BHIMASHANKAR UGAMSTHAN ( ORIGIN )
Chandrabhaga is also known as Bhimarathi. One of the twelve Jyotirlingas Sri Bhimashankar situated in the hills of Sahyadri is the place from where Bhima originates.
Sri Bhimashankar Kshetra is also being mentioned in defferent places of shastra.Sri Rudra samhita refers to Bhimashankar.According to Sri Shiva Puran & Koti Rudra Samhita in the present day Maharashtra,India; there are mountain hills of Sahya where Lord Shiva has appeared as Sri Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam.
SRI BHIMASHANKAR JYOTIRLINGA MANDIR -
In the district of pune ,50 km. from khed taluk in the village of bhavagiri towards the north west direction is the ancient shrine of Sri Bhimashankar situated.It is 125 km. far from pune in the deep mountain lines of Sahya.
Bhima ani Chandrabhaga tuzya charanichya ganga. - Saint Tukaram
Oh ! my beloved Lord Vithal ! Bhima and Chandrabhaga are Ganga's floating from your lotus feet. - Saint Tukaram.
BHIMA - CHANDRABHAGA RIVER-
In the west coast of Maharashtra, Bhima is flowing very magnificantly making her unique way in mids of lofty hills of Sahya also called as Bhimashankar Hills.From Bhimashankar Kshetra river flows in the south east direction within the states of Maharashtra,Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh crossing the long distance of 500 miles i.e.861 km.& merges into the Krishna river.
BANK OF BHIMARATHI-
Bhima travels 861 kms. in the south east direction.In this long journy many small rivers joining her.Below are mentioned the rivers merging in her flow in the district of pune.1) Kundali river 2) Kumandala, 3) Ghod nadi, 4) Bhama, 5) Indrayani, 6) Mulanadi, 7) Muthanadi, 8) Pavana nadi etc. Amongst these namely Indrayani,Mula,Mutha & Pavana rivers are flowing in the province of Pune & Pimpri chinchwad.In Solapur district also many important rivers are joined to Bhima are namely 1) Chandani nadi, 2) Kamini nadi, 3) Moshi, 4) Bori, 5) Sina, 6) Man, 7) Bhogavati, 8) Nira etc.Nira is the very important river joins Bhima at Sri Kshetra Nrisimhapura in Malsiras taluk thus there is sangam of two holy rivers ; is the very ancient place of Lord Nrisimha deva & His pure devotee Sri Prahlad Maharaj.
The size of Chandrabhaga's bank is nearly 48,631 kms.On the sacred bank of Bhimarathi one crore & twenty lacks of people are residing at present; by 2030 the total will be three crores & fifty lacks is the calculations of population statistical research.75% of this huge bank of Chandrabhga is spread in the Maharashtra known as the land of Sant's & pure devotees of Sri Panduranga.
HOLY PLACES & TEERTHA'S ON THE BANK OF BHIMA-
1) Right in the origin of Bhima Sri Kshetra Bhimashankar is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
2) Sri Kshetra Siddhi Vinayak Mandir is one of the Astavinayakas ( special shrines of Lord Ganesha in Maharashtra ) is situated in Siddhatek gram on the bank of Bhima.
3) Sri Kshetra Nira Nrisimhapur is the ancient shrine of Lord Nrisimhadeva is situated on the sangam ( union) of Bhima & Nira.
4) In the Bhuvaikuntha Sri Kshetra Pandharpur Dhama where Sri Vithal Rukmini Mandir,Gopalpur,Narada Mandir,Vishnupada and other important ancient temples are situated in the sacred bank of Chandrabhaga.
5) Next there is holy place known as Ganagapur in state of Karnataka where ancient temple of Lord Dattatraya is situated on the Sangam of Bhima & Ajmeya rivers.
6) Sri Kshetra Rasanagi comes in taluk of Jevargi ( Gulbarga district ,Karnataka state) where Sri Balbhimasena temple is located on the banks of Bhimarathi.
According to the famous story of Sri Kshetra Bhimashankar there is episode of Bhima river's afvent. Ancient times the great asura Bhima was residing in the midst of the high hills of Sahyadri moutains surrounded by deep forests & dangerous animals with his mother Karkati.It is said that Bhima was very cruel by the nature thus everybody was always afraid of him.Once Bhima was puzzled to think about his life and became anxious.He questioned his dear mother to reveal the secrets of his life.He requested her to inform about his father and also asked that why he kept both of them in such conditions of life i.e. in the deep range of mountains covered by dense forest.His dear mother Karkati answered that he was the son of Kumbhakarna who was the younger brother of Ravana king of Lanka.In the great war happened between Lord Sri Ramchandra & Demon Ravana the king of Lanka , Kumbhakarna was defeated & killed by Lord Sri Ramachandra. Lord Sri Ramchandra is no other than Lord Sri Narayana and has killed Kumbhakarna, when demon Bhima heard this from his mother at once became so angry to take revange of his father's death.Thus he created enmity with Lord Vishnu.History repeats itself.As we have seen that in past ancient history how demons like Hiranyakasipu- Hiranyaksha,Ravana- Kumbhakarna have performed great austerities to please Lord Brahma to eihter become immortal or all victorious so demon Bhima was no exception to this who was cruel by very nature.The son of Karkati and Kumbhakarna also started very horrible austerities to please Lord Brahma.The merciful Lord Brahma became pleased to see the great trouble and pains sustained by the demon thus awarded him so many different energies and powers to his satisfaction.Demons are always enemies of the demigods,like Hiranyakasipu,Ravana they have won three worlds and harassed the demigods,sadhus and innocent living creatures for their selfish ambitions for sense gratification.Being blessed by Lord Brahma the demon Bhima did havok in three worlds,defeated Indra the king of heaven.He also defeated Kamrupesvara the great devotee of Lord Shiva and put him in the custody.The mother earth and residents of the three worlds were so harassed by the sins and atrocities of the demon that it was very difficult to hold lives for them.Seeing these horrible circumstances the defeated demigods came together under the leadership of Lord Brahma & surrendered to Lord Shiva who is by nature 'Ashutosh' means the one who bestows mercy very quickly without any discrimination of time , place & circumstance.The 'Vaishnavanam yatha Shambho' Lord Shiva immediately accepted the prayers of all the demigods and promised to kill the demon Bhima.
Demons are the enemies of the demigods and always thinks themselves to be the Supreme Controller or the Lord of the Lords.Bhima the demoniac son of the Kumbhakarna was bewildered by the boons of Lord Brahma and considering that nobody will oppose him on the account of his unlimited powress.Thus being blind of unlimited strength he forced the Kamrupesvara the great devotee of the Lord Shiva to give up the worship of Shiva and start his worship. The Kamrupesvara being the fully devoted to Lord Shiva denied the demoniac order of Bhima to give up the worship of Shiva.So angry Bhima attacked the Kamrupesvara to kill him then at once Lord Shiva appeared on the scene in His effulgent form.The great battle started between the demon & Lord Shiva , it continued for a very long time. Demigods became worried due to it so the great devotee Narada seeing the plight of demigods approached the Lord Shiva and requested to kill the all inauspicious demon & end the long termed war.Lord Shiva being pleased with the great sage Narada quickly killed the demon Bhima and turned the body of demon in to ashes.So Lord Mahadeva gave shelter to the demigods & relief to the rest of the universe by killing the powerful demon Bhima.At that time all the demogods & residents of different planetory systems like gandharvas,chanaras,kinnaras,yakshas etc showere the flowers on the victorious Lord Mahadeva,played different musical instruments followed by the meodious singing and dancing of damsels of heaven.All the demigods prayed to Lord Tripurari to make the place where the demon was killed in to His own abode.Then Shiva being pleased by the different prayeres to fulfill the desire of the demigods appeared as Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga.During the battle when Lord Shiva was fighting with the demon Bhima the perspiration of His body i.e.drops of sweting turned into the form of river in the high mountains of Sahyadri from the place of Bhimashankar the place where demon Bhima was killed is called the Bhima river.This how river Bhima originates from the Bhimshankar and in south Maharashtra ( Pandharpur ) is called as the famous river Chandrabhaga.