Places Around Tuljapur
Ghatshil- temple and garden
This Temple is situated at western side of city on hill (Ghat) along the Solapur Highway. Ghat Shila Temple has a mythological story behind it. It is believed that Lord Rama and brother Lakshmana passed through the Shila (rocks) in Ghat (mountains) of Tuljapur searching for Lord Rama’s beloved wife Sita. Goddess Tulja Bhawani stood on the rocks and showed direction to Lord Rama to Lanka where Sita was kept in captivity by the Demon king Ravan.
The rock is sanctified by the presence of Lord Rama and devotees pay offerings to Lord Rama at this Ghat Shila temple. The temple is from the medieval period and pilgrims constantly visit this rock temple. Recently temple trust has developed a beautiful garden & children’s park in the vicinity of this temple. This is a natural hillock which has a beautiful sunset point. Devotees visiting Tuljapur make it a point to come to this holy shrine and spend some time in tranquility.
Papanas- Lake and garden
Papanashi Tirth, literally means the holy water destroying and washing away the sins of devotees. This is the most famous kund (lake) and it is believed that once Lord Indra, the king of Gods bathed in this pond and from thence the water became sacred and according to traditions, anyone bathing in this pond is purified and all his/her sins are vanished. The lake is located outside the temple about half a kilometer away, near the circuit house and it is believed to be in existence since many centuries. The water is exhilarant and gives refreshing feelings to the bather. Thousands of devotees take a holy dip in this lake before proceeding to the Darshan of TuljaBhavani.
Mankavati Kund or Vishnu Tirth is situated on the north eastern side of the Tulja Bhawani temple. This Tirth has three entrances. This is a huge reservoir resembling a step well and it's aisles have an arched construction. The holy water in this tirth is believed to be from the confabulation of the holy rivers in India, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. The tank has stone steps leading to the entrances. Taking a dip at the Vishnu tirth is a necessary ritual for all those visiting the Tuljapur temple.
Pilgrims believe that a dip with prayers in this tirth removes all sins and sanctify the mind and body. It is equivalent to going to Kashi for the holy bath in the Ganga river. Thousands of devotees flock to this place each day.
Dhakate (Smaller) Tuljapur
Dhakte Tuljapur is famous for a small temple in the outside from Tuljapur town. It is about 2 and half kilometers away from the main Tuljapur. In 1939 an idol of Mahishasurmardini Bhavani was found by an employee of Rama Vithoba Mali while plowing a field, which was later installed in a temple. Historians opinion that it must have been one of the innumerable idols that were hidden away during aggression from invaders.
Tranquil nature with all its marvelous gifts invites the pilgrims to this small temple village. The site, at which this small temple is located, is quite away from the bustle of the crowds and hence is suitable for those seeking peace and solitude.
Sant Garibnath Mutt
This holy Muth (hermitage) is also known as known as Dashavatar (ten incarnations) mutt. Located close to the main temple in Tuljapur, the Mutt is decorated with images of ten incarnations of Vishnu on the walls. This is an olden monastery believed to be established by one Garibnath, an devotee of Lord Vishnu. Interestingly, an idol of goddess “Hingalaj” is located within the Mutt and a temple of the same deity exists in Ter, an ancient town about 46 kms away, which was an important trading center in Satavahana era. The Mutt offers yoga classes and it is open to all devotees during the day time. Special pujas can be performed in the Mutt.
Bharati Buwa's Mutt
It is a holy ashram (hermitage) in Tuljapur, which was believed to be established by Mahant Bharati Buwa, one of the ardent devotees of Sri Tulja Bhavani. The Ashram is a tranquil place visited by devotees in their search for mediation. According to a legend, the goddess Tulja Bhavani wakes up in the morning only when called by Bharati Buwa and folklore says that that the Goddess plays a dice game with the Mahanth (abbot) every evening.
Wakoji Buwa’s Mutt -
This mutt is located towards south of TuljaBhavani temple. The construction of the monastery is quite old. The residing Mahant (abbot) of this mutt is the custodian of keys of the temple and are every morning the sacred responsibility of washing the feet of the deity and some other responsibilities also rest with the mutt.
Hamroji Buwa’s Mutt -
This monastery is located to the south of TuljaBhavani temple. The Mathadhipati (Abbot) is entrusted with the responsibilities of safekeeping the ornaments, jewelry and the diamond encrusted golden crown of the Goddess. Mahant’s presense is required at the time when these ornaments are being worn by the Goddess Tuljabhavani.
Aranya Buwa’s Mutt -
This ancient monastery is situated at the northern side of the temple. The origin of this mutt is at Haridwar in Uttaranchal and the disciple of this mutt Srimant Tuki Janardhan Aranya established the branch at Tuljapur. The abbot of the hermitage and his disciples observe celibacy in their lives.
Apart from these prominent Mutts, there are other mutts like Somwar Giri Buwa Mutth, Sant Rohidas Maharaj Mutt, Shri Nandev Maharaj Mutt situated at different places in Tuljapur.