Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in Trimbakeshwar Tehsil in Nashik District of the Indian state Maharashtra. It is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India. The origin of the sacred Godavari river is near this sacred place only.
Sacred pond in the temple premises, built by Shrimant Sardar Raosaheb Parnerkar who was the Fadnavis of Indore State, is the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India.
The temple is located between three hills namely Brahmagiri, Nilagiri and Kalagiri. The temple has three Lingams (an iconic form of Shiva) representing Hindu Trinity Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. The temple tank is called Amritavarshini. There are three other bodies of water as well, namely, Bilvatheertha, Viswananthirtha and Mukundathirtha. There are images of various deities in the temple, namely, Gangadevi, Jaleswara, Rameswara, Gautameswara, Kedarnatha, Rama, Krishna, Parasurama and Lakshmi Narayana. The temple also has several monasteries and Samadhis of saints.
As per the Hindu mythology Shiva Purana, once Brahma (the Hindu God of creation) and Vishnu (the Hindu God of preservation) had an argument in terms of supremacy of creation. To test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the Jyotirlinga. Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either direction. Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Shiva appeared as the second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped till the end of eternity.
The Jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The Jyotirlinga shrines, thus are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. Originally there were believed to be 64 Jyotirlingas while 12 of them are considered to be extremely auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve Jyotirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity, each considered as a different manifestation of Shiva.
The twelve Jyothirlingas are Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in the Himalayas, Bhimashankar in Maharashtra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra, Vaidyanath at Deoghar in Jharkhand, Nageshwar Temple at Dwaraka in Gujarat, Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Grishneshwar at Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
Lord Shiva showed himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra. It is believed that a person can see the Jyotirlingas as columns of fire piercing through the earth as he reaches a higher level of spiritual attainment.
As already mentioned, the Jyotirlinga signifies the infinite nature of Lord Shiva. At the highest level, Shiva is regarded as formless, limitless, transcendental and unchanging absolute Brahman and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the Universe.
A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirlingam, is a devotional representation of the Supreme God Shiva. Jyoti means ‘radiance’ and Lingam the ‘Image or Sign’ of Shiva. Jyotir Lingam thus means the Radiant Sign of The Almighty Shiva. There are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India.
The Jyotirlinga shrines are Temples where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light.
Temple Legend :
Trimbakeshwar is a religious center having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Rudra. Due to the excessive use of water for Abhisheka, the Linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Trinity (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavas and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones. The crown is displayed every Monday from 4-5 pm.
All other Jyotirlingas have Shiva as the main deity. The entire black stone temple is known for its appealing architecture and sculpture and is at the foothills of a mountain called Brahmagiri. Three sources of the Godavari originate from the Brahmagiri mountain.