Tulja Bhavani Temple – Ferocious Goddess Parvati
Tulja Bhavani Temple is a Hindu Temple which is situated in the hills of “Bala Ghat” in Osmanabad district in Maharashtra. Earlier Tuljapur was known as Chinchpur. This temple worships Goddess Bhavani which is a ferocious form of Goddess Parvati. The word Bhavani means “life giver”. Apart from being a ferocious form of Goddess Parvati, she is also known as Karunaswaroopi which means “filled with mercy”. Tulja Bhavani Temple is located approximately 45km from Solapur which is located in Maharashtra.
There are three Tulja Bhavani Temples located in India. It is said that the first temple was built in Tulja in the 12th century. The second and the third temples were built in 1537-1543 CE in Chittorgarh and Patnakuva Gandhinagar respectively. Tulja Bhavani of Tuljapur stands second among the Shakti Pithas. Lord Tuljabhavani is considered as family deity of many families like Bhosale Royal Family, the Yadavs and many more belonging to different castes all over India.
It is believed that Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of Maratha Kingdom always seeked her blessings as a result of which she gave him “the Bhawani Sword” for success in his quest.
History and legend of Tulja Bhavani Temple
- The history of Tulja Bhavani Temple can be found in the Skand Puran. The story says that there was a knowledgeable man known as Kardabh. Afer his death his wife Anubhuti performed a penace at the banks of river Mandakini.
- Anubhuti performed this ritual so that Goddess Bhavani could look after her infant child. While she was performing the ritual, a demon known as Kukur tried disturbing her. Mata bhavani came to her rescue and killed the demon. Since then Mata Bhavani is known as Tulja Bhavani.
- During the 1920s, there were around 5000 people that lived in Tuljapur. The place where this incident took place is now known as Tuljapur. Mata Bhavani’s idol is known as “Swayambhu” idol
- This Goddess is worshiped in a granite image which is 3 feet high. She has eight arms and each holding weapons and bearing the head of the demon Mahishasura. Her other names are Tulaja, Turaja, Tvarita, and Amba.
- It is also said that a demon named Matanga created destruction upon devas and humans who went to Brahma for help. On Brahma’s advice, they went to Goddess Shakti after which she took the form of destroyer and killed him bringing back peace in the reign. She was powered by other seven goddesses also known as Sapta Maataas. They included Varaahi, Brahmi, Vaishnavi, Kaumaari, Indraani and Saambhavi.
- Legend also potrayed that the Goddess killed the demon named Mahishasura who was disguised as a wild buffalo and, therefore, she is also named as Mahishasura Mardhini which means “Murderess of Mahishasura”.
Significance of the Tulja Bhavani Temple
- Tulja Bhavani Temple’s entrance is known as Sardar Nimbalkar. The next two entrances are named after Shivaji Maharaj’s parents, Raja Shahji and Rajmata Jijaju respectively. Upon entering the main enterance, we can find a temple dedicated to Markandeya Rishi. This temple is found on the right side of the main enterance. After coming down the stairs one can see the main temple, the Tulja Temple.
- Infront of the temple, there is a Holy fire pit located. Raja Shahaji Mahadwar and Rajmata Jijavu Mahadwar has two libraries named Shree Dnyaneshwar Dharmik library and Shree Tukaram Dharmik library.
- After descending from the stairs one can see “Gomukh Theerth” and “Kalakh” on the right and left side respectively. Kalakh is also known as “Kallol Theerth”. The devotees first take a holy dip in these shallow tanks of holy water known as Theerth.
- We can find many other temples in the premises like Amruth Kund and Datta Temple. We can also find Siddhi Vinayak Temple on the left side of the main entrance and Aadishakti and Aadimata Matangadevi temple on the right. Goddess Annapurna temple is also located on the premises.
Tulja Bhavani Temple Timings
- Before the morning prayer, a large drum is played loudly to call all the devotees for prayers. This drum is played in the drum house of Tulja Bhavani temple at 5 a.m. The drum is played three times in a day.
- At 5:30 am the prayer is performed by the Mahant. Tukoji Bua is the present Mahant of Tulja Bhavani Temple.There is a presence of the Karvir Princely state durng the Charantirtha Puja.
- The Mahanta first washes Idol’s mouth and feet from hot water, aromatic oil, dudhkhir, and pan. After which all the devotees sing the holy songs know as Arti.
- After Arti, the Goddess is offered Nevaidya of Bhaji Bhakri. This Nevaidya is offered by the descent represenattive of the devotee, Uparkar. Later Nevaidya of kheer is offered by the representative of the former princely state Karvir.
- At 9 am, the Goddess is bathed with Panchamrut and curd. Goddess is also offered honey, sugar, and banana. After this Goddess is bathed in Gomukh water. Devotees also bathe the holy throne of Goddess by mango, sreekhand, and curd. After the bath, big holy meal known as Mahanevaidya is offered to the Goddess.
- At noon, the devotees again sing Arti and lights Dhup and Camphor.
- At 6 pm Goddess is again bathed and pooja is offered. This time, all the arrangements are done by Karvir.
- At night, the holy water from Gomukh and Nevaidya of Ghee and cooked rice is offered. This ritual is known as Prakkshal.
- Musical instruments like tal, zanj, and dimdi are played in every Arti.
Festivals celebrated at the Tulja Bhavani Temple
- Tuljapur Bhavani Festival– This festival is celebrated for four days and four nights. Devotees pray and worship Goddess throughout the festival. Tulja Bhavani festival is celebrated twice in a year. This festival includes rituals like Sasthi, Bhavani Ashthami. On Bhavani Ashthami, the devotees fast until they offer flowers to the deity. On the next day, girls who have not reached puberty yet are fed and offered presents. These girls are represented as the young form of the Goddess. The last of this festival is known as Vijaydashmi. On this day, the Goddess is carried to the river and immersed in the water. There is a distribution of sweets and the devotees enjoy that this festival will again be celebrated next year. This festival is known as Durga Puja in West Bengal and is celebrated almost same. This festival symbolizes win of good over evils. This festival is also known as Navratri.
- Ganesh Chaturthi- Ganesh Chaurthi is another very important and famous festival. This festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in the town of Tuljapur. This festival is held in the months of August and September. This festival is celebrated in the honor of Lord Ganesha. Ganesh Chatirthi is traditionally celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi in the months of Bhaadrapada according to the Hindu calender.
- Diwali– Diwali is one of the important festivals of Hindus. This festival is celebrated in the months of October and November and is also known as “Festival of Lights”. People of Tuljapur celebrate this festival with great pomp and show. During this festival, Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are worshipped.
- Holi- Holi is another imporatnt festival for the natives of Tuljapur. This is a “Festival of Colors”. This festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in India. This festival charges the atmosphere. Holi celebration is started by Holika Dahan where people gather and sing and dance.
How to reach: Road, Rail, and Air
- By Air- Tulja Bhavani Temple has its nearest airport in Osmanabad which is approximately 15km away from the temple.
- By Train- There is no railway station in Tuljapur so the nearest option is Osmanabad.
- By Bus– One can easily get buses to Tuljapur from various cities in the country.
Mumbai to Tuljapur
- By Air– There is no direct flight service from Mumbai. The aerial distance from Mumbai to Tuljapur is 354km. To go to Tuljapur from Mumbai you can take a flight from Air India till Hyderabad and then reach Tuljapur by taking Indica.
- By Train– There is no direct connectivity through the train as well. You can reach Osmanabad from the train and then reach Tuljapur hiring a taxi.
- By Bus-There is no direct route for Tuljapur from Mumbai but there is nearly 1 or more direct bus service between Mumbai and Tuljapur. They are known as Raja Travels.
Pune to Tuljapur
- By Air– There is no direct flight service from Pune to Tuljapur.
- By Bus– There is few regular bus service that that help you in reaching Tuljapur. There are services like Sana Travels-Azeem which take passengers from Pune to Tuljapur directly.
Hotels in Tuljapur: Where to stay
There are accomodation facilities provided by the Temple trust for its pilgrims. They have started a Dharamshala for the pilgrims where they can stay free of cost. There are many private organizations who provide accomodation facilities to the pilgrims. They have a very nominal charges. These private oraganization has many facilities like hygienic environment, internet facilities, homely food etc.
Where to eat
Apart from the food that we get in Tulja Bahvani Temple, there are many restaurants nearly who offer food at very reasonable rate. They provide food in a very hygienic condition.
Nearby Places to visit
- Chintamani– This is avery beautifully stone structured temple situated out the main Tuljabahvani Temple.It is believed that the Goddess Chintamani has guided its devotees to take right decisions in their life. This temple is surrounded by many shrines like Yamai Devi, Narsimha, Khandoba, and Matangi. This play is mostly visited on Tuesday, Fridays and Sundays. On full moon days, devotees come to Chintamani Temple to take blessings.
- Kallola Tirth- Kallola is huge water tank situated in the Prakara Temple. This temple is located in Tuljabhavani Temple. Kallola Tirth is around 40ft by 20ft in dimension. It is walled on all the sides. Legends say that the Kallol contains sacred water from river Ganga which flowed from the mountain ranges of Himalayas. It is also said that while merging in the tank, the water made a great noise because of which it was named Kallola Tirth.
- Vishnu Tirth– This Tirth is situated in the north-eastern part of the main temple. Vishnu Tirth has three entrance. All the three entrances are connected through stone steps. It is believed that after taking a dip from this tirth, all the sin done by a person is washed away.
- Gomukh Tirth- Gomukh is a very famous and sacred waterfall. The water comes out from the stone structure that looks like the mouth of a cow. The holy water from which the Goddess’s idol is bathed comes from Gomukh Tirth.
- Ghatshila Temple– Ghatshila Temple is situated in Tuljapur. It has a devotional and mythological story behind it. It is said that Lord Ram and Lord Laxman went by ghats and rocks of Tuljapur in search of Sita. Legends also say that Goddess Bhawani stood on the rocks of Lord Rama to guide him to reach Lanka and rescue Sita. Devotees come all way from India to pay offering to Lord Rama. Pilgrims visits this rock temple which was built in the medieval period.