12 Jyotirlingas in India
12 Jyotirlingas in India

12 Jyotirlingas in India

Shiva also known as Mahadev (the supreme god), is one of the biggest deities of Hinduism. The Jyotirlingas in India are the most auspicious pilgrim destinations for Shiva Devotees. The word Jyotirlinga is made up of two words Jyotis meaning ‘radiance’ and linga meaning ‘Lord Shiva’. Therefore, Jyotirlingas represent the light of Lord Shiva. Hence, are considered to be the essence of his presence.

Legend of the Jyotirlinga

Long ago, Lord Vishnu (The Preserver and Lord Brahma (The Creator) were arguing over supremacy. To end this debate, Lord Shiva (The Destroyer) appeared in the form of a Light pillar. Then he asked Lord Vishnu and Brahma to search for the pilar’s end. Shiva also declared that the first one to find the end will be the Supreme God. Tired of the endless search Brahma Lied, while Vishnu accepted defeat. Angered with Bhrama’s lie Lord Shiva cursed him. As a result of the curse, Bharama was never worshipped again. Jyotirlingas are the temples where Lord Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light.

The 12 Jyotirlingas

12 Jyotirlingas in India
12 Jyotirlingas in India

1. Somnath Jyotirlinga, Gujarat

Somnath means “Lord of Soma (Moon God)”. This temple is considered to be the first pilgrimage site among the 12 Jyotirlingas. The temple was desecrated and rebuilt many times throughout history. Sardar Patel built the modern-day temple in 1947. Located on the west coast of India, Somnath is a sight to behold. Build in the Chaulukya style of Architecture it reflects the skills of Sompura Salats (the master masons of Gujrat). 

Somnath Temple
Somnath Temple

According to the legend, Chandra was cursed by his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati for not loving all his wives equally. As a consequence of the curse, the moon lost its light. To find a solution, Chandra approached Bhrama for advice. Following the advice of Lord Bhrama, Chandra reached Somnath. Where he bathed in the Sarasvati river to regain his Lustre.

Timing

6 AM to 10 PM

Special Attractions

The Sound & Light Show “Jay Somnath”: 8 PM to 9 PM

Location Nearby
  • Vallabhghat: Sunset point
  • Shri Kapardi Vinayak Temple
  • Shri Hanuman Temple
Best way to reach
  • Nearest Railway Station: Somnath – 0.5 Km, Veraval – 7 Km.
  • By Road

2. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Gujarat

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga means ” the Lord of Cobras “. According to Hindu mythology, the Nageshwar temple rids a devotee of all poisons giving him protection from evils. The temple is located on the coast of Saurashtra, the serene red temple is a short distance from the city of Dwaraka.

Nageshwar Temple
Nageshwar Temple

The legend goes that a demon named Daurka imprisoned a Shiva Devotee Supriya. Once, imprisoned by the demon Supriya began chanting the mantra of “Om Namah Shivay”. As a result of her faithful calling, Lord Shiva appeared and vanquished the demon. Then a self-manifested linga appeared at the spot.

Timing

Dawn to Dusk

Special attractions
  • 25 m tall statue of a sitting Lord Shiva
  • a large garden with a pond
Attractions Nearby
  • Gopi Talav Tirth: Lake where Gopis visited Lord Krishan and merged with the soil.
Best way to reach
  • Nearest Railway Station: Dwarka railway, 16 km.
  • By Road: NH 947, 16 km

3. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Pune

Bhimashankar Temple
Bhimashankar Temple

The Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple follows the Nagara style of architecture. The temple is located on the bank of River Bhima in the middle of a reserved forest, 50 km Khed taluka (alias Rajgurunagar), near Pune, in Maharashtra, India. According to Hindu believes, Bheem (son Of Kumbhakaran) built this Shivalinga in the 13th century. Hence, giving the place its name.

Timing

4:30 AM to 9:30 PM

Special attractions

A big bell in the Hemadpanthi structure built by Nana Phadanavis

Attractions Nearby
  • Hanuman Lake
  • Gupt Bhimashankar
  • Origin of River Bhima
  • Nag Phani
  • Bombay Point
  • Sākshi Vinayak
Best way to reach

By Road: 127 km from Pune road

4. Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nashik

The Trimbakeshwar jyotirlinga is believed to fulfil the desires of devotees. This temple is located near the Brahmagiri mountain, the origin of Godavari (Gautam Ganga). The temple has three lingas representing lord Shiva, Vishnu and, Bhrama. The temple has images of various deities, several monasteries and, many samadhis of saints too.

It is believed that Rishi Gautam was blessed with a boon that no famine would ever touch his land. This made the other rishis jealous of him. As a result of this jealousy, they conspired against him by sending an ill cow to his land. Later, the cow died and the rishis labelled Gautam as a Cow murderer (sinner). To liberate himself from such grave allegations Gautam requested Lord Shiva to purify his land. That is when Shiva emerged in the form of Trimbakeshwar and purified the land.

Timing

5 AM to 9 PM

Attractions Nearby
  • Amritavarshini: The Temple tank
  • Shri Nilambika/Dattatreya/Matamba Temple
Best way to reach
  • By Road: 30 km from Nasik road
  • Nearest Railway Station: Nashik Road Railway Station, 39km

5. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad

Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga temple is also called Ghrneshwar, Ghrneshwara means “lord of compassion”. The temple has an impressive red rock 5 storied Shikhara style architecture and attracts the longest line of Devotees. Though anyone can enter its inner chambers, tradition demands for men to enter the sanctum sanctorum core bare-chested.

Timing

5:30 AM to 9:30 PM

Attractions Nearby
  • Ellora Caves – a UNESCO World Heritage site
Best way to reach
  • Nearest Railway Station: Aurangabad Railway Station, 34km
  • Nearest Airport: Aurangabad Airport, 41 Km

6. Vaidyanath Dham, Deoghar

The Vaidyanatha Jyotirlinga temple is also known as Baba Baidyanath Dham. The temple complex consists of the main temple where the Jyotirlinga is and 21 other smaller temples. During the Kanwar yatra, hundreds of disciples collect water from the river Ganga. Then travel several kilometres to dispense as offerings in Baidyanath Temple.

According to Hindu mythology, Ravana (the demon King ) worshipped Shiva at the very site where the temple is located. He sacrificed nine of his ten heads to lord Shiva. Lord descended to cure the injured Ravan as a healer (Vaidya). Hence, giving this place its name.

Timing

4 AM to 9 PM

Attractions Nearby
  • Shravan Mela: In July and August
Best way to reach
  • Nearest Railway Station: Jasidih Junction, 8 km
  • Nearest Airport: Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Airport, 8 Km

7. Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain

The Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is located on the bank of river Shipra, in the dense Mahakal forest of Ujjain. Swaymbhu (self-manifested) is the presiding deity of this beautiful temple. The Swaymbhu derives its Shakti (power) from itself. Unlike the other lingams who were established using mantra-shakti.

Hindu mythology states that a boy named Shikara established the Mahakal lingam to save his village. Which was under attack from the neighbouring states.

Timing

4 AM to 11 PM

Best way to reach
  • Nearest Railway Station: Ujjain Junction, 2km
  • Nearest Airport: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, 59 Km

8. Omkareshwar Temple, Madhya Pradesh

The Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga temple resides on an Om-shaped Island “Shivpuri” in the Narmada river. The work Omkareshwar means ” The lord of Om sound”. Hence, making this temple a centre of intense Faith.

According to the legend, Lord Shiva defeated the Demons army. Due to the requests of Other Devas on this spot.

Timing

5 AM to 10 PM

Attractions Nearby
  • The Narmada River
  • Mamleshwar Temple
Best way to reach
  • By Road: 77 Km from Ujjain
  • Nearest Railway Station: Khandwa Junction, 70km
  • Nearest Airport: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport,80 Km

9. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi

Vishwanath means ” The Lord of the Universe”. The western bank of the River Ganga in the city of Varanasi is the home to this magnificent temple. It is the most auspicious Temple for Shiva Devotees. The temple was made of Absolute gold. Hence, was demolished multiple times by intruders. Later, the temple was built to its current version by the Maratha ruler, Ahilya Bai Holkar.

Timing

5 AM to 9 PM

Attractions Nearby
  • The Ganga River
  • Varanasi city
Best way to reach
  • Nearest Railway Station: Varanasi Junction, 5km
  • Nearest Airport: Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, 25 Km

10. Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath meaning “Lord of the fields” is located on the Rudra mountain ranges, at an altitude of 12000 feet. It is one of the 4 dhammas in Hindu mythology. The Temple experiences extremely cold weather. Hence, is open for Darshan only 6 months of the year. 

Based on a theological account, Lord Shiva appeared here at the request of Nara-Narayana. After the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas came here to apologise for the bloodshed and seek Shiva’s forgiveness. Later, they established the Kedarnath Temple.

Timing

4 AM to 9 PM

Attractions Nearby
  • Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi
Best way to reach
  • 17 km trek from Gurikund
  • Nearest Railway Station: Rishikesh Railway Station, 210 km from Gauri Kund

11. Rameshwaram Temple, Tamil Nadu

The Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga temple is built on Rameshwaram Island is one of the 4 Dhammas. The temple is built in the magnificent Dravidian style of architecture. It has the longest corridor compared to any other temple in India. According to religious beliefs, Rama established this temple. Before, making his way to Lanka to rescue Sita.

Timing

5 AM to 9 PM

Attractions Nearby
  • Two water Bodies within the temple
Best way to reach
  • Nearest Railway Station: Rameswaram Railway Station, 1.5 km

12. Mallikarjuna Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Mallikarjuna is made up of two words Mallika and Arjuna. Here, Mallika represents Goddess Parvati and Arjuna represents God Shiva. Therefore, Mallikarjuna is a united form of both Parvati and Shiva. This temple is also known as the Kashi of South and is located near the banks of river Krishna.

Timing

4:30 AM to 10 PM

Attractions Nearby
  • Mukha Mandapa Hall
  • gopurams- coloured pillars
Best way to reach
  • By Road
  • Nearest Railway Station: Markapur Road, 80 km

Now, you know everything about these sacred temples. Hope you soon plan your trip to one of these temples. After all, they are the centre of religion and culture. If you are still not convinced. Here are few reasons why you should visit these Jyotirlingas. Firstly, a pilgrimage of these 12 Jyotirlingas is believed to grant liberation from hardships and problems. Secondly, they are absolutely magnificent to look at. Thirdly their peaceful environment takes away all your worries. Summing up, these Jyotirlingas are the perfect travel locations. So, book your travel plans to one of these marvellous locations this summer.

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About Prachi Saxena

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