Bhimashankar is situated in the village of Bhavagiri that is around 50 km North West of Khed near Pune. It is an ancient shrine in Maharashtra and contains one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva which lies on the banks of the River Bhima. There are many tourist places near Bhimashankar including Hanuman Lake, Sakshi Vinayak, Bhimashankar Temple, Bombay Point, Gupt Bhimashankar, Sahyadri Wildlife Sanctuary and much more.
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple
This Jyotirlinga temple is one of the most prominent tourist places around Bhimashankar. It is counted as one of twelve Jyotirlingas of Mahadev. This temple shows the Excellency of the architectural skills achieved by ancient Vishwakarma sculptors. This temple is a modest yet graceful and dates back to the 13th century. But the Sabha Mandap was constructed in the 18th century by Nana Phadnavis and also the shikhara was built by the same. Moreover, the endowments of the temple were built by the great Maratha Ruler Shivaji to facilitate the worship services.
This shrine consists of a wooden entrance door that is beautifully decorated with many carvings and its divine look attracts more devotees all around the world. It follows Indo-Aryan and Nagra architectural designs. As Hindu beliefs, Lord Shiva started to reside in the Sahayadri Hills, in Bhima’s Form. Then, Lord Shiva killed demon Thripurasura and the heat is generated from the war that is caused the river Bhima to evaporate. So, the name Bhimashankar was originated from this incident.
Gupt Bhimashankar is situated near the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple. It is a well-marked trail that starts right near the temple and goes through the dense forests to Guptbheem. It is believed that the original Shiva Linga was discovered at this place. Every year, numerous devotees come here to visit the Gupt Bhimashankar from all over India.
Hanuman Lake, Bhimashankar
The Hanuman Lake is a pristine lake which is located in Bhimashankar. This spot is the perfect picnic spot for the family and can spend their gala time with each other. Here, the visitors can also spot lots of animals including birds and squirrels.
Ahupe Waterfalls, Bhimashankar
This enchanting waterfall has a wildlife reserve in its vicinity and also gives a beautiful view of the Dimbhe Dam backwaters. Ahupe Waterfalls has become a famous tourist destination, especially among young couples.
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Wildlife Sanctuary is the home to a variety of endemic species, pandemic animals, bird species, Indian Giant Squirrel, and especially endangered species of various flora and fauna. This dense forest area spreads over an area of 120 sq. km on the Western Ghats that are also called as the Sahyadri Ranges. It is also referred to as one of the most popular biodiversity hotspots in the world. The tourists can opt for the safari car rides and have a glance at the wilderness in its true form and also spot many animals such as Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Leopards, Mouse Deer, Hyena, Panther, Sambar and much more.