Bhimashankar Temple is a Jyotirlinga shrine located 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 Vaidyanath near Parli Dist Beed, Trimbakeshwara near Nashik and Grishneshwar near Ellora around Aurangabad,Nagnaath in Aundh built by Pandav brothers in one night during their exile.
Three worship services are offered every day. Mahashivratri is a season of great festivity here. Timings:
Aarti - 4:45 am to 5.00 am
Nijarup (Original shivlinga)darshan - 5:00 am to 5.30 am
Maha Puja (Naivedya Pooja) - 12.00 pm. to 12.30 pm
Aarti - 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Aarti - 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary was created in the Ambegaon and Khed talukas of Pune District, in the WesternIndian state of Maharashtra in order mainly to protect the habitat of the Indian Giant Squirrel. Its area is 131 km2(51 sq mi) and is a part of the Western Ghats (Sahyadri Ranges). This sanctuary was created in 1984 and includes 9 tribal villages. The area's bio-diversity has been retained as it will be preserved as a cluster of sacred groves for generations. These sacred groves act as gene pools of this area, from where seeds were dispersed. In Ahupe - a tribal (Mahadev Koli) village's sacred grove in the sanctuary, in 1984, a climber Khombhal - Xantolis tomentosa was found to be 800 – 1000 years old.
Located at (19 Kms from temple, with 7 kms of good road and then a walk of about 11 kms): As you near Bhimashankar, approx. 4 kms before, there is a small tar road towards your right, which travels through one of the few remaining primary forest patch, extremely dense and pristine. The tar road ends up till the Kondhwal village (approx. 5 kms from the main road). This is an amazing place, very quite and cool. From here, one can descend down to "Siddheshwar fort" and further down towards "Naneghat". The first few kms where one can go by road is very very rich in birdlife with sure sightings of Crimson-backed Sunbirds, Orange headed Thrush, Black Bulbuls etc. Near the Kondhval village the cultivated fields offers Bee-eaters, Malabar and Syke's Crested larks in plenty.
It is said that King Kamrupeshwar, the king of Kamrup, was a very ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. One day, a demon appeared in his kingdom and started troubling his subjects.
The demon also tried to kill King Kamrupeshwar with his sword. However, he missed the target and the sword feel on the Shiva Lingam worshipped by the king. As soon as this happened, Lord Shiva appeared at the site and killed the demon. It is believed that after killing the demon, Lord's sweat drops fell to the ground and were transformed into a stream. The stream later got converted into the Bhima River. Being situated close to the river, the temple also came to be known as the Bhimashankar Temple.
Hanuman Lake is one of the popular tourist attractions located in Bhimashanker in the district of Pune. Tourists can see numerous species of birds and squirrels at the lake. A waterfall is another prominent attraction at this site which can be visited during the rainy season.
From this point you can see the Kokan Darshan. Distance is 4 kilometers. Also there is a good waterfall here and the place is beautiful and will be the first point that we will cover here.
Kondwal is the nearest village near bhimashankar. Around 5 kms. before Bhimashankar temple a right turn leads to kondwal village. The picturesque way is lined with dense green forest and meandering stream crossing the roads. The stream further expands into a river and falls into a deep gorge at Kondwal village. This is Kondwal waterfall. One has to climb down the hill to witness the full splendor of Kondwal waterfall. Kondwal waterfall is a powerhouse.
Kondwal is secluded village nestled in between hills. Kondwal remains blanketed in mist and fog for most of the year. The paddy fields intermittent with streams and small waterfalls offer exotic sights. This route further extends to Ahupe (around 19 kms. by walk).The forest between Ahupe and bhimashankar is an evergreen forest and called as bhatti-che-raan.