Shri Trimbakeshwar Devasthan
On Friday, 16th February 1756, the day of pious Mahashivaraatri, the atmosphere of Shree Trimbakeshwar was echoed with melodious sound of sanai(shahanai) and chaughada (traditional drums), the traditional holy musical instruments accompanied by bheri, tutari (trumpet) and ranashing (clarion). It was inauguration ceremony of renovation of the temple. Shreemant Nanasaaheba Peshave had resolved it. The work of renovation was going on for 31 years. It started under the supervision of Narayan Bhagavant and completed by his son Ganesh Narayan. 786 craftsmen toiled ardently for the work day and night for a long period of 31 years. 48 camels, 85 elephants and 112 horses were engaged to transport the marble from Makarana in Rajsthan in the service of the almighty God Bholenath. The Total expenditure for the construction was Rs. 9, 00,000 (Rupees nine lakhs). The dates of the auspicious beginning and completion are engraved on the main gate on North side, in Sanskrit language.
The length of this temple of Lord Shiva is 265 feet east-west and breadth is 218 feet north-south. There are entry gates on all the four sides, viz. East, West, South and North. As per spiritual conceptions the direction East denotes the beginning, West denotes maturity, south denotes fulfillment or completion and the North stands for the revelation.
The entry gate on the North side of the temple bulwark is the biggest and the devotees enter from this gate only. There is a Nagarakhana of the size 38 feet by 15 feet. Between the entry gate of west and south, there is Amrut kund- a graceful, compact lake. Water of this lake is used for the worship (pooja). The depth of Amrutkunda is equal to the height of the temple.
The main temple is at the centre of the specious ground, facing east. Its east-west length is 160 feet and north-south breadth is 131 feet. Height of the temple from the ground is 96 feet and diameter of the dome is 185 feet. Annasaheb Vinchurakara, noble man of the Peshave had three golden pinnacles (kalash) and golden flag with the bulwark on it.
Facing the main temple, opposite the gate is temple of Nandi-pious bull of Lord Shiva. There are three gates to the main temple facing east, south and north. After entering from the eastern gate, there is an attractive a hall with dome shaped canopy. On 12 feet square of marble, there is a turtle-a religious symbol. As a turtle withdraws if six limbs, viz. head, tail and four legs; one should withdraw ones six vices-viz, passion, anger, greed, lust, temptation and jealousy before having a glimpse of the god. If one does that, he gets the protection like the shield of the turtle.
On the west side is main sanctum of the temple. You enter the sanctum by descending five steps and see the beautiful, natural-self existent Shiva ling in a tiled surrounding. There are three thumb sized Ban ling of three almighty gods-Bramha,Vishnu and Mahesh. The continuous flow of water i.e. Ganga flows from the Ban ling of Shiv Bhagavan. On the east of this Jyotirling is marble statue of Goddess Parvati.
One, who only sees the Bramhgiri, has no fear of hell.... This is how; saint Namdeo has related the importance of Bramhgiri. The Puran(myth) says, after seeing Bramhgiri, man gets salvation from all the sins. The fort of Bramhgiri is about 4248 feet above the sea level and has diameter of 10 miles. Surrounded by crag (kada) of 300-400 feet, the fort has no way to enter except only two gates. Main gate is on the south side which was used to supply rasad (food provisions) to the soldiers. The northern side, though not as high as the south side, the crag is very steep. The fort handed over by Shahaji Raje to Khan Jamane. It remained under the mughal until 1720. In the year 1742 Marathe won it from Nizam. In 1818, it went to the British. Now it is under Government of India.
Present condition of the fort :From the northern side 400 steps have been constructed to climb the fort from the donation by Shraman benevolent from Karachi, Lalchand Sheth. There are three staircases carved in the stone. You reach the uneven ground after climbing the stairs. There is a sacred place, Kotee Tirtha. Towards north on the back side there is a temple of Bhagavan Shankar. The river Godavari origins from here. There is a vavadi (kite) shaped kund (tank). It said that Bhagavaana Shiva tossed his jata (matted hair) here and from there, Godavari originated. There can be seen traces of this incident like tresses like features in the rock, marks of the knees of Bhagavan Shiva.
Gangadwar is at the base of the fort Bramhgiri. You have to climb 750 steps to reach there. This is called Gangadwar because first glimpse of Ganga can be seen here from Bramhgiri Mountain. The statue of Ganga stands there. Nearby is Varahtirth a cave shaped tank. On the north side of Varahtirth is temple of the goddess Kolambika. On the north side of the plateau, are Shiva lings and caves of Gorakshanath, Machchhindranath. Here Saint Nivruttinath, elder brother of Saint Dnyaneshwar, received divine knowledge from Gahininath. On the way there are two tanks-Ramkund and Lakshman kund. The 750 steps to Gangadwar have been constructed by pious Shri Hansaraj Karamasi of Mumbai.
Devotees from all over India visit Trimbakeshwar continuously throughout the year to catch a sight of Trimbakraja, to have a holy bath in to Kushawart Tirth, to parikrama (Take a round trip) of Bramhgiri,to take darshan of Samadhi (mausoleum) of saint Nivruttinath, to perform various religious rituals and to get rid of the sins, sorrows and diseases.
It is said that, when results of all the good deeds (punya) adds together, the will to visit Trimbak arises in human mind. The learned have given immense importance to Kushavrta Tirth, the original place; because the sage Gautam held the flow of Ganga here with abhimantrit darbh (enchanted weeds) and took a bath in Kushawarta Tirth to get rid of his sin of killing a cow. From here the river Ganga is called Godavari. Though Godavari is holy all over its route, the ugamsthan (origin) is considered to have a special importance.
Saint Dnyanadeo Maharaj says,Even Lord Shiva still follows that path; the path of knowledge. So it is not surprising that Shri Gajanan Maharaj, Shri Swami Samartha are attracted towards the Trimbaka Raja. So there is a very beautiful temple of Shri Gajanan Maharaja and a Dharmashala (charitable rest house for the travelers) near the entrance of Trimbakeshwar . And nearby is the temple of Swami Samarth. Both the places have excellent lodging facilities for the devotees. The hillock named Neelparvat is a popular tourist s spot.