Shree Trimbakeshwar or Tryambakeshwar is an ancient Hindu temple in the town of Trimbak, in the Trimbakeshwar tehsil in the Nashik District of Maharashtra, India, 28 km from the city of Nashik and 40 km from nashik road.
It is dedicated to the god Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, where the Hindu genealogy registers at Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra are kept. The origin of the sacred Godavari river is near Trimbak. Kusavarta, a kunda (sacred pond) in the temple premises is the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India. The current temple was built by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao (Nanasaheb).
The temple is located between three hills namely Brahmagiri, Nilagiri and Kalagiri. The temple has three lingams (an iconic form of Shiva) representing Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. The temple tank is called Amritavarshini, which measured 28 m (92 ft) bu 30 m (98 ft). There are three other bodies of water, namely, Bilvatheertha, Viswananthirtha and Mukundathirtha. There are images of various deities, namely, Gangadevi, Jaleswara, Rameswara, Gautameswara, Kedarnatha, Rama, Krishna, Parasurama and Lakshmi Narayana. The temple has also several monasteries and samadhis of saints.
As per the Shiva Purana, once Brahma (the Hindu God of creation) and Vishnu (the Hindu God of preservation) had an argument in terms of supremacy of creation. To test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga. Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either directions. Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Shiva appeared as a second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped till the end of eternity. The jyotirlinga is the supreme partless reality, out of which Shiva partly appears. The jyothirlinga shrines, thus are places where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. Originally there were believed to be 64 jyotirlingas while 12 of them are considered to be very auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve jyotirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity – each considered different manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary image is lingam representing the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva. The twelve jyothirlinga are Somnath in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh, Kedarnath in Himalayas, Bhimashankar in Maharashtra, Viswanath at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra, Vaidyanath at Deoghar in Jharkhand, Nageshwar Temple, Rameshwar at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Grishneshwar at Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Lord Shiva showed himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra. It is believed that a person can see the Jyotirlingas as columns of fire piercing through the earth as he reaches a higher level of spiritual attainment.Each Jyotirlinga site takes the name of the presiding deity. Basically, The Jyotilinga signifies the infinite nature of Lord Shiva. At the highest level, Shiva is regarded as formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the universe.
Trimbakeshwar is a religious center having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra. Due to excessive use of water, the linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones. The crown is displayed every Monday from 4-5 pm (Shiva). All other Jyotirlingas have Shiva as the main deity. The entire black stone temple is known for its appealing architecture and sculpture and is at the foothills of a mountain called Brahmagiri. Three sources of the Godavari originate from the Brahmagiri mountain.