Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga is only one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India that does not only honor Lord Shiva but the other two gods in the Holy Trinity - Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma as well. Temple of Trimbakeshwar Jotirlingam is located in Trimbak, which is about 28 km from Nashik, Maharashtra, India. The Godavari River originates near Trimbak. There are three hills surrounding this temple – Brahmagiri, Nilagiri and Kalagiri. The Dwadash Jyotirlinga Stotram in Shiva Purana gives the short description of Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlingam as :
सह्याद्रिशीर्षे विमले वसन्तं गोदावरितीरपवित्रदेशे।
यद्धर्शनात्पातकमाशु नाशं प्रयाति तं त्र्यम्बकमीशमीडे॥[ref]
"Who in the holy country of Godavari, resides on the Vimal summit of Sahyaparvat, Whose vision destroys the Patak immediately, I praise that Shree Trimbakeshwar"
Story behind Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlingam
Gautama rishi (one of the Saptrishis) lived on the Brahmagiri hills along with his wife, Ahalya. While there was famine everywhere else on the land, inside the rishi’s ashram, there were abundant food grains. This was because the gods had blessed him because of his steadfast devotion and regular prayers. The other rishis felt jealous of him and sent a cow into his fields.
When Gautama tried to frighten the cow away from his fields, it died. For the sin of killing a cow, Gautama worshipped Lord Shiva to release the Ganga River and let her flow into his ashram to purify it. Pleased with his devotion, Lord Shiva released Ganga and told her to stay there. The Kushavarta or sacred pond that exists now is the source of the Godavari. (People worship the Godavari as Ganga.) The sage requested Lord Shiva also to make the site his abode, which the Lord did in the form of the jyotirlinga.[ref]
Structure of Trimbakeshwar Temple
Trimbakeshwar Temple is an ancient shrine, however the current structure is a result of the reconstruction efforts undertaken by the Peshwa Balaji Bajirao in mid 18th century. The temple is built of black stone in the Nagara style of architecture and is enclosed in a spacious courtyard. The sanctum internally a square and externally a stellar structure houses a small Shivalingam - Tryambaka. The sanctum is crowned with a graceful tower, embellished with a giant Amalaka and a golden kalasha. In front of the garbagriha and the antarala is a mandap with doors on all four sides. Three of these doorways are covered with porches and the openings of these porches are ornamented with pillars and arches. Curvilinear slabs rising in steps form roof of the mandapam. The entire structure is ornamented with sculptural work featuring running scrolls, floral designs, and figures of gods, yakshas, humans and animals.[ref]
Interesting facts about Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlingam
- In all the other sites of jyotirlingas, Lord Shiva is the main deity. This is the only place that also honors Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. With the excessive flow of water (use) the body of the body is slowly disappearing. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones. The crown is displayed every Monday from 4-5 pm.[ref]
- The famous pilgrimage festival, Kumbh Mela, occurs here once every 12 years.
- This place is famous for its many religious rituals (vidhis). Narayan Nagbali, Kalsarpa Shanti, Tripindi Vidhi are done here. Narayan Nagbali puja is performed at Trimbakeshwar only. This puja is performed in three days. This puja is performed on special dates. Some days are not suitable to perform this puja. This puja is performed for many reasons like to cure an illness, going through bad times, get free from sin of killing a Cobra (Nag), childless couples, financial crisis or you want to perform some religious puja to have everything.[ref]