Do you explore your own neighbourhood? Have you visited all the beautiful places in and around your home town? Well, I do that a lot when I am not travelling. I make the best use of my weekends exploring my hometown. Guwahati, where I stay is not just the gateway to all the Northeastern states but also offers a lot of delightful places to explore. Guwahati is also a city of temples and religious places. In this blog post, I shall write everything you need to know about the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple in Guwahati, a temple I recently visited.
From well-connected transport facilities to both affordable and luxury stays, makes Guwahati a perfect tourist destination. If we are exploring the spiritual side of Guwahati it has so much to offer. Along with the most popular and divine Maa Kamakhya temple, Guwahati has many other such religious places which have their roots in ancient Indian scriptures and epics. One such temple is the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple in Guwahati.
Places like Guwahati, Tezpur, and Sivasagar are remarkable and well known as they find a place in epics like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and Hindu scriptures like the Vishnu Purana, etc. There are many relics, archaeological sites and related stories that confirm this fact.
The Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple is one such temple that has its history dated back to the times when Gods and demons ruled.
Planning a trip to Assam, read this post to plan a perfect itinerary- 10 Days Complete Itinerary for Assam, India
What is a Jyotirlinga?
If you are a devotee of Lord Shiva I am sure the term Jyotirlinga is quite familiar to you. Jyotirlinga is a religious representation and a manifestation of the power and divinity of Lord Shiva. According to Shiva Purana, there are 64 Jyotirlinga and 12 are considered to be the most sacred.
For a staunch Shiva devotee, it is an ambition to visit and offer prayers in this 12 Jyotirlinga at least once in his/her life. This 12 Jyotirlinga is also called Dwadash Jyotirlingam.
But a lot of controversies and confusion were raised related to the locations of these 12 Jyotirlingams. In the case of the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is believed that the original temple is situated at Bhimashankar Village in Maharastra in the hills of the Sahyadri range. This is also the most popular one.
But according to the hymn mentioned in Shiva Purana which says,“Paralyam Baidyanatham Chaw Dakinyam Bhimashankaram”, where Dakinyam or Dakini hills referred to as some people believes is situated in Guwahati, Assam.
Bhimashankar is the 6th Jyotirlingam and the one situated in Assam, Guwahati is very popular and widely visited by devotees from all over the country, especially during Sawan or Shrabon Month and Maha Shiva Ratri.
Where is the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple in Guwahati, Assam situated?
Until I had visited this temple with my husband I didn’t realise how near it was to my house, just at a distance of 4.6 km. The Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple is situated in the Dakini Hills also known as Daini Pahar in Assamese in Pamohi, Guwahati. It is easily approachable via NH 27.
If you are travelling from Jhalukbari or from the Khanapara side you reach a mid-point Garchuk Chariali. Just at the junction, there is a motorable road in good condition branching towards the left (If coming via the Khanapara side) and right (if coming from the opposite direction that is the Jhalukbari side).
Take that road and keep travelling and take a right turn, keep going for around a kilometre and you will see the main gate leading to the temple on the left side of the road. The road is properly marked making it easy for tourists and devotees to visit.
You can park your car at a point and from the Ganesh Temple inside you need to walk a few metres to reach the temple. The walkable part is also very picturesque with green trees, hills and a beautiful lotus pond.
If you are visiting during the spring season you will find Krishnachuras and Radhachura flowers gracing the trees and making the way vibrant and majestic. It’s really a treat to the eyes and ears with the sounds of various kinds of birds.
Which is the best time to visit?
During the month of Sawan or Shrabon, the temple remains crowded with devotees. Evening time is also perfect if you want to sit in solitude near the stream flowing by and also offer prayers. During the monsoons, you will find the waterfall in full bloom.
Read about some more interesting places in Assam – Saralpara in Kokrajhar, Assam a popular picnic spot
Interesting facts about the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga Temple in Guwahati
Interestingly, you will find no concrete temple when you visit the location. The Shiva Linga is situated in a place where the waterfalls gush in full force. A pandit or purohit is there to initiate the puja rituals.
There is an overhead canopy with bells hanging all around. According to locals many attempts were made to construct a permanent temple here but all proved futile. Every time they tried building one wild elephant living in the forests nearby appears and destroys it.
The Ganesha Temple outside is believed to guard Lord Bhimashankar so you need to offer prayers first in this temple.
The popular legend related to Lord Bhimashankar
The characters related to the legend of Lord Bhimashankar are from the epic Ramayana. It is said that the demon Bhimasura who was the son of Kumbhakarna and Karkati was killed by Lord Shiva to protect his devotees. Kumbhakarna was the younger brother of Ravana, the king of Lanka.
When Bhimasura grew up he came to know how Lord Rama killed his father Kumbhakarna in the battle. He wanted to take revenge for his father’s death and started penance to please Lord Brahma for the power required to fight against the Gods. Lord Brahma was pleased with his devotion and bestowed upon him invincible strength.
He started creating menace attacking Gods and Goddesses and even defeated Lord Vishnu. He even attacked the King of Kamrupa Priyadharman who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. He started worshipping Lord Shiva to come and save him from Bhimasura’s atrocities.
Bhimasura out of rage smashed the Siva Linga worshipped by King Priyadharman which enraged Lord Shiva. Thereupon he appeared and killed Bhimasura after a fierce battle.
Thus upon the request of Priyadharman Lord Shiva stayed at that place where the battle took place as Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga. Incredible isn’t it! Thus the place has great importance and is also considered to be very pious among Hindus.
My visit to Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple in Guwahati
It was just half an hour’s drive from my home. We reached at around 3.30 pm. It was raining incessantly the past few days so the roads were a bit slippery. We parked the car near the Ganesha temple and after offering prayers we started walking toward the main temple.
The road was beautiful as I mentioned above. It was really scenic and so pleasing. Lush green trees and the sounds of various kinds of birds filled the air.
At the entrance gate, you can see the image of Nandi Maharaj guarding the temple in the form of a half-man and half-bull. Also, there was a circular stone disc which has the 12 zodiac signs carved out on the surface. The middle ring has 8 Shivalingas and in the innermost circle, there is a human figure.
It was raining so the waterfall around the main Shiva linga was in full glory. There were many small Shivalinga and Trishul or Trident, the weapon used by Lord Shiva placed by devotees.
To reach the main temple we had to cross a small stream of water. There were benches placed so that people can sit for some time after offering prayers. It is believed that the stream is created by the sweat of Lord Shiva after his battle with Bhimasura and is called Mata Ganga.
Both the temples Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga in Assam and Maharastra are equally important and hold great significance. A lot of devotees visit this temple during Maha Shivaratri and the temple is easily accessible from any place in Guwahati.
A visit to this temple was really enlightening and spiritually satisfying. So hope you visit the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple in Guwahati, Assam.
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