Tulja Bhawani Mandir Tuljapur
Legends and Mythology
The Bhawani temple is the same place where the great warrior Shivaji was given a sword by the goddess Bhawani. Situated in Tuljapur, Maharashtra, a few steps below the hill known as Bala Ghat, in the Central Osmanabad is the Tulja Bhawani Temple. The goddess here is also known as Kulaswamini, the patron deity of Maharashtra. With Shivaji’s many many conquests attributed to her, she has defined the state both geographically and spiritually. It is said that the goddess herself gave the Bhawani Talwar, divine Sword to the great warrior Shivaji. He set forth upon many battles, after having sought the blessings of Ma Bhawani, his favorite deity. From a far distance, the travelers can view the pinnacle of the temple hood shimmering with the golden paint.
Architechture and Antiquity
To the left of the entrance 40ft by 16 ft stone tank, is the Kallol Tirth. Bathing in it before sunrise is said to rid the devotee from all the diseases. At the Gomukh Tirth, which is a few steps ahead from the Kallol Tirth, water flows from the stone cow’s head, set at a height of 6ft. Equated to the river ganges, people in huge numbers visit this water pool. On the other side is the Vishnu Tirth. This temple is located on the North Eastern side of the Bhawani temple. It has stone steps and three entrances. It is said that Lord Vishnu blesses the devotee, so that he may get the blessings of the goddess Bhawani. According to the priests taking care of the temple, it is inevitable to do the darshan of Lord Vishnu. The pilgrims who go directly to the goddess temple; are said to left with the incomplete divine tour.
As the part of the every day ablutions,chickens and goats are offered to the deity Bhawani. A practice that pilgrims may be witness to. Two enticing artifacts generally called as ‘Deepmalas’ had been built in the glory of the wars fought by the royal king Shivaji. It was built by Shivaji as the memorabilia of his triumph against Afzal Khan, which stand on the either side of the homa kund.
Inside the temple, a stone pillared sabha mandap features images of gods and goddesses. The exquisite idol is adorned with a fine array of jewellery on festive days. The goddess is said to be possessed with eight to nine petya(boxes) of ornaments, where one box equals a kilogram of gold!!One of the necklaces, named tikli, bears the name of Chatrapati Shivaji on each of its gold pieces. A beautiful marble statue of a lion, a bed upon which the goddess rests, her delicately carved silver Simhasan (throne), and a Shivaling are also to be seen in the temple.
Behind the Bhawani temple is a round stone known as Chintamani . It is believed to help the devotee to take the right decision. To its right is the temple of Matangi, the goddess who slayed the demon Matanga. Uniquely, the shrine is cared for by mahars, members of a Dalit community.
Shrines of Khandoba, Yamaee Devi and Narsimha are also situated in the temple premises. The Chabina, a special palanquins is painted with the images of animals and other creatures. On this chariot, the idols of deities are carried on the festive occasions and Tuesday, Friday, Sunday and Poornima(full moon day). The procession which starts around 9.30 Pm and goes around the main temple, is witnessed by thousands of devotees. Sindoor and turmeric powder are thrown in the air as the millions of pilgrims chant the name of the goddess.
About 2Km behind the Tuljapur’s ST bus stand.
Timings: 5:30 Am--10.00Pm; 1 Am-10.30 Pm during festivals Temple Tel: 02471-242031
Where to Stay: There are number of hotels in Tuljapur which provides the best stay experience to the pilgrims. The pilgrims can also stay in the lodges, dharamshalas and other budget hotels where all the basic facilities are offered before hand. Air conditioned/ non air conditioned rooms, meals, 24 hours room service and the transportation services on demand are offered druing a stay at the budget hotels in Tuljapur. Shivneri ldoge, Shri Lodge, and Pawan Durga Lodge are the oldest accommodations in the region where the people can plan a stay.
Related Information: From 7:00 Am-noon and 7:00 Pm to 10:00 Pm, the goddess is offered panchamruta as abhisheka. Between noon and 7:00 Pm, there is only Drashan. During the Abhishekas, only those who want to offer these can enter the sanctum while the rest can have darshan, but from distance. The deity uniquely ‘rests’ or ‘sleeps’ for 5-7 days before Durgashtami and 5-7 days after Kaalaashtami(early Jan). During this period, the devotees can have her darshan while she is resting on her bed. The temple follows its own panchaang(Calendar) although the dates more or less coincide with the lunar calendar.