Bhimshankar derives its name from the river Bhima. Legend has it that Lord Shankar got angry and killed rakshas (demon) Tripurasura. The heat generated by the intense war between the two caused the river Bhima to evaporate and thus the name Bhimashankar.
Flora: The natural vegetation of the place is mostly southern tropical semi evergreen. There are various types of trees, plants, herbs and shrubs found here. Some of the chief trees seen here are mango, hirda, bamboo, jamun and behda.
Fauna: The sanctuary is home to various species of animals like leopards, sambar, hyena, barking deer, wild boar and the Malabar giant squirrel.
Avifauna: There are various species of birds like black eagle, Malabar whistling thrush, grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, green pigeon and quaker babbler.