Interesting places nearby
This is half way to Bramhagiri mountain and is one of the five teerthas. There is a temple of Ganga also known as Godavari River. Ganga appears first time here, after it vanishes from Bramhagiri Mountain. Godavari comes to Gangadwar from Brahmadri. There is an idol of Ganga and near her feet is a stone of the shape of cow’s head through which Ganga water is flowing drop by drop.
Devotees take holy bath in Kushawart Tirth, to parikrama (Take a round trip) of Bramhgiri,to take darshan of Samadhi (mausoleum) of saint Nivruttinath, to perform various religious rituals and to get rid of the sins, sorrows and diseases.
When results of all the good deeds (punya) adds together, the will to visit Trimbak arises in human mind. The sage Gautam held the flow of Ganga here with abhimantrit darbh (enchanted weeds) and took a bath in Kushawarta Tirth to get rid of his sin of killing a cow. From here the river Ganga is called Godavari. Though Godavari is holy all over its route, the ugamsthan (origin) is considered to have a special importance.
Nil Parvat (mountain) :
On the summit is the temple of Nilamba Matamba Devi (Nilambika), further on is an ancient temple of Nilkantheshwar Mahadev and an idol of Parashuram. There is an old akhada or matha of the Gosavi sect and an ancient temple of Sadguru Dattatraya.
Gautam Tirtha : Varun being pleased with Gautam gave this tirtha as a permanent source of water.
Bilwa Tirtha : is one of the five tirthas and there is a temple of Bilvakeshwar Mahadev.
Indra Tirtha :
Also known as Shakra-Kupa for Indra wiped off his curse given by sage Gautam for enjoying Ahilya, by a bath in this tirtha. On the bank of the tirtha is a beautiful temple of Indreshwar Mahadev with an idol of Indra seated on an Airavata elephant. Besides this there are Vishwanath tirtha, Nilambar tirtha or Moti-tank, Mukund tirtha, Prayag tirtha and Veni-Madhav and other Mahadev temples on the bank of Prayag tirtha. Here is a matha of Nirvana Sampradaya (sect) Nilganga tirtha and nilsangameshwar Mahadev temple are on the north bank of Godavati.
Ahilya Sangam Tirtha :
To force Gautam to give up his penance, a friend of Ganga named Jatila took the form of Ahilya, Gautam’s wife. Gautam could make it out and cursed her to be transformed into a river. Then she begged his pardon. Gautam granted her pardon and said that she will be freed of her curse on her joining with Godavari river. This is the Ahilya-Sangam tirtha where Ganga and Godavari join. There is a temple of Sangmeshwar Mahadev.
Nivruttinath Temple :
Ashta tirtha yatra and pancha tirtha yatra
Two yatras (pilgrimage) are performed here.
- Ashta tirtha yatra including Ballal tirtha, the sacred place of Gunesh Ganapati, Varansi tirtha, Manakarnika tirtha, Ganga sagar, Rama-Laxman tirtha, Shali tirtha, Kanchan tirtha and Ahilya-Sangam tirtha.
- Pancha tirtha yatra includes Gangadwar, Kushavarta, Bilwaka, Nilparavata and Kanakhala tirtha. It is believed that one who takes a bath in the above is never reborn.
There are two pradakshinas (ring routes) in this kshetra – one round the Brahmagiri and the other one round Hariharagiri. Pilgrim has to go for pradakshina with holy garment early in the morning visiting and bathing in various tirthas. The tour is to be completed in either a day, three days or five days.