Bhimashankar is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (a form of Lord Shiva) of India, situated in the region of the Sahyadri hills. It is located in the Bhavagiri village and is a source of the Bhima River. There is a mythological story behind the formation of Bhimashankar. Lord Shiva killed the demon Tripurasur and took abode in the form of Bhima in the Sahyadri hills, upon the request of the Gods. It is also said that the sweat that poured from Shiva’s body after the battle with Tripurasur, formed the river Bhima.
The Bhimashankar Temple is a mixture of old and new structures. It is a modest yet nice temple and the great Maratha ruler, Shivaji made contributions to the temple so that the worship services could be carried out. The apex of the temple is built by Nana Phadnavis. The temple was built in the mid 18th century. Most Shiva temples in the Sahyadri region have the sacred place at as lower level. Same goes for Bhimashankar. Although the temple was built in the 18th century, reference to the shrine, has been made in the literature of 13th century CE. Saint Gyaneshwar also made a visit to this temple.
The Mahashivratri festival is celebrated in Bhimashankar with great ardour and pomp. It is the most important festival of this temple.
There are many destinations around Bhimahsnakar which are worth a visit. The Kamalaja Temple is situated near Bhimnashankar. Kamalaja is said to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, who is said to have helped Shiva in his battle against Tripurasur. There is also the Mokshakund Temple behind Bhimashankar, where Rishi Kaushik is worshipped. At the source of the Bhima River, Sarvathirthanand Kusharanya Tirtha is located.
Thus, Bhimashankar along with itself offers many interesting destinations around it and therefore should be visited.