If you are a nature lover, you have more than one reason to visit Bhimashankar this monsoon. The place is not only known for its jyotirlinga--which is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in the country--but also for its picturesque points and dense forests.
Bhimashankar is 110 km away from Pune situated in the ghat region of the Sahyadris. The forest of here is known for its giant squirrel --Shekru--which is endemic to this region and is also the state animal of Maharashtra. Apart from this, there are many plant and animal species that will interest you. The Malabar whistling thrush is a metallic blue bird, which hides itself in the dense canopy of the forest. It makes a unique and sweet whistling sound which instantly captures your attention.
Another interesting found here is the insect called Cicada, which makes a loud noise by brushing its wings together. The male makes the sound to call the female insect during the mating season.
The Nagphani point is situated near the Bhimashankar temple and offers a panoramic view of the surrounding villages. The Kalavantin fort can be seen clearly from this point. Some other forts such as Rajmachi, Tung and Tikona can be seen from here. From this point, birds of prey such as the Crested Serpent Eagle and the Kestrel can be seen gliding through the valley in search of its prey.
During monsoon, a thick layer of fog and cloud engulf the Nagphani point, making it a beautiful sight. When you climb down this point, it leads you to a Hanuman temple, where many Bonnet Macaques can be seen. Small streams adorn the way back to the Bhimashankar temple. Another place that is a must-see is the Gupt Bhimashankar, where the river Bhima originates. The way towards the Gupt Bhimashankar is a simple one passing through the forest. Nature lovers can spot the Shekru, Malabar Whistling Thrush, various types of lichens and mushrooms in this forest. It leads you to a small temple of the Gupt Bhimashankar. There are small streams which make the location even more picturesque.
The Bhimashankar temple is located in the village of Bhorgiri, which is 50km from Rajgurunagar. You can reach the place from Pune via Manchar.