Jyotirlinga Series: Bheemashankar Temple at Maharashtra is another of the 12 main Jyotirlingas in the country.
In this story we will see how Shiva comes to the rescue of one of his devotees from the evil Bheemasura, and how the Jyotirlinga eventually came to be...
Once there lived an asura named Bheemasura who was the son of Kumbhakarna and Karkati.
When he grew up, he asked his mother about his absent father, and was told that he was killed by Rama, an avatar of Vishnu.
Incensed by this news, he swore to avenge his father and therefore performed intense austerities to please Brahma.
Pleased with his efforts, Brahma blessed him with immense power.
And so it began. Bheemasura terrorized everyone around him. He even conquered the region of Kamarupa and imprisoned the king who was a great Shiva devotee.
The king kept chanting and praying to Shiva to help him, and had even created a linga out of mud, in the prison itself.
Angered at this scenario as he wanted everyone to worship him as the mightiest of all, Bheemasura proceeded to destroy the linga.
And that is when Shiva appeared there, fought a fierce battle with the asura and finally slayed him.
All the people then prayed to Shiva to stay there forever, and that is how the Bheemashankar Temple came to be.