About Sri Tuljabhavani
Tulja Bhavani Idol Tuljabhavani is important and most revered godess
in Maharashtra. It is located at Tuljapur District Osmanabad in
Maharashra. It is family godess (kuldaivata) of many families in
Maharashtra and other states also. Tuljabhavani also known as
'Turja' is amongst three and half (sade teen) godess centres
(shaktipeethas) of Maharashtra and fifty one shakipeethas of India.
The pilgrims come to Tuljapur from entire Maharshtra and other
states also. It is believed that Tulja Bhavani Temple was
constructed in the 12th century. The Tulja Bhavani is the deity of
the Royal Bhosale family. It is believed that the temple was visited
by Shivaji Maharaj to get blessings from the goddess. Legend states
that the goddess gifted Shivaji Maharaj with a sword which is known
as the Bhavani sword. The temple sits atop a hill along the Bala
ghat recognized as Yamunachala.
The idol of the Goddess Bhavani is a self-oriented idol. It is in the form of a granite statue about 3 feet high and has eight arms with different weapons. The main entrance of the temple is known as the Sardar Nimbalkar Dwar. There are two entrances to the temple, one the Raja Shahji main gate and another Rajmata Jijavu gate. Walking through the Sardar Nimbalkar Dwar on the right side is the Markandeya Rishi Temple. Descending the stairs is the main Tulja Bhavani temple. From the gates Raja Shahji main gate and another Rajmata Jijavu gate are two libraries.
There are two teerths in the temple premises namely the Gomukh Teerth and the Kallol Teerth. Before entering the temple devotees take a dip in these teerths. Other important features of the temple include the Duth temple, Siddhi Vinayak temple and an Amruth Kund. There is also a temple devoted to Goddess Annapurna inside the temple complex. The history of the temple is also elaborated in the Skanda Purana. An old legend states that once there was a sage Kardam. When he expired, Anubuti- his wife made repentance to Goddess Bhavani along the banks of Mandakini River. While she was making repentance a demon named Kukur started disturbing her. This is when Goddess Bhavani came to the rescue of Anubuti and slew the demon. From then, Goddess Bhavani is known as Tulja Bhavani.
Another legend states that in ancient times, the devtas and mankind were troubled by a demon Matanga. When the devtas approached Lord Brahma, he advised them to take help from Goddess Bhavani. She took the form of destroyer and overpowered the demon. A third legend states that Goddess Bhavani slayed another demon, Mhisha who was in the form of a buffalo. After slaying the demon she toll abode on the Yamunachala hill where the temple is located today.
Nine Rupa's of Tuljabhavani
Nidra of Tuljabhavani (Sleeping of Deity)
The deity is believed to be going for sleep thrice in a year. Following are the periods during which the deity goes for sleep.
The architecture of the Tuljabhavani temple is of Hemadpanti style, which was prevailant and famous in early Indian era. While entering the Tuljabhavani temple there are two big gates or Mahadwars. After entering the temple first we observe Kallol Tirtha which is a combination of one hundred and eigth tirthas or sacred waters. After walking down few steps ahead we come to Gomukh Tirtha, from where water flows continueously. Ahead of Gomukh there is temple of Siddivinayaka. Thereafter we come accross a well designed and decorated gate which was constructed by Sardar Nimbalkar . After entering the gate we find idol of sage (Rishi) Markendeya on left side and big drum (Nagara) on right side. Thereafter there is 'Hom kunda' or fire vessel. At the bottom of Homkunda there lies 'Rakta Bhairva' who is among the eight bhairavas or guards of deity. There is one brass gate which is facing towards south.After entering main room (Gabhara) one can see original (Swayambhu) idol of Tuljabhavani which is installed on throne and studded with ornaments. The 'Darshan' or observation of idol pleases our mind. There is one silver cot (Palang) near main room on which Bhavani sleeps or goes for 'Nidra'. Opposite of Palang there is idol (Pind) of Mahdev. One can observe Bhavani and Shankar sitting opposite of each other. The temple is of Hemadpanti style. There is silver ring (Kadi) on one of the pillars. There is a legend regarding this pillar.