- Every year millions of people travel around different religious places in search of God’s virtual residence on Earth and for inner peace. In India as well, millions of holy places exists ad thousands of Gods are worshipped, based on people’s own belief and spirituality.
Religious information about this place
We were in the Holy Shravan Month of the Hindu calendar, which starts from July and ends in third week of August, same is the period of South-West monsoon which bring heavy rains in all over Maharashtra especially in- and-around Pune. The reason I added Holy word with the Shravan Month is because, this period is dedicated to spiritual practice, religious chants and offerings to Lord Shiva in different parts of India.
Among different holy places, one such beautiful and a bit unexplored holy place is Bhimashankar located 127km from Pune, in the ghat section of Sahaydri Hills. Many people used to visit Bhimashankar to express their thanksgiving via prayers and gratitude to Lord Shiva at Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Shrine (which is among the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva). But a few of them even know about other places near the surroundings of Bhimashankar temple which all are gems but hardly explored.
Let’s begin the journey
It was 8:00 am in the morning, heavy rainfall outside, and we were ready to ride. From Pune, there are 3 different routes to reach Bhimashankar, via Manchar, via Rajgurunagar and via Dehu road. The 1st and 2nd route are always preferable as these roads passes via National Highways and so the roads are good.
The 3rd option, via Dehu Road, is not advised, as somehow after Kadus district (60-70 km prior to Bhimashankar), the road is mostly damaged with full of potholes, extremely slippery muds, unconstructed full of small stone chips (which may puncture your vehicle tire) and big and small rough stone. Due to all this, this route is isolated with hardly anyone been observed on this trench from Kadus till Maharashtra State Highway (MH SH 112).
Yet, being an active trekkers and our love for nature and adventures, we followed this road. We might look idiots to you for opting this road, BUTTTTTT, this route added seasonal dressing to our journey.
What made the trip exceptionally lovable was the narrow roads after Kadus fully covered with dense forests, bunch of small and big waterfalls, lush green scenic beauty covered by mountains and the chirping of birds across the jungle.
In the Ghat section starts, the visibility decreases badly due to dense fog and clouds and even dropped down to somewhere around 20mt near the temple areas.
During the journey, my bike tyre got flat twice due to the rough road. It was raining mercilessly in the ghats. This totally shattered us and we were kind of nervous at that time. Somehow with the help of local villagers, this got solved and we reached started further.
We entered into Bhimashankar area around 2:00 pm. The weather near the temple were extremely chilled and we were completely shivering even when covered with full jacket
This is the only Shiva temple where, to have a glimpse of Jyotirlinga, we have to step-down the hill via stairs for nearly 200 steps. Finally, after some 1 hour we reached the Jyotirlinga.
It truly feels that you are under the shadow of Lord Shiva and there were positive vibes circulating in the air. There are few small temples as well around the main temple.
Apart from the main temple the other hardly explore spot includes Hanuman Lake, Gupt Bhimashankar, Ram Temple, Bombay Point and Nagfani. To visit all these places, local guides are required as the route for these points goes through dense forests with no roads.
Things that you should take care while traveling to Bhimashankar
- You should start as early as possible so that you can return by 6:00 pm. The weather may disrupt your journey otherwise.
- If traveling in a private vehicle, fill the tank as there is no petrol pump beyond Ghodegaon, from where Bhimashankar is approx. 45 km.
- For staying purpose, the nearest hotel for staying purpose is Nataraj Holiday Resort, located 8 km away from the temple. Others can be found in Ghodegaon, 45 km away from temple.
- The best time to visit the temple is between August to February. However, during rains, it will be difficult to drive due to low visibility.
- Always carry woolen clothes to avoid cold breeze freeze your blood.
- Don’t enter the jungle area without proper guide while exploring other spots.
- If you are not in group, don’t dare to follow Dehu road to reach Bhimashankar. It might be very adventurous, but at the same time it can be very dangerous as it is extremely isolated and roads are very bad.
- Carry some good camera to click beautiful greeneries, mountains and if seen, try capturing pics of Malabar ‘Giant squirrel’ locally called as “Shekaru” which can be found in the deep woods. I missed it because of heavy rainfall.