Idol of Tuljabhavani
The idol of the deity is the original idol (Swaymbhu Murti) which is made of Shaligram (black non perishable stone). The installation of the idol of deity is of 'Devipanchayatana' type. The idol is having eight hands. One hand is holding the hairs of a monster or Daitya and other hand contains Trishula or trident which is piercing the chest of the monster or Daitya. Below the leg of the idol lies Daitya or monster Mahishasura in whose chest the Trishula or trident appears to be inserted. This shows that the deity is killing the monster Mahishasura. On the right hand of the idol a lion is there which is 'Wahana' (vehicle of the deity on which the deity usually rides). Near the idol one can see the sage or Rishi Markendeya who is reciting Puranas or Hindu mythology. There is image of moon near the idol. One can see the image of sun on the right hand of the idol. In each hand of the idol one can see weapons or Ayudhas like Chakra, Gada, Trishula, Ankush, Dhanu, Pash. On the right side of the idol one can observe lady Anubhuti worshiping the deity. The lady Anubhati was the wife of Brahmin Kardama. Above the head of the idol there is small idol or 'Pindi' of lord Mahadeva. Also there is Swayanbhu Muguta or self immerged crown on the head of the deity.
History of Tuljabhavani
The history of the deity dates back to Puranas or Hindu mythology. One can find references about Tuljabhavani in Markendeya Purana. 'Durga Saptashati' which is Sanskrita epic about the godess contains thirteen chapters or Adhyaayas and seven hundred Shlokas or rhymes. This epic is a part of Markendeya Purana or mythological work by sage or Rishi Markendeya. In this treatise the spiritual meaning and way towards Karma - doings, Bhakti - devotion and Dyana - Knowledge has been shown. Other source of history is Devi Bhagvata.
Story of Tuljabhavani
There lived in "Krityuga" simple Brahmin sage by name Kardama. The name of his wife was Anubhuti. She was endowed with beauty like Rati & many good qualities. When her died, she begain preparation for " Sutee". At that juncture Divine Broadcast advised " that woman with young child need not go " Sutee". Thereafter she changed her mind & decided to practice penance in the beautiful surroundings of the river MANDAKANI. Anubhuti was Yogi. KUKAR the king of Deman saw her while she was in state of SAMADHI.Gaging at her charming beauty, sinful desire of lust sprang in the mind of KUKAR. At first he tried to win her with sweet word & having failed in attempt, with his brute force tried to commit breach of her chastity & also of her penance. Then Anubhuti prayed the GODDESS for mercy & begain to cry for help. Tulja Bhavani reponded to call & appeared immediately at the place of penance to kill the Demon KUKAR. When Tuljabhavani determined to kill the demon Kukar & began to with him, the KUAKR changed the form & assumed form of a buffalo ( MAHIASH ) & began to dance on the battlefield. On Ashwin Shudha 10, the goddess killed KUAKR & hence the day is celeberated as " VIJAYA DASHAMI. As goddess responded & rushed in haste for the protection of her devotees ,so she is called " TWARITA". Tulja is Marathi form of Twarita & goddess is known as Tulja Bhavani.