Jyotirlinga is a religious symbol of the supreme God Shiva. Jyotirlinga is the word with the combination of ‘jyoti” means “light” and ‘lingam’ the “icon or sign” of Lord Shiva. That means jyotirlinga is the radiant symbol of God. Jyotirlinga is also called ‘Dwadasa jyotirlinga’. The legend of the jyotirlinga is mentioned in the Vishnu purana. Devotees from all over the world come to see the sacred shrines of Lord Shiva and attain spiritual peace.
According to Vishnu purana, once Lord Brahma and Vishnu found a pillar which is made of light. The pillar was so long that it was passing through all three worlds swarglok, Martyalok and Patalalok appearing as a huge infinite pillar of light. Later the jyotirlinga cooled into the holy mountain Annamalai(on which the temple of Arunachalpradesh is located) . Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either direction. Vishnu accepted defeat on not being able find the end whereas Brahma chose to lie. Shiva emerged from the pillar and cursed Brahma that he won’t be worshipped till the end of eternity and blessed Vishnu for his piousness. This pillar of radiance is called”jyotirlinga”.
In India, there are 12 jyotirling where Lord Shiva worshipped most placed in numerous locations across the country. Each of these twelve jyotirlingas are different manifestation of Lord Shiva. Originally there were 64 jyotirlingas out of which 12 are considered to be highly auspicious and holy. Let’s know everything about 12 jyotirlinga in India.
1. Somnath jyotirlinga, Gujarat
Somnath is among the most revered pilgrimage site in the country. Somnath is considered to be the first one that was acquired by the deity. Somnath jyotirlinga temple was constructed by the moon in pure gold, renewed by ravan in silver. Thereafter, it was built by krishna in sandalwood and lastly by Bhimadeva in stone. The temple is named after moon.
– According to Shiv purana the moon was married to 27 daughters of Daksha prajapati, out of which he loved Rohini the most. For his negligence towards other wives, Daksh prajapati decided to lose all his (moon) radiance. After that with disturbed moon Rohini came to Somnath and pray to sparsh lingam. After that Lord Shiva blessed him to regain his lost beauty and shine on his request. Lord Shiva assumed the name Somachandra and resided their eternally. After that he became famous by the name Somnath.
2. Mallikarjuna, Andhrapradesh
Mallikarjuna is the combined form of Mallika which means “Goddess parvati” and Arjun refers to “God Shiva”. As per Shiv purana it is the combined form of Shiv and Parvati. It is popularly known as “Kashi” of the South. Mallikarjuna is one of the popular jyotirlinga in India. The temple is also called as “Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna” temple. This temple is located at Srisailam on the bank of Krishna river in Andhrapradesh. It is the only temple in India which is both a shakti peetha and jyotirlinga.
-According to Shiva purana, Lord Ganesh was getting married before his elder son Kartikeya. So that Shiv and Parvati came here to appease their anger. But he didn’t listening them. After that Shiv and Parvati stayed there as Mallika and Arjuna. Seeing their son in such a state they were very hurt and Shiva assumed the form of a jyotirlinga and resided on the mountain by the name of Mallikarjuna.
3. Mahakaleshwara, Madhyapradesh
Mahakaleshwar jyotirlinga is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Mahakaleshwar is Lord Shiva and the meaning of kaal is time and maha or greatness of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva thought to be greater than time itself. The mahakaleshwar temple is a shakti peetha. That are believed that to have enshrined with the presence of shakti due to the falling of body parts of the corpes of Sati devi , when Shiva carried it. Mahakaleshwar temple is built by Lord Brahma by ujjain.
– According to Shiva purana, once a five years old boy named Shrikar enthralled by the devotion of king Chandrasena of ujjain towards Lord Shiva. After that Shrikara took a stone and started worshipping Lord Shiva. Many people tried to disturbed him in many ways but didn’t disturbed. After all his devotion started growing. By his devotion, Lord Shiva assumed the form of a jyotirlinga and resided in the mahakaal forest. After this incident this jyotirlinga was named as Mahakaleshwar jyotirlinga
4. Omkareshwara, Madhyapradesh
Omkareshwara temple is a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The word Omkareshwar means “Lord of Omkara”. It is situated on an island called shivpuri in the Narmada river. It is one of the 12 jyotirlinga shrines in India. In behind it has a story, why the temple is called omkareshwara temple.
– Once upon a time, there ensued a great war between Devas and Danavas(God and demons). In which Demons are won. When they started to lose against demons ,devas pray to Lord Shiva for victory. Lord Shiva was satisfied with the prayer and appeared as Omkareshwar and helped the devas to achieve triumph.
5. Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
The temple of Lord Shiva was built in kedarnath by the five pandava brothers of the mahabharata. Visiting all dham is incomplete without kedarnath among the char dhams. Kedarnath is located near Mandakini river in uttarakhand. Kedarnath is one of the 12 jyotirlingas which is visited by millions of religious people every year. Due to extremely cold weather and snowfall, the temple remains closed for 6month during winter.
– After the end of kurukshetra war, five pandavas are came kedarnath to meet Lord Shiva on the advice of the sage vyasa, to seek forgiveness for killing their kin during the war. Lord Shiva forgiving pandavas and turned into a bull. And burrowed among the cattle on the hill. After trying many times to catch the bull, it escaped by immersing himself head first. One of the pandava brother(Bhima) was catched his tail , forcing him to appear and forgive them. After this incident, pandava brothers are built the first temple at kedarnath.
6. Bhimasankaram, Maharashtra
The temple is located near Bhima river, the largest tributary of Krishna river originates. The Bhimashankar temple is located in the Sahyadri region of pune. It is one of the most famous jyotirlinga in India. Bhimashankar is the sixth jyotirlinga and the most popular among the 12 jyotirlingas in India. This temple is made of black stone along with religious significance.
– According to the legend, once Bhima(son of kumbhakarna) was learned how his father was killed in the war between Ram and Ravan. He started praying to Lord Brahma. Brahma blessed him with immense power so that he started destroying everything and defeated almost every God. Along with Brahma and all God praying Lord Shiva to rescue them and defeated the demon. After that Bhima ashes and settled here in the form of Bhimashankar.
7. Vishwanath, Uttar pradesh
Kashi vishwanath temple is one of the most popular jyotirlinga in India. This temple made because of argument between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu to find the end of light. This jyotirlinga is popularly referred to as “the golden temple Varanasi”. According to the history of India, the temple was looted many times because it was made up of gold. – According to Shiva purana, once Lord Brahma and Vishnu argued their supremacy. Lord Shiva make a test and asked them to find the end of pillar of light. Lord Vishnu accepted his defeat and Lord Brahma telling lie to have found the end. After that Lord Shiva getting furious and decided that Brahma won’t revered by Hindus. For his honesty, Lord Vishnu will be worshipped. The place where Shiva’s light pierced is called jyotirlinga and Kashi vishwanath is one of them.
8. Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra
The temple is located on the bank of the river Godavari, Nasik. The most unique part of this jyotirlinga is it’s shape. It is uniquely shaped with three pillar named as the most powerful and supreme Gods-Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. It is also known as “Dakshin Ganga” and “Gautami Ganga”.
– Once Rishi Gautam and his wife had a boon received from Varuna So that they won’t suffer from famine. Other rishis jealous of him and sent a cow to his barn to ruin his reputation. After sometime the cow was died and everyone said that Gautam and his wife was the murderer. To free from the false accusation they pray Lord Shiva to purify it through flow of river ganga. Lord Shiva granted the wish and they (Rishi Gautam and his wife) requested Lord Shiva to stay there as Trimbakeshwara.
9. Nageshwar, Gujarat
Nageshwar is one of the most powerful jyotirlinga in India that can be found in the east. It signifies the protection from all types of venom and poison. It is situated on the coast of Saurashtra, Gujarat. It is believed that those who worship at this temple he became free from all poison. Thousands of devotees visit the Nageshwar temple to seek blessings from the holy shrines of Nageshwar.
– According to Shiva purana, once a Daruka named demon was imprisoned Supriya who is a Lord Shiva devotee. Daaruka took Supriya along with other to his city under the sea called Darukavana which had many demons and sea snakes. Supriya along with others started praying Lord Shiva to save them. To rescue his imprisoned devotee Supriya Lord Shiva’s body covered with sea snakes. Thus Lord Shiva named as Nageshwar.
10. Baidyanath, Jharkhand
It is located at Deogarh in the santal parganas region of Jharkhand. Thousands of devotees visit here to seek blessings. In Shravan month many devotees partake in an annual pilgrimage known as kanwar yatra, fetch holy water from ganga to pour it on the jyotirlinga.
– Once, the king of Srilanka (Ravan) was prayed for years to invite Lord Shiva to Srilanka. Shiva permitted to carry his Atmalinga in one condition that not to take a break in his journey and without the help of anyone else. The Gods knew that, if the lingam should rooted at the place forever, Ravan would become invincible and destroy the world. Lord Shiva make plan that Varun enter to the belly of Ravan so that he had an urgent urge to release water and Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Brahmin in front of Ravan. Ravan handed the lingam to Brahmin . After that the lingam got rooted there forever by the name Vaidyanath Or Baidyanath Or Vaijnath.
11. Rameshwaram, Tamilnadu
The Rameshwaram jyotirlinga is one of the most visited holy places in the country. Besides visiting the Rameshwaram jyotirlinga, devotees often also visit Dhanuskodi beach to seek the blessings of Lord Rama. The jyotirlinga is popularly known as “Varanasi of the south”. It is located on the island of Rameshwaram. This temple popularly known for its architecture. This jyotirlinga is closely associated with Ramayan. Rama’s victorious return from Sri Lanka.
– Once Lord Rama has stopped at Rameshwaram on the way to sri lanka for drinking water on the seashore. There was a celestial proclamation” You are drinking water without worshiping me”. After listening Lord Rama made a linga in sand and worshipped for blessings to defeat Ravan. After that he got the blessings from Lord Shiva and he turned into a jyotirlinga name Rameshwaram. It resides at the place for eternity.
12. Grishneswar, Maharashtra
The Grishneshwar jyotirlinga is also known as kusumeswarar Or Ghushmeshwar or Dhushmeshwara. Grishneshwar jyotirlinga is considered the last jyotirlinga among twelve. Grishneshwar temple is constructed with red and black stones. There is a huge Nandi bull in the main court hall , which signifies purity and justice.Grishneshwar temple was also the part of a Shiva purana. It is located near Ajanta and Ellora caves. This jyotirlinga was built by Ahilyabai Holkar.
– According to Shiva purana , once a couple Sudharm and Sudeha was lived in Devagiri mountain. They have no child. Sudeha decided to married his sister Ghusma to his husband Sudharm. They bore a child and Sudeha gets jealousy of her sister. In her jealousy Sudeha threw the son in the lake. Where Ghusma used to discharge 101 lingams. After that Ghusma prayed Lord Shiva to return his son. Ultimately he returned his son and told his sisters deeds. Shiva asked her to take another boon. On her request, Shiva manifested a jyotirlinga named as Grishneshwar.
– This is one of the best place to visit Aurangabad.