Bhimashankar - A Back to nature cum Holy weekend!..
The picture perfect beauty of Bhimashankar makes Bhimashankar tailor made for the weekend traveller in search of a spiritual odyssey amidst mountain splendour. Bhimashankar is the place to come to, to rejuvenate your soul in communion with nature set against the backdrop of a rich Sahyadri Wildlife Sanctuary. With little infrastructure Bhimashankar is an ideal destination for a weekend away from the city
Bhimashankar temple is an exquisitely carved Nagra style 18th century Jyotirlinga temple erected over a self emanated Shivaling. The Bhimashankar temple is said to have been built by Nana Phadnavis; a diplomat of the Peshwas. A well trodden trail begins right behind the temple that leads deep into the forest to Gupt bheema, The origin of the river Bhima. A waterfall gushes over a stone lingam to mark the exact spot of gupt Bhima.
The dense forests of Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary plays host not just to 'Shekru' - the giant squirrel but also to a variety of plants and animal speceies. There are wild boars, barking deer, porcupines and even leopards. In monsoons one can spot bioluminous fungus on the trees which gives a faint shimmering glow to the tree trunks in the darkness of night.
If you are ready to walk the less trodden path, Bhimashankar is an ideal weekend destination - A back to nature cum holy weekend! Just over 100 Kms from Pune, Bhimashankar is an ideal weekend destination or a one day picnic destination. The best season to visit Bhimashankar is just after monsoons and winters. The starting point of the Bhimashankar trek is Khandus 40 kms from Karjat.
The two main trekking trails in Bhimashankar are the Machan trail and the Bhima trail. The short Machan trail originates right behind the MTDC resort that leads through a narrow pasage broadening into huge tree laden hills, a path leads to a stream with a tiny machan with a small temple dedicated to forest goddess Bhagadevi. Bhima trail leads to a open area with enchanting views of the valley
Jyotirlings are the 12 special shrines dedicated to Shiva. Bhimashankar temple is one amongst the 12 shrines which are Somnath, Shri Sailam, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, Kedarnath, Varanasi, Trimbakeshwar, Vaidyanath, Nageshwar, Rameshwaram Grishneshwar and Bhimashankar