Bhimashankar Temple

The Bhimashankar Temple, nestled in the serene Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra, India, is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, highly revered in Hinduism. This ancient temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, attracts devotees and tourists from all over the world, offering them a blend of spirituality, history, and natural beauty. The temple, believed to be the source of the Bhima River, is surrounded by dense forests, making it a perfect spot for those seeking spiritual solace and nature’s tranquility. The temple’s majestic architecture and its profound religious significance make it a must-visit destination.

Bhimashankar Temple

Historical Significance

Bhimashankar Temple’s history dates back to ancient times, with references found in various Hindu scriptures and legends. The temple is believed to have been constructed during the 13th century, though some parts might be older. According to legend, the temple marks the place where Lord Shiva defeated the demon Tripurasura. This victory was celebrated by the gods, who installed a Jyotirlinga at the site to commemorate the event. Over the centuries, the temple has been a focal point of devotion and worship, witnessing various dynasties and rulers contributing to its maintenance and expansion. The Maratha ruler, Chimaji Appa, is credited with significant contributions to the temple’s development.

Architectural Marvel

The Bhimashankar Temple is an exquisite example of the Nagara style of architecture, prevalent in ancient Indian temple construction. The temple is built using locally available stones, featuring intricate carvings and sculptures that depict various deities and mythological scenes. The Shikhara (tower) of the temple is adorned with beautifully carved figures, adding to its grandeur. Inside, the sanctum sanctorum houses the Jyotirlinga, a self-emerged lingam, considered highly sacred. The temple complex also includes other shrines dedicated to different deities, showcasing a rich tapestry of artistic and architectural brilliance.

Spiritual Significance

As one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, Bhimashankar Temple holds immense spiritual significance in Hinduism. The temple is a major pilgrimage site, especially during the festival of Maha Shivaratri, when thousands of devotees flock to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. The temple’s serene ambiance, set against the backdrop of lush greenery and the gurgling Bhima River, enhances the spiritual experience for visitors. Many believe that a visit to the Bhimashankar Temple can absolve sins and bestow spiritual enlightenment. The temple’s energy and tranquility make it a place where one can connect deeply with their inner self.

Festivals and Celebrations

The Bhimashankar Temple is a hub of vibrant festivals and celebrations, with Maha Shivaratri being the most prominent. This festival, dedicated to Lord Shiva, sees a massive influx of devotees who engage in night-long prayers, bhajans (devotional songs), and rituals. Other significant festivals include the Karthik Poornima, which marks the full moon night of the Hindu month of Kartik, and the Shravan month, when devotees observe fasts and special prayers. These festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm, featuring elaborate decorations, processions, and cultural performances, making them a spectacle of devotion and tradition.

Visitor Information

Visitors to the Bhimashankar Temple can expect a serene and enriching experience. The temple is open throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during the winter months, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant. During monsoons, the area receives heavy rainfall, which can make travel challenging. The temple premises are well-maintained, with facilities such as restrooms, drinking water, and seating areas available for visitors. It’s advisable to dress modestly and maintain decorum, as the temple is a sacred space. Photography is allowed in some areas but restricted in the sanctum sanctorum. For more information you can visit


The Bhimashankar Temple is open daily from early morning till late evening. The temple typically opens at 4:30 AM, with the first aarti (ritual) performed shortly after. Devotees can participate in various rituals and offer prayers throughout the day. The temple closes around 9:30 PM, after the final aarti. During major festivals, the temple remains open for extended hours to accommodate the influx of pilgrims. It’s recommended to check the temple’s official website or contact local authorities for any changes in timings, especially during festive seasons.

Location and Accessibility

Bhimashankar Temple is located in the Pune district of Maharashtra, approximately 110 kilometers from Pune city and about 223 kilometers from Mumbai. The temple is well-connected by road, with regular bus services from Pune and Mumbai. The nearest railway station is Karjat, from where one can hire a taxi or take a bus to the temple. For those traveling by air, the closest airport is Pune International Airport. The journey to Bhimashankar offers scenic views of the Western Ghats, making the trip as enjoyable as the destination itself.


Visitors to Bhimashankar Temple have several accommodation options to choose from, ranging from budget lodges to more comfortable guesthouses. The temple administration operates a few guesthouses that offer basic amenities at reasonable rates. Additionally, there are private hotels and resorts in the vicinity that provide more comfortable stays with modern facilities. It’s advisable to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons and festivals. For those who enjoy nature, there are also camping sites available nearby, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area while staying close to the temple.