा के रोगी को एक चम्मच अलसी के पाउडर को आधा गिलास पानी में 12 घंटे तक भिगो दे और फिस उसे सुबह-शाम छानकर इसका सेवन करे तो काफी लाभ होता है।
डायबीटिज के मरीज को 25 ग्राम अलसी खाना चाहिए। उन्हें पीसी अलसी को आटे में मिलाकर रोटी बनाकर खाना चाहिए। 
कैंसर रोगियों को 3 चम्मच अलसी का तेल पनीर में मिलाकर उसमें सूखे मेवे मिलाकर देने चाहिए।
अलसी सेवन के दौरान खूब पानी पीना चाहिए। इसमें अधिक फाइबर होता है, जिससे प्यास ज्यादा लगती है।
अगर आप स्वस्थ हैं तो व्यक्ति को रोज सुबह-शाम एक-एक चम्मच अलसी का पाउडर पानी के साथ ,सब्जी, दाल या सलाद में मिलाकर लें।

अलसी का तेल भी है गुणकारी
अलसी का तेल भी गुणों से भरपूर है। अगर त्वचा जल जाये, तो अलसी का तेल लगाने से दर्द व जलन से राहत मिलती है। इसमें विटामिन ई होता है। इसका कुष्ठ रोगियों को सेवन करना चाहिए। त्वचा पर लाभ होगा।

मिथ्य
कुछ लोगों का मानना है कि अलसी गर्म होती है इसलिए गर्मी के मौसम में इसका सेवन नहीं करना चाहिए। लेकिन यह मात्र एक मिथ्य है। अलसी को आप किसी भी मौसम में खा सकते हैं यह गर्म नहीं होती है। हो सकता है कि शुरूआत में आपको पतले दस्त होने लगे लेकिन इससे घबराने की जरूरत नहीं है। बाद में अपने आप सब ठीक हो जाता है।

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