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.