The Trimbakeshwar Temple, also known as the Tryambakeshwar Temple is a part of the holy Jyotirlinga pilgrimage, located inTrimbak, in the Nasik district of Maharashtra. The Temple is also the source of the holy River Godavari. Further, Trimbakeshwar Temple is in the foothills of the great Brahmagiri hills of Maharashtra.
The Trimbakeshwar Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas that devotees worship as true or Swayambhu forms of Lord Shiva. Further, Swayambhu Linga means that Lord Shiva turned into a Linga himself.
The Trimbakeshwar Temple consists of black stone following the Nagara style of architecture. The Trimbakeshwar Temple has a Mandap and a Garbhagriha.
The Linga present here is Trimbaka or Tryambaka. Some people believe that it is so because it contains three small thumbs sized Lingas representing Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. While, others believe that it is because Lord Shiva has three eyes. A huge and beautiful tower is there over the Sanctum, which possesses an Amalaka (a stone disc with ridges on the rim, signifying the seat of the deity below) and a golden Kalasa.
The main Lingam is present in a depression on the floor of the sanctum. Usually, the Lingam has a silver mask showing the faces of the holy Trinity. However, on festivals and special occasions, a golden crown covers the Lingam.
The Holy Trimbakeshwar Temple is also the source of River Godavari. However, locals call the river as River Ganga because of the legends associated with the origins. As a result of the extent of the spread of the river and its mythological significance, the river is popular as the Dakshina Ganga (Ganga of the South).
Maratha ruler Nana Saheb Peshwa constructed the current Trimbakeshwar Temple in the 18th century.
Shreemant Rao Saheb built the Trimbakeshwar Temple around the Kushavarta water tank and improved the approach to the tank.
- What is the history of Trimbakeshwar Temple?
- What is the significance of Trimbakeshwar Temple?
- What are the timings of Trimbakeshwar Temple?
- What are the Poojas and Rituals at Trimbakeshwar Temple?
- Where to Stay near Trimbakeshwar Temple?
- Where to eat near Trimbakeshwar Temple?
- What are some temples near Trimbakeshwar Temple?
What is the history of Trimbakeshwar Temple?
The history of the Trimbakeshwar Temple relates to a legend of Rishi Gautam. According to beliefs the land was Tapobhoomi in the Satya Yuga when a lot of Rishis and Munis (Sages) lived here including Gautam Rishi. He lived at Trimbak with his wife Ahilya.
Once, there was a massive drought and the world was suffering from the lack of water. Gautam Rishi offered prayers to God Varuna ( God of water). God Varuna accepted the prayers and offered him a tank that provided a never-ending supply of water. Using this water, the Rishi grew agricultural crops like Rice, Wheat and other vegetables. Then he fed them to the other Rishis residing there.
After a period of time, some of the other Rishis grew jealous and wanted to interrupt Gautam Rishi. So, they prayed to Lord Ganesha asking him to send a cow to the Rishi’s field and then die. However, Lord Ganesha warned the Rishis that this will not end well for them. But he still sent a cow into the field. Gautam Rishi saw it and then threw the Darbha grass to frighten it. But the cow died on the field.
Gautam Rishi and wife Ahilya did penance to Lord Shiva. He became happy because of their devotion and ordered Ganga to come down to the Earth.
The River Ganga flowed down on Earth from the Brahmagiri hill and Gautam Rishi trapped it in a Kund or a Pond called Kushavarta in the present day. He took a bath in it for purification. The River was Dakshin Ganga and is also famous as Godavari and Gauthami.
Then Gautam Rishi along with other Gods and the Godavari requested Lord Shiva to take abode here. Lord Shiva acknowledged them and turned into a Linga to stay there.
Another popular legend associated with the Trimbakeshwar Temple is that of the Lingodbhava formation of Lord Shiva. Devotees believe that after Lord Brahma lied to Lord Shiva on finding the end of the endless pillar of fire emanating from Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva cursed Lord Brahma that devotees will not worship him. This angered Lord Brahma and in turn, he cursed Lord Shiva. This pushed Lord shiva under the ground.As a result, Lord Shiva’s Linga in Trimbakeshwar is under the ground level.
What is the significance of Trimbakeshwar Temple?
The temple is significant because the Jyotirlinga of Lord Trimbakeshwar is one of the twelve holy Jyotirlinga forms of Shiva. The main Linga is composed of three small thumb sized Lingas, each representing Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Water constantly flows out of the Linga of Lord Shiva.
The Trimbakeshwar Temple is the only Jyotirlinga where the actual Linga is present in a depression or a cavity.
Devotees also believe that the eyes of the three Lingas are representations of Sun, Moon and Fire each facing in different directions. Moreover, the one who worships this Linga is worshiping all the three Gods at once and attains salvation.
The three Lingas of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are usually covered with a silver crown depicting their faces. However, on special occasions like Mahashivaratri, Karthik Purnima and Dussehra, the Golden crown studded with diamonds and ruby is kept over the three Lingas. Moreover,It is believed that the Peshwas donated the crown to the Temple and that the crown actually belonged to the Pandavas.
To make our ancestors happy, Poojas like the Ganga Puja, Ganga Bhet, and Tarpan Shraddha are performed at the Trimbakeshwar Temple.
Other significant mentions:
The famous saint Sri Nivruttinath, who initiated the Nath community attained his Samadhi here at Trimbakeshwar. A temple dedicated to his mass knowledge of Shastras can be visited here.
As per the Skanda Puran, Padma Puran and the Dharma Sindhu, the unique ceremony of Narayan Nagbali (to remove Pitru Dosh) can only be performed at the Trimbakeshwar Temple in India.
The beautiful and popular Nassak Diamond often counted among the 24 great diamonds in world history has its origin in the Temple of Trimbakeshwar. The British East India Company captured the diamond and sold it to jewelers in Britain. It has changed hands since and is currently a property of Edward J. Hand from Connecticut.
A dip in the Kushavarta pond, the source of River Godavari is believed to wipe off sins from a human’s life. The pond is the starting point for Kumbh Mela which takes place every twelve years. The venue of Kumbh Mela rotates among the four holy cities of Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain. In Nasik, the Kumbh Mela is specifically called as the Simhastha Kumbh Mela.
According to the legend, Nasik is one of the places where Lord Vishnu dropped four drops of Amrit that he was carrying in a Kumbh (pot). Hence, taking a dip in these places are considered extremely sacred and spiritual.
What are the timings of Trimbakeshwar Temple?
Here are the timings of Trimbakeshwar Temple:
|Darshan||5:30 AM||9 PM|
|Special Poojas||7 AM||9 AM|
|Madhyana Pooja||1 PM||1:30 PM|
|Golden Crown of Shiva||4:30 PM||5:00 PM|
The general darshan is allowed from a distance of about 5 meters and only devotees who want to perform special Poojas are allowed to enter the main sanctum and touch the Linga.
Special Poojas include Rudrabhishek, Mrityunjaya Mantra and Laghu Rudrabhishek.
On every Monday of the month, a procession is carried out in a Palki, which carries the silver Panch Mukhi Mukhota from the Trimbakeshwar Temple to the Kushavarta tank and back.
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Trimbakeshwar Temple Dress code
The devotees coming for general darshan do not have to follow a strict dress code. However, male devotees who opt for performing a special Pooja inside the sanctum should wear a white dhoti and a towel. The dress will be provided by the Pundits if required.
What are the Poojas and Rituals at Trimbakeshwar Temple?
Here’s the list of poojas and sevas at Trimbakeshwar Temple:
The Kaalsarpa Pooja
The Pooja is performed for people who are facing some form of planetary disturbances in their life. The disturbances occur when certain planets appear in a certain position between the Rahu and the Ketu. Some of the common types of Kaalsarpas are Ananta Kaalsarpa, Kulik Kaalsarpa, Shankhapaal Kaalsarpa, Vasuki Kaalsarpa, Maha Padma Kaalsarpa and the Takshak Kaalsarpa Yog. The devotee should first take a bath in the holy Kushavarta and ask forgiveness for any sin that he committed knowingly or unknowingly.
Donations like sesamen, ghee, butter, milk, cow, gold and other such items are made to the God. Devotees also worship the Cobra or the Naag in this Pooja. Therefore, performing this Pooja on the day of Naag Panchami is highly auspicious. Pandits perform poojas like the Ganesh Pooja, Durga Pooja, Varun Pooja, and Shiv Pooja. Advance booking is a must for this Pooja.
This pooja removes the ancestral curses on the family, the Pitru-Dosh. It also calms down souls who had unfinished desires before they departed. The Nagbali Pooja further seeks forgiveness for killing a Naag or a Cobra. The preist creates an artificial body of wheat flour on which he performs all the rites for the dead. He then chants mantras that free the souls from the Earth. The Pooja is unique to the Trimbakeshwar Temple only and lasts for three days.
The Tripindi Shraddha Pooja
This Pooja is for the departed whose souls get angry and vehement. It is also for problems like hurdles in childbirth, bad luck, ancestral Moksha, and for removing Gau hatya dosha.
Other Important Poojas:
The Mahamritunjay Jaap is for a long and healthy life and to get rid of prolonged sickness. The Pooja is one of the most powerful methods of worshiping Lord Shiva.
This Abhishek is performed with Panchamrit (Milk, Ghee, Honey, Curd and Sugar) amongst the recital of several Mantras and Shloka
Where to Stay near Trimbakeshwar Temple?
A Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) Holiday Resort which offers a variety of rooms ranging from standard, AC and Non AC. The town is host to a variety of small private hotels and lodges. Also, Nasik city which is just 25 km away from the Trimbakeshwar Temple. One can stay there too.
Where to eat near Trimbakeshwar Temple?
A few small vegetarian restaurants serve good quality food at reasonable rates. One must not consume Alcohol near the Trimbakeshwar Temple premises. The town does not serve non vegetarian food. The cuisine mainly includes traditional Maharashtrian as well as North Indian and South Indian dishes.
What are some temples near Trimbakeshwar Temple?
Some temples near Trimbakeshwar Temple are:
The Kedareshwar Temple
The Temple is on the South-East corner of the Kushavarta pond. The presiding deity is Sri Kedareshwar, a form of Lord Shiva who appeared as Kedarbhatta and forgave the sins of Saint Gauthama. People believe that dead human bones disappear from the Temple.
The Sage Nivruttinath who started the Nath community and had immense knowledge of the Shastras took Samadhi here. The Temple is for him and is near Gangadwar.
The holy pond is just 5 minutes from the Trimbakeshwar Temple. This is the place where River Dakshin Ganga (Godavari) collects and distributes itself to the rest of India. According to a Legend Saint Gautam trapped Ganga here so that he could take a bath in it and wash off his sin of killing a cow. The pond has a high spiritual value as this is the starting point for Kumbh Mela that occurs every tn>welve years. As per the Government rules, the Sadhus who follow Vaishnnavism take a bath in the Godavari at Ram Kund and those who follow Shaivism take a bath in this pond.
Shri Nilambika Temple / Dattatreya Temple
The Temple is at the top of the Neel Parbat peak on the eastern side of the Brahmagiri hill. Devotees believe that all the three Goddesses Parvati, Renuka (Lakshmi) and Manananba (Saraswati) came to visit during his penance. After the penance, he requested them to stay at the place.
The Temple is for Lord Anjaneya or Lord Hanuman. According to beliefs the hill is the birthplace of Lord Hanuman.
Besides these Temples, there are several holy places of importance near the Trimbakeshwar Temple. Some of them are:strong>
The Brahmagiri Hill
The hill is the origin of River Godavari, which flows from the hill on three sides. The east flowing stream is Godavari. The one to the south is Vaitarna and the one facing west is Ganga. One has to climb 500 steps to reach the peak. More over, five peaks of this mountain are Sadyo-Jata, Vamdev, Aghora, Ishana and Tat-Purusha
The Indra Tirtha
This Tirtha is in the east of the Kushavarta tank. Devotees believe that Lord Indra took bath in this tank to wipe off the curse given by Saint Gautam for misbehaving with Ahilya, wife of Saint Gautam. A Temple for Lord Indra depicts Indra sitting on an Airavat elephant.
Ahilya Sangam Tirtha
The legend says that during the deep penance performed by Saint Gautam, a friend of Ganga by the name of Jatila took the form of Ahilya, his wife. But Saint Gautam recognized the imposter and cursed her that she will turn into a river. However, Jatila begged for forgiveness. Then Saint Gautam said that the curse will lift only when she joins the River Godavari. The Ahilya Sangam Tirtha is the place where the river of Jatila joins the River Godavari.
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