Tryambakeshwar is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas which is located at the source of the Godavari river. It is 28kms from Nashik city. The current temple structure was built by the 3rd Peshwa, Balaji Bajirao on the site of the old temple after the older one was destroyed by Muslim invaders. The Kusavarta Kunda (sacred pond) in the temple’s premises is the source of the Godavari River. The Kunda was built by Shrimant Sardar Raosaheb Parnekar who was the Fadnavis of Indore state.
The temple is located between the three hills of Bramhagiri, Nilagiri and Kalagiri. The temple has 3 Lingas representing the Holy Trinity of Bramha, Vishnu and Mahesh. The Lingas are covered with a jeweled crown which is said to be from the age of the Pandavas and which is studded with many precious stones. The temple also had the world famous Nassak diamond which was stolen by the British after the third Anglo-Maratha war. The temple complex has many water bodies of which the main water tank is called the Amritvarshini and which measures 28m x 30m. There are also murtis of various other deities like Rama, Krishna, Parshuram, Laxmi-Narayana and the monasteries and samadhis of many saints in the premises of the temple.
Eons ago there had been a long famine which lasted for 24 years. People were dying of hunger and thirst as all sources of water had gradually dried up. However Varun – the Lord of the Waters who was pleased with the “tapas” of Rishi Gautam arranged rains every day in Rishi Gautam’s ashram which was at Tryambakeshwar. The rishi used to feed countless other rishis from the rice he used to plant in the area surrounding his ashram and had started earning a lot of merit from the blessings he received from them. Seeing his merit grow Indra started worrying that the Rishi might be tempted to take over his position. Hence he ordered the rain clouds to shower rains all over the place so that the Rishis would go back home and Rishi Gautam would stop accumulating so much merit. It rained as per Indra’s orders but Rishi Gautam asked the rest of the rishis to stay back at his place which they accepted happily.
Once Gautam saw a cow grazing in his paddy fields and he tried to shoo her away using some darbha grass. However the cow was grievously injured during this and died. The cow was in reality Parvati’s friend Jaya. Seeing that Gautama had killed a cow the Rishis refused to eat anything at his place. Gautama asked them to show him a way out of this sin. They advised him to please Lord Shiva and ask him to release the Ganga on earth. A bath in the holy Ganga would wash off all the sins of Rishi Gautama according to the other rishis. Gautama did severe “tapas” and managed to please Lord Shiva and requested him to send Ganga to earth. Lord Shiva accepted his request. However Ganga was not ready to leave Shiva. Shiva was infuriated and danced the Tandava on the peaks of Bramhagiri and dashed his hair against the mountain. Frightened by his anger Ganga appeared at Bramhagiri and later at Trymbak Teertha. Rishi Gautam praised her but she appeared on and off in the mountain ranges and Gautama could not bathe in her. Gautama then stopped her flow by with the help of enchanted grass and bathed in her. The pond which was formed due to the stopping of Ganga came to bknown as Kushvarta and today Goadavari flows from this place into the sea.
Tryambakeshwar is famous for many religious rituals like Narayan Naagbali, Kaalsarpa Shanti, various special poojas of Lord Shiva like Laghurudra, Maharudra, Atirudra, etc. Once in 12 years the Kumbha Mela is also organized at this place.
Anjaneri Mountains, the birthplace of Lord Hanuman is 7km from Tryambakeshwar. Other temples nearby include the Shri Nilambika/ Dattatreya/ Matamba temples & Akhil Bharatiya Shri Swami Samartha Gurupeeth. Other attractions around the city include Pandavaleni, Kalaram temple. Other popular day excursions are Shirdi & Saptashringi Gad at Wani.
The best way to reach this temple is by road. You can visit this temple from Mumbai or Pune. The nearest railway station is Nashik Road railway station or Igatpuri railway station and the nearest airport is at Mumbai.
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