Jyotirlinga Series: Trimbakeshwar Temple at Maharashtra is another one of the 12 main Jyotirlingas in the country.
The legend of this temple revolves around a Shiva-bhakta named rishi Gautam, some trickery and deceit and of course, the Mahadev himself!
So, let's find out the legend associated with this temple, shall we?
A rishi named Gautama and his wife Ahilya lived in an area which was suffering from drought since a very long time.
Rishi Gautama prayed to Varuna deva (god of rain) for rain. Impressed with his efforts, Varuna arranged rains every day in Gautama's ashram.
He then cultivated rice in large quantities in the area, and used to feed a lot of brahmins, who in turn, gave him lots of blessings.
Looking at this, Indra, the king of the devas, got insecure that Gautama might become even more powerful than him thanks to the countless blessings he receives each day.
So, in a power play, he made Jaya, a friend of Parvati, to graze in the rice fields in the form of a cow. The rishi tried to shoo away the cow, and it ended up dying! All but a trick!
Now Gautama got worried regarding the sin of killing a cow and prayed to Shiva for mercy and requested him to get Ganga as a stream in the area.
Knowing the truth, Shiva tried to tell him so, but Gautama was in no mood to listen. Finally, he blessed Gautama and also requested Ganga to descend down in the area, which then became known as Gautami Ganga. Shiva himself stayed back which today is popular as the Trimbakeshwar Temple at Maharashtra.