Counted as the holiest temple of India, the Trimbakeshwar Temple houses one of the most important twelve Jyotirlingas, a form of Lord Shiva. Perched on the foot of Brahmagiri Hills, the temple is situated in the pious city of Trimbak, which finds its mention in the powerful Mrityunjaya Mantra that bestows immorality and longevity. Built in the 18th century by Maratha ruler, Peshwa Nana Saheb, the temple is a perfect epitome of classic architecture.
Some stories explain the formation of the Trimbakeshwar Temple. It is believed that Trimbak was a land of sages and munis. Gautam Rishi was one of the Rishis who lived here with his wife, Ahilya. The land was struck with a massive drought and so, Gautam Rishi requested the Lord of water, God Varuna, to solve the problem of water scarcity. God Varuna accepted his prayers and gave him an unlimited supply of water. However, the other Rishis became jealous of Gautam Rishi. So, they prayed to Lord Ganesha to send a cow to Gautam Rishi's field which was rich with crops. When the cow went to Gautam Rishi's field, he tried to frighten it. But, somehow the cow died. After this, he went to Lord Shiva along with his wife to seek punishment for the crime he committed. Lord Shiva was very pleased and then, he ordered river Ganga to come down on earth. The river flowed from Brahmagiri Hill and Gautam Rishi also trapped it in a Kund which is called as Kushavarta. Then, the Rishi requested Lord Shiva to reside there. Accepting his request, the Lord turned into a Linga to stay there. According to another story, it is believed that Lord Brahma lied to Lord Shiva that he had found the end of an endless pillar of fire originating from Lord Shiva. Therefore, Lord Shiva cursed Lord Brahma that he will not be worshipped anymore. This infuriated Lord Brahma and he also cursed Lord Shiva. After this, Lord Shiva went under the ground and therefore, his Linga at Trimbakeshwar is below the ground level. The temple has been constructed by Maratha ruler, Nana Saheb Peshwa in the 18th century.
Trimbakeshwar Temple has been built by Peshwa Nana Saheb in the 18th century. It stands within a spacious courtyard and is constructed with a black stone in the Nagara style. The temple has a high Shikhara which is internally a square. This Shikhara has a giant amalaka, which is a lotus- shaped disk made up of stone. On the top of amalaka is the golden kalasha. Inside the temple, one can see a garbhagriha, which is the innermost part of any temple where the Lord resides. In front of this garbhagriha is a mandap or a hall which is opened from three sides for devotees to enter. Various designs of flowers, images of gods, humans and animals have been carved on the arches and pillars. Altogether, the architecture of the temple is quite simple with not very intricate and immaculate carvings. The Linga present inside the temple is called as Trimbaka because Lord Shiva has three eyes. The three thumb-sized Lingas present in the sanctum represent Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. However, the main Lingam is present in a depression on the floor of the sanctum. Generally, the lingams are covered with a silver mask but, on festivals, a golden crown can be seen on the lingas. Also, a mirror is placed at a considerable height in the sanctum so that the devotees can see the Lord from a distance.
Some of the holiest and exciting festivals held in Trimbakeshwar Temple are- The Kumbh Mela- It is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. Held once in every 12 years, millions of pilgrims gather to take a dip in the Godavari. It was last held in the year 2015. Mahashivaratri- Held in February or March, this is considered as the auspicious day on which Lord Shiva got married to Parvati. Devotees keep fast and sing bhajans throughout the day. Tripuri Purnima- This festival takes place in the month of Karthik which is November or December. It is celebrated because Lord Shiva destroyed three demon cities which are known as Tripura. Rath Poornima- Held in January-February, in the festival, the Panchamukhi Idol of Lord Trimbakeshwar is placed in a rath and then is taken around the town.
Kaal Sarp Pooja- This pooja is performed for those people who face difficulties in life due to certain positions of planets between Rahu and Ketu. Some of the types of Kaal Surps are- Ananta Kaalsarpa, Kulik Kaalsarpa, Shankhapaal Kaalsarpa, Vasuki Kaalsarpa, Maha Padma Kaalsarpa and the Takshak Kaalsarpa Yog. Milk, ghee, honey, sugar and other such items are offered to the Lord. Naag or Cobra is worshipped by the devotees. If you want to perform this pooja, you have to book pandits in advance. The fee starts from INR 2000 per person. Narayan Nagbali Pooja- This pooja is performed to remove Pitru-Dosh, ancestral curses on the family. It is also done to seek the forgiveness of Naag or Cobra. Trimbakeshwar Temple is famous for this pooja. Tripindi Shradha Pooja- The purpose of this pooja is to calm down the souls of the deceased. For removing gau hatya dosha and hurdles in childbirth, bad luck, this pooja is effective. The Mahamrityunjaya Pooja- It is done for a long and healthy life and to get rid of prolonged sickness. It is performed between 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. The Rudrabhishek- This Abhishek is performed with Panchamrit- Milk, Ghee, Honey, Curd and Sugar. Several Mantras and Shlokas are also recited. It is also performed between 7:00 to 9:00. The Laghu Rudrabhishek- This Abhishek is done to resolve health and wealth problems. It also removes the bad effects of planets in the horoscope. The Maha Rudrabhishek- In this pooja, recitations of Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda and Atharva Veda are performed in the temple.
The best time to visit the Trimbakeshwar Temple is October to March since the winters are mild. This is the peak season for travellers. Prices are also high during this time and you might find the temple very crowded. However, if you have a low budget, monsoon season is suitable for you which starts from July and ends in September.
You should head out to the temple early in the morning. It tends to get more crowded after 10:00 AM. Also, you can visit the temple on Monday since the crown of the Lord is taken out in a possession between 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Trimbak is a small town and therefore you can easily reach the Trimbakeshwar Temple via taxis or auto rickshaws.
1. Outside the temple, you will find pandits who take you inside the temple and help in doing proper darshan for free.
2. Keep your belongings safe as it is very crowded inside the temple.
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