Bhimshankara Jyotirlinga is among the 12 powerful jyotirlingas where Lord Shiva manifested himself physically. This shrine is located in the state of Maharashtra and is one of the most popular and sacred places of Hindu devotees. There are 2 stories attached to the origin of this place. Let us hear both of them.
Long ago there lived a demon named Bhima. He was the son of demon Kumbhakaran (Ravana's brother) and Karkati. They lived in the forests of Dakini. When Bhima was young he was unaware that his father was killed by Lord Rama. As he grew up and got to know about this he became vengeful.
He sought revenge and burnt in anger. He decided to undergo strict penance and please Lord Brahma. After several years of hard penance, Lord Brahma was pleased and granted Bhima a boon. With the boon, Bhima became invincible and with so much power he started creating havoc in the three worlds. His greed made him fight wars and conquer different regions. During this quest, he happened to defeat king Kamrupeshwar and conquered his kingdom. Kamprupeshwar was a staunch Shiva devotee. Bhima asked him to stop worshiping Shiva. When Kamrupeshwar refused, Bhima put him behind the bars and prisoned him. However Kamrupeshwar's devotion to Shiva didn't flicker a bit. He made a linga inside the jail and started worshiping Shiva. This made Bhima extremely furious and he decided to kill Kamrupeshwar. When he was about to kill Kamrupeshwar, Lord Shiva appeared before them. Shiva then killed Bhima. Pleased with Kamrupeshwar's worship he decided to manifest himself in a jyotirlinga and stay in his kingdom forever.
In another tale, there was a demon named Tripurasura who became very powerful after getting a boon from Lord Shiva himself. However very soon he started misusing this power and created havoc in all the three worlds. This when Gods approached Lord Shiva for a solution. Lord Shiva then along with Goddess Parvati took the form of "Ardha Narishwara" (half male and half female). He then fought Tripurasura and killed him. The battle was an intense one and hence after the fight Lord Shiva rested for a while on the top of Sahyadri Mountains. While resting the sweat from his body formed a river and started flowing from there. The river that was formed is known as the Bhima river. Devotees prayed to the Shiva to stay there forever. This is when Shiva manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga and stayed there until eternity. Art Credit: DeviantArt Follow us www.facebook.com/mysticadii
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