Shivaji the great maratha was here . This legendary truth is often repeated when devotees speak of the temple to bhavani in tuljapur. The goddess is kulaswamini the patron deity of maharashtra. With shivaji many conquests attributed to her she has defined the state both geographical & spiritually. It is said that the goddess herself gifted the bhavani talwar the divine sword to shivaji. He set forth upon his many battles after having sought the blessings of ma bhavani his ishta devtaa ( favourite deity ) Why in the glorious glint of sunshine that flashes off the tapering temple pinnacle in the exuberant colors or red sindoor and yellow turmeric that paint the fervent pictures of the goddess grand possessions in the touching faith of her legions of devotees it is almost as if he is still here . The goddess welcomes us all in the same manner as him with her searing gaze which is fierce and compassionate ar the same time .
The hemaad panthi style architecture marks 12th century tulja bhavani mandir which is separated from the rest of the town by a stone wall . The peshwas of pune deeply revered bhavani . Ssmartha ramdas swami and sant eknath wrote poetic verses in praise of the powerful deity . Most of the sights in tuljapur can be covered on foot . The ample space around the bhavani temple known as praangana is very useful when huge crowds of 10,000 or more devotees congregate here . To the left of the entrance is 40 ft by 16 ft stone tank the kallol tirth . Bathing in it before sunrise is said to rid one of all diseases. At gomukh tirth a few steps ahead from kallol tirth water flows from a stones cow head set at a height of 6 ft . Equated to the ganges large crowds throng here . The vishnu tirth is on the north eastern side of the temple . It has stone steps and three entrances. It said that lord vishnu blesses the devotee so that he may get the blessings of tulja bhavani. Goats and chicken are offered to the deity a practice that pilgrims may be witness to . Two striking deepmalas built by shivaji in memory of his triumph againist afzal khan stand on either side of homa kund . Inside the temple a stone pillared sabha mandap features images of gods and goddesses . The exquisite idol is said to possess eight to nine petya ( boxes ) of ornaments which one box equals to kilogram of gold ! One of the necklaces called tikli bears the name chatrapati shivaji maharaj on each of its gold pieces. A beautiful marble statue of a lion ( bhavani matas vehicle ) a bed upon which the goddess rests her delicately carved simhasan ( throne ) and a shivlinga are also to be seen in the temple . Behind the bhavani temple is a round stone known as chintamani. It’s believed to help the devotee take the right decision. To its right is a temple to matangi the goddess who slayed the demon matanga . Uniquely the shrine is cared for by mahars , members of a dalit community . Shrines of khandoba , yammee devi and narsimha are also situated in temple premises. The chabina a special palanquin with hand painted wooden images of animal and birds carries the deity during festival occasions and on every tuesday , friday , sunday , and purnima ( fool moon day ) . The procession which goes around the main temple is witnessed by thousands of devotees. Sindoor and turmeric powder are thrown into the air as the goddess name is chanted.