108 Famous Hindu Shrines in Maharashtra-3 (Post No.11,934)


Post No. 11,934

Date uploaded in London – –  24 APRIL 2023                  

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Part 3


Bhimasankara is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines in the country. It attracts a big crowd on Shivratri day.

It is at 120 kilometres from Pune. It is in the middle of a thick forest of the Western Ghats known as Sahyadri Mountains in Sanskrit. It is the source of Bhima river which is known as Chandrabhaga in Pandharpur. They associate the name with Bhima, one of Pandava brothers as well.

The top of the Linga is divided by a narrow groove in the Linga. Each half of the Linga signifies Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The Lord appears as “Ardhanareeshwara” in the Bhimashankar temple.

According to beliefs, water flows continuously from the Linga since time immemorial.

There are two big Nandi statues in the temple premises.

The Bhimashankar temple complex is small and has a simple structure with numerous sculptures depicting different Gods and Goddesses. The architecture of the temple follows the Nagara style and the Hemadpanthi style of construction. The temple consists of GarbhagrihaSabhamandap, and the Kurmamandap.

The main door of the Bhimashankar temple is made of solid wood with figures of several gods and goddesses. A huge bellis there at the entrance of the temple. Chimaji Appa, brother of Bajirao Peshwa I gifted this bell. Two large Nandis are also there in the Temple. The one in front of the sanctum is very old and the other one is new. One can also visit the shrines of Lord Shani, Nandi, Lord Ram, and Dutta.

Some of the temples near Bhimshankar temple are:

·         Gupt Bhimashankar: A small trekking path from the Bhimashankar temple will lead you to the place of discovery of the Jyotirlinga. The Linga is on the banks of a waterfall and has greenery around.

·         Sakshi Ganapati Temple: The temple is 2 km away from the Bhimashankar temple. The Ganapati here is “Sakshi” because he is the witness to the visit of the pilgrims to the Jyotirlinga. He keeps the attendance of whoever visits the Bhimashankar shrine. The pilgrims visit the temple to show their respects to the Lord Ganapati and Lord Shiva.

·         Kamalaja Devi Temple: The temple is for Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva. She helped the Lord in his battle against the demons. Also, She sits on a lotus in this temple.



A temple to Lord Bhairava is built here. Magha Krishna Paksha Prathamai to Dasami is the festival period in the temple. It is in Kolhapur district. The fort here attarats more people. It is used by trekkers. Shivaji won the fort and made it stronger.



It is a hill fort near Manmad. A festival in honour of Khandoba is held on Pausa Full moon. Khandoba, is Kula Devata for lot of Marathis. Khandoba is a folk deity like Munisamy or Ayyanar of Tamil Nadu. He apperad wit a knife in his hand.



Chaphal is situated at the distance of 35 kilometer from Satara. Chaphal is very famous for ‘Shri Ram Temple’. The temple was built by Ramdas Swami the spiritual guru of great Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj. Its located on the banks of river’Maand’. The temple is built of marbles.Swami Ramdas retrieved the idol of ‘Lord Surya’ from Angapur Pond and installed the same in this temple. Lord Ram is without a bow, but lotus on both hands.

In front of Shri Ram Temple is the Temple of Lord Das Maruti and at the rear side is Veer Maruti (Pratap Maruti) temple housing 8 ft tall idol of Lord Hanuman, wearing ornaments as described in the Hanuman Stotra.


14.CHATURSING (Chatur Srnga)

It is a four peaked hill near Pune. That is why named Chatur Srnga.

Chathushrungi Temple, situated on the slope of a hillock about 4. 5kms from Pune Railway station and is  is dedicated to Goddess Chaturshringi. The Goddess is also known by the name Ambareshwari, Mahalakshmi, Mahakali and Mahasaraswati. Goddess Chaturshringi is considered to be the main deity of Pune. Built during Chatrapati Shivaji era, the temple is 90 feet high and 125 feet wide. One can reach the temple by climbing more than 100 steps. 

There is a story behind this temple. It is said that once there lived a moneylender . He was a great devotee of Saptashringee devi. Every year on the full moon day of Chaitra, he travelled from Pune to Vani and visits all the temples of goddess to worship her.  But when he became old, it was difficult for him to travel and visit the temples. So he felt great grief and prayed to the goddess for Darshan. The Goddess heard his prayer and appeared to him in his dream. The Goddess told him that she would stay on a mountain in the North-West of Pune and asked him to come there. There he found a natural statue of goddess i. e. (swayambhu devi) and so he constructed the present temple there. 

At the entrance one can found the scale model of the entire premises of the temple. The temple celebrates the nine-day Navaratri festival in the month of October every year. During the festival the temple is fully decorated in the traditional Indian style and lit up with lamps. In Navaratri, fair Big Giant Wheels, Merry Go Round, Food Stalls are there in the fair. Main attraction of the festival is the procession of carrying out the silver statue of goddess Chattushringi in a silver chariot, which is held in the evening on the tenth day (on Vijaya Dashami/ Dashahara) of the festival. 



It is a temple dedicated to Dattatreya near Alibag.

Datta Mandir located in the Chaul part of Revdanda. The temple is situated atop the peak with almost 1500 steep stairs that are to be climbed up. The entire region around the Revdanda can be viewed from the temple. The temple is said to be built during the Shivaji Maharaj reign to keep an eye on the enemies.

The red domed temple of Datta Mandir is situated at the hill top is said to be constructed by Swami Bramhendra. The temple has three headed statue of Shri Datta and this idol represents the trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara

It is around 15 kilo meters from Alibag town
Once to the top, the amazing temple complex along with the atmosphere and the surrounding natural beauty makes you forget all the exhaustion. The temple complex is not very big with the main sanctorum containing a pair of Lord Dattatreya’s “Padukas” (footwear) on a black stone. Just behind this stone is the main idol of the Lord with three faces who here represents the main “Trimurti” of Hindu religion, the Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. On the way up to this main temple people can find out many small temples various other Gods and Goddesses. Since summer is very hot and steps are slippery during monsoon period, winter is the best time to visit this hill -top mandir.

To be continued……….

Tags- Maharashtra, Shrines, Part 3, Bhimasankara, Chaul, Chaphal Ram mandir, Ramdas

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