Places to visit in Grishneshwar

When you travel to Grishneshwar, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Grishneshwar, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Grishneshwar to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Grishneshwar things to do can include exploring Grishneshwar attractions and visiting the places of interest.

The temple portrays the pre-historic temple traditions as well as of the pre-historic architectural style and structure. The inscriptions on the temples are a source of much attraction to inquisitive travellers. The temple is built of red rocks, composed of a five tier shikara. Restored in the 18th century by AhilyabaiHolkar, the temple is 240 x 185 feet tall. It houses beautiful carvings and sculptures of many Indian Gods and Goddesses. Holy water is believed to spring from inside the temple. Religious and historical significance is evident from the outward appearance of the temple. The stone edifice has distinct bands of friezes which are rust, pink and pale yellow. Initially devotees halt at the small shrine to Kokila Mata upon entering the Ghrishneshwar Temple.

The legend says that a Brahmin Brahmavetta Sudharm and his wife lived in Devagiri. The couple didn’t have a child for which they were upset. Several remedies were tried but all went in vain. Out of the frustration of being childless, the wife, Sudeha got her sister Grushma married to her husband who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. With the blessings of the latter, Grushma gave birth to a child. Her pride of becoming a mother made her childless sister jealous, blinded by which she killed the baby boy one night and threw him into the lake where Grushma worshipped her lord. Grushma being an acute devotee had faith on her lord and wished to believe that her lord will protect her child. Hence, she started praying taking the name of Lord Shiva. The great Lord Shiva was impressed by her devotion and appeared in front of her and informed her about her jealous sister’s heinous crime.

Grushma in response requested her Lord to forgive the culprit. Impressed by her generosity Lord Shiva offered her a boon. His devotee wished him to stay forever for the benefit of mankind for which, Lord Shiva manifested himself as a Jyotirling taking the name of Ghushmeshwar. The lake was hence, named Shivalaya thereon.The location which is solely famous for pilgrimage has Grishneshwar Temple as its prime attraction. Apart from that, a visit to Ajanta, Ellora caves at some distance will leave you in awe. 

 

Bhooteshwar Mandir, Ellora is one of the first things that come to the mind of many people, while discussing Ellora. It is also true, that there are quite a few interesting things to see and do, around the Grishneshwar temple. However, like all other attractions, the Bhooteshwar Mandir in Ellora also has its own brand of unique charm.

A gorgeous and exciting tourist destination, Bhimashankar is a small town in Pune, Maharashtra popular for the Bhimashankar temple, nature, trekking and bird sanctuary. Situated in the lush and lofty ghat region of Sahaydari hills, it is a serene weekend getaway from the bustling cities of Mumbai and Pune. 

Bhimashankar Temple

A primaeval jyotirlinga shrine, it lies on the banks of the Bhima river 50 km northwest of Khed.  The temple is a beautiful mélange of old and new graceful nagara style architecture skillfully built by the ancient Vishwakarma sculptors in the 13th century. The sabha mandap and the main shikhara of the temple were built in the 18th century by Nana Phadnavis and the unique huge Roman-style bell engraved with a cross in front of the temple was presented by Chimaji Appa as an award of his victory in the war against the Portuguese. 

Legend has it that an evil, Bhima was creating havoc in the Trilok – hell, heaven and netherworld and all the Gods beseeched Lord Shiva to come to their rescue. Lord Shiva appeared before him and slayed Bhima ending his tyranny and the war. After the battle, while resting in the Sahyadri hills, the sweat trickling down from his body started forming the river Bhima. Lord Shiva was requested by the sages to make this place his dwelling and hence the jyotirlinga had manifested.

Owing to the presence of the sacred jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, it is one of the most popular attractions and a pilgrimage site for Lord Shiva’s devotees. The timings of the temple are 4:30 am to 9:30 pm.

The surrounding panorama of the temple is stippled with Buddha style carvings of Amba-Ambika, Bhootling and Bhimashankar in the nearby hills of Manmaad at a height of 1034 metres

Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhimashankar spread over a dense forest area of over 120 square kilometres, was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1984 to preserve the highly rich diverse flora and fauna found in the Sahyadri ranges. From the rare Indian giant squirrel ‘Shekaru’ to leopards, hyena, boar, jackal, langur, deer and other various species of animals, insects and reptiles are found aplenty in this luscious green beautiful hills.

To enjoy the core of the forest, you can embark on a jungle safari and traverse through the dense luxurious evergreen vegetation and get a glimpse of the wildlife alongside. The safari rides are conducted from 6 am to 6 pm.

A paradise for bird lovers, the sanctuary is a haven for exotic and endangered species of birds such as Malabar Grey Hornbill, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Quaker Babbler, Black Eagle, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Malabar Pied Hornbill etc. 

Trekking

Trekking to Bhimashankar temple and sanctuary begins from a quaint village, Khandas. There are two trekking routes:

Ganesh Ghat – This ghat is named after the Ganesha temple that comes on the way. Less difficult, it is an 8 kms’ and 4 hours’ downhill trek through the Paddar Killa Rock Tower and Nagphani Peak – a snake hooded shaped peak.

Sidhi Ghat – Sidhi Ghat is named after the three ladders that are placed along some tricky sections on this trail to Bhimashankar. A more perfidious route, this uphill trek is shorter and takes 2 hours to complete and is more suitable for experienced trekkers. It is more steep, riskier and slippery as the ladders have long vertical steps with cracks and crevices in between. This trek covers Kondana caves – eight ancient Buddhist caves baroqued with carvings and sculptures and a majestic waterfall before merging with the Ganesh Ghat trail at the Chahacha Aamba.

 

The best time to visit Bhimashankar is from October to February during the winter season as the climate is pleasant and perfect for treks and exploration. During summers it gets unbearably hot and heavy rainfall is received during the monsoons making it unfavourable for trekking. 

 

Highlights

 

1. The architecture of the Bhimashankar temple brilliantly showcases the excellent skills of the ancient Vishwakarma sculptors.

 

2. Though tricky, it serves as an exotic location for trekkers as the route is embellished with luscious dense forest, rocky terrains, small rivulets of glistening water and ancient caves.

 

3. The dense, luscious rainforest, hills and waterfalls with breathtaking and awe-inspiring views and the rare and diverse species of flora, fauna and birds make Bhimashankar an excellent tourist spot for nature lovers and trekkers.

Interesting Facts About Bhimashankar

1. The temple has undergone several renovations that were carried out by the Peshwas

2. The forest has around 14 sacred groves of trees which are believed to be the origin place of many species of flora and fauna. 

3. Every year, before the arrival of monsoon, the Bhorgiri village comes alive with thousands of fireflies settled on the ground, hovering in the air or lighting up the trees around. It is a truly stunning spectacle to witness.

Recommended For

A weekend getaway with family and friends 

Nature/Adventure Lovers

Trekkers

How to get to Bhimashankar 

Air: The nearest airport is the Pune airport and then a two and a half hours’ drive from there to Bhimashankar

Train: The nearest railway station is the Pune station which is well linked with most of the cities in India. From there, Bhimashankar is nearly 100 kms’ drive.

Road: There are regular private and state bus services from Mumbai and Pune. Cabs and private cars can also be hired.

Location

Pune, Maharashtra

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Bhimashankar,+Maharashtra/@19.0736672,73.5294838,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x3bdd596b4dab6e0d:0x130b352babcc1732!8m2!3d19.0719691!4d73.5356936

 

There are twenty nine rock-cut sculptured caves which is located in the Aurangabad District. These caves have been crafted in a time span of second century BC to about 480 BC. These caves derive their name from a nearby village named Ajanta located about 12 km away. It has been described as 'the finest surviving examples of Indian art, especially painting by the Archaeological Survey of India given its masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, with depictions of the Jataka tales and figures of the Buddha being a UNESCO world heritage site.

Overlooking a narrow stream called Waghora, the caves are built around 76 m above the ground. The Buddhist monks retreated in these secluded places, especially during the rainy seasons as the location provided a calm and serene environment. There are 30 caves, including an unfinished one.

The caves are numbered too for identification, among these five of them (cave no. 9, 10, 19, 26, and 29) are chaityagrihas, while the rest are viharas. According to date and style they can be divided into different groups. The earliest excavations are of the Hinayana phase of Buddhism, which are 5 caves in total, of which 9 & 10 which are Chaityagrihas and 8, 12, 13, & 15 are Viharas. The earliest among them being Cave no. 10 dating from the second century BC can be traced to the pre-Christian era.

A stupa is worshipped here and these caves exhibit the imitation of wooden construction to the extent that the rafters and beams are also sculpted, though they are non-functional. The additions are from the period of Vakatakas, who were the contemporaries of the Imperial Guptas. The minister of Vakataka king, Varahadeva, dedicated Cave no. 16 to the Buddhist Sangha while Cave no. 17 was the gift of a prince.  The world famous paintings of Ajanta showcase colours and shades.

 

Ellora Caves represent some of the biggest rock cut monastic-temple complexes all over the entire world. They are locally known as "VerulLeni". The great Kailasa is the single largest monolithic excavation all over the world, which Ellora is famous for. The caves are situated out of the volcanic basaltic formation of Maharashtra, which is known as the "Deccan Trap", with brownish red coloured channels through which the volcanic lava once flowed.Built between the period of 5th and 11th century, Ellora(the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture) has in total 34 caves that are excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri Hills, The caves are divided into Hindu, Buddhist and Jain caves, which include rock-cut temples, viharas and mathas, built between the 5th and the 10th century.

Built from 5th to 7th century, were the Buddhist caves, consisting of viharas and monasteries. Some of the monastery caves have shrines including carvings of Gautama Buddha, Bodhisattvas and saints.Constructed between the middle of sixth century to the end of the eighth century were the Hindu caves, representing a different style of creative vision and execution skills. Some of them were of such complexity that they required several generations of planning and co-ordination to complete. The most important of them is Cave No. 16, called Kailasanatha, the unrivalled masterpiece of Ellora. The abode of Lord Shiva, the cave looks like a multi-storied, freestanding temple complex. This cave has been carved out of one single rock and covers an area double the size of Parthenon in Athens.

Belonging to the Digambara sect, the Jain caves were built in the ninth and tenth centuries. These caves reveal specific dimensions of Jain philosophy and tradition along with a reflection of strict sense of asceticism. The best time to visit is during the Ellora Festival of Classical Dance and Music in March. 

 

Balbeer's Multicuisine Kitchen & Bar located at Gate No 159 & 163 | Shendra Highway, Aurangabad 431136 serves Chinese, Indian, Italian and Continental cuisines. Hotel Amritsar Punjabi located at Aurangabad-jalna highway, 30kms from Aurangabad serves Chinese and Indian dishes, Madhuban Garden Restaurant located on Beed Bypass Road, Near DattaMandir, National HIghway 211, Deolali, Aurangabad, serves Chinese, Indian, Italian and Mexican Cuisine. For dining you need to have a reservation. Now coming to vegetarians, there is Green Leaf Vegetarian Cuisine at JB Tapadiya Cineplex, Town Centre, N-1, Cidco, Aurangabad serving Indian and Chinese hotpot along with vegetarian dishes.

The best authentic vegetarian food is Naivedya. The thali provides multiple items to feed upon which consists of lip smacking vegetarian dishes along with rice, daal and chapati.  Non vegetarians would love to visit the set of dhabas nearby to enjoy some mouth watering Punjabi food. 

There are no shopping malls or shopping outlets as such at Grishneshwar. However, you will really come across series of worship related utensils and ingredients at display at the temple and Ellora locations which you might like to buy as a souvenir.

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