From PhalkeFactory

Shri Trimbakeshwar

Shri Trimbakeshwar is situated in the district Nashik of Maharashtra state, Near this is the mountain named Brahmagiri from which the river named Godavari flows. What importance Ganga is ascribed to the North India, the same importance is given to Godavari in south India. It is the penance of the great sage Rishi Gautama that materialized on being blessed by Lord Ashutosh. Just as Ganga is known as Bhagirathi in the same way, Godavari is also known as Gautami Ganga.

When the planet Jupiter enter the Leo Sign a fair is organised on a very large scale, Devotees take a holy bath in the Gautami Ganga and then such the blessings of Trimbakeshwar. Accordingly to the Shiv Purana it is because of the earnest request of Godavari, Gautam Rishi and other gods that Lord Shiva agreed to reside here and assumed the famous name Trimbakeshwar.

Once upon a time there lived a sage name Gautam with his wife named Ahilya. The ultimate aim of their life was penance and good of others. Once there was a drought. Altruistic Gautam Rishi made a pit and filled it with water by appeasing Varuna Deva. Seeing this, all were very happy but the wives of other sages staying in the vicinity started feeling jealous. They made a conspiracy by persuading their husbands, to drive Gautam Rishi and his wife out of the area. All the sages came together and started worshipping Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha pleased with their devotion assumed form and being told the boon to be granted dissuaded the sages from doing so. But when the sages did not listen he blessed them accordingly and vanished.

Accordingly Lord Ganesha assumed form of a cow and entered the courtyard of Gautam Rishi’s house and started eating grass and plants. Incidentally Rishi Gautam came there and started eschewing the cow with a thick stick. As soon as the stick touches the cow, the cow dropped down dead. Unfortunately, that moment the other wicked sages came there and criticised Gautam Rishi for his cruelty. They told him to leave this place and go away. Gaumtam Rishi humbly told them that he was ready to take the punishment for the crime committed. The sages suggested that he should circumambulate the earth thrice, the Mountain Brahmagiri 100 times, holy bath in the Ganges and worshipping of 1 crore Shivalingas. After performing this penance, Lord Ashutosh appeared before them. Sage Gautam asked to be freed from the crime. Lord Shiva said"O Sage Gautam you were always innocent and pure. The other sages in reality made a conspiracy against you.

Listening to this Sage Gautama was surprised, but said that those Sages have done a lot of good in the disguise of bad. If, I wouldn’t have done this penance, I would not see you. After this Gautam Rishi asked Ganga from Lord Shiva. Shiva requested Ganga to flow down and make Sage Gautam pure. After that Ganga flowed down. Lord Shiva told Ganga to stay there eternally for the good of all the people. All the Gods started singing the praises of Gautam Rishi, Ganga and Lord Shiva. On the request of all the Gods, Lord Shiva resided by the river Gautami by the name Trimbakeshwar (one of the Jyotirlingas.). This Jyotirlinga named Trimbak, is the one which fulfills everyone’s desires. It emancipates all from their sins and miseries.