One of the twelve Jyotirlingas located in Trimbak, Trimbakeshwar Temple is a 12th-century Shaiva temple located at the foot of Brahmagiri Hills. Established by the Maratha ruler Peshwa Nana Saheb around the 18th century, the temple is mentioned in the powerful Mrityunjaya Mantra which bestows immortality and longevity.
The Kushavarta, also known as Kunda, is a holy source of river Godavari that's been the reference for centuries. The mysteries of the temple complex and how it was built can be found by exploring the intricate architecture through its three faces: Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Rudra. Only male devotees are allowed in the powerful inner areas and must wear a 'silk dhoti' as holy garb there.
Trimbak was long believed to be the land of mystics or rishis. It's even said that a rishi called Gautam lived there, who prayed for abundant water and it came, with the blessing of Lord Varuna.
Gautam Rishi's field incidentally died, and soon many other mystics became concerned. This was enough to make Gautam Rishi regret his irresponsible actions. To redeem himself to the gods, Gautam Rishi prayed that a cow would come and eat up the things he had planted, which eventually happened.
Satisfied with their prayer, Lord Shiva sent Ganga to flow down on earth. That water then became the sacred bath Gautam Rishi had saved. In return, Gautam Rishi asked Lord Shiva to evolve into a Linga there. After some deliberation, he accepted that request and manifested himself as a rock-like stone before them.
The Quest to Find the End of the Infinite Pillar of Light
In another story, a prolonged quest is set up by Lord Shiva for Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu to find the other end of the pillar of light set up by Shiva. Brahma lied to have found it, which was rather an infinite column of fire, where Shiva waited on the other side. Upon grasping Brahma's lie, Lord Shiva cursed Brahma to never be worshipped or revered which further infuriated the latter, thus slamming Lord Shiva with another curse. To defend himself, Shiva hid beneath the ground where a lingam is now found at Trimbakeshwar.
The Trimbakeshwar temple was originally constructed in black stone, a construction material that instantly sets the temple apart. In addition to the beautiful black stone exterior and sprawling courtyard, the Shikhara hosts an elevated platform known as the lotus plate which is carved in the form of a lotus flower. Inside is where one can find an idol of Lord Shiva.
The temple hall has an area in front of it called a mandap, and this is where offerings are made and people can enter the temple. There are three entrances to the temple and the pillars that hold up the roof are engraved with designs of flowers, Hindu deities, humans, and animals. The architecture of the Trimbakeshwar Temple is intricate yet quite simple. It also has a mirror on its altar, which allows those entering to view the reflections of the deity.
Kaal Sarp Pooja
The Kaal Sarp Pooja is a prayer performed to try and appease the major planets of Rahu and Ketu. There are several types of Kaal Sarpa, including Ananta Kaalsarpa, Kulik Kaalsarpa, Shankhapaal Kaalsarpa, Vasuki Kaalsarpa, Maha Padma Kaalsarpa, and the Takshak Kaal Sarp Yog. Milk products such as ghee, honey, and sugar are offered to placate these characters.
Trimbakeshwar Temple is famous for the Narayan Nagbali Pooja or Pitru-Dosh which is performed in the belief of negating ancestral curses on family members, or what locals call; Naag. This event is also said to gain forgiveness from The Cobra.
The purpose of this ceremony is to pray for the departed souls and remove any hurdles that might be hindering childbirth.
The pooja is performed for long life and physical health at 5:00 AM.
The Rudrabhishek is performed with the Panchamrit, which consists of milk, ghee, honey, curd, and sugar. Several Mantras and Slokas are recited during the prayer which is carried out between 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM.
This Abhishek is believed to resolve health and wealth issues. It is also said to fix cosmic disinclinations.
Those of the Hindu faith are encouraged to participate in some way in the small pooja. In this particular case, the recitations of Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda, and Atharva Veda can be heard in the temple.
If you're planning a trip to the Trimbakeshwar Temple during peak season, you should start looking early in October. It's also a perfect time to take advantage of late bus fares since it will be less crowded than during peak season. The best low-season time is the monsoon period, so if you're budget-conscious and don't mind traveling during daylight hours, that's the ideal time to go.
The best time to visit the temple is before 10 AM. The priest has said that there is a queue at the temple in the evening, but from Monday through Friday after 4 PM, it should be deserted. It's worth noting that the deity procession goes on between 4:00 and 5:00 PM daily, on Mondays only to be carried out.
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