Tryambakeśvara

(‘the Lord with three eyes’)

This is a well-known place of pilgrimage in the Maharashtra State. It is 29 kms. (18 miles) from the city of Nāsik. (See NĀSIK also.) It is here that the Godāvarī river takes its birth (in the Brahmagiri hills). The temple of Lord Śiva known as Tryambakeśvara is situated in the midst of three mountains—Brahma-giri, Nīlagiri and Kālagiri.

The temple is fairly big. The garbha-gṛha (sanctum) contains three liṅgas representing Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. They are among the twelve jyotirliṅgas (See JYOTIRLIṄGAS.). There is also a puṣkariṇī (temple tank) called Amṛta-varṣiṇī, the water of which is used to bathe the liṅgas.

The present temple structure is said to have been built by Bājī Rao Peṣvā in A. D. 1730.

A big tank, 28 metres by 25 metres (94 feet by 85 feet), known as Kuśāvarta situated at a short distance from the temple is considered very sacred.

The place abounds in tīrthas (holy tanks) like Bilvatīrtha, Viśvanāthatīrtha and Mukundatīrtha. There are also several temples and shrines dedicated to Gaṅgā-devī, Jaleśvara, Kedāranātha, Rāmeśvara, Gautameśvara, Rāma, Kṛṣṇa, Paraśurāma, Lakṣmīnārāyaṇa, Māruti (Hanumān) and so on.

On the Kālagiri (also spelt as Kaula-giri) there is a place containing 108 Śivaliṅgas.

Several maṭhas or monasteries and samādhis (places of burial of great saints) also abound in this area.