12 Jyotirlingas in India
How much do you know about Jyotirlingas and their significance in the Indian culture? Let's delve a little into the nuances of jyotirlinga before we talk about the list of jyotirlingas in India. A jyotirlinga is basically diverse manifestations of Lord Shiva. There are exact 12 jyotirlingas that have been strategically placed across the country in numerous locations. Hindu devotees from around the country often take up pilgrimages and spiritual journeys to visit these jyotirlingas to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and his many forms. These sanctums do come with a sense of peace in the presence of the divine powers.
Quite the spiritual awakening that you might be looking at to make a few changes in your lives. Interestingly, when you break the word jyotirlinga, it transpires to Jyoti which means light and radiance and linga, which best translates to a phallus. Having stated all these things, it is time for you to know more about the 12 jyotirlingas in India. You can accordingly choose to plan your next trip!
12 Jyotirlingas in India
Part of the 12 popular jyotirlingas in India, Somnath is considered to be the first one that was acquired by the deity. Pilgrims and devotees highly regard Somnath and even believe it to be the epitome of spiritual enlightenment. No wonder it is the most worshipped pilgrimage site in India too. With a rather decorative shrine of Lord Shiva, the architecture of the temple complex is very Chalukya-inspired. Legend also suggests that Lord Shiva apparently visited this shrine. It does have an intriguing factor as there are many stories connected to this particular shrine of Lord Shiva. Visit the jyotirlinga in India to know more about its hidden tales!
Nestled on the coast of Saurashtra, Gujarat, Nageshwar is another popular jyotirlinga in India that can be found in the West. Coddled by Gomai Dwarka and Bait Dwarka on either side the temple of Nagnath also witnesses a humongous throng of pilgrims and visitors who are often intrigued by the fascinating appeal of the temple structure and the location. Believed to be one of the strongest and most powerful jyotirlingas in India, the temple is a symbol of protection from all types of venom and poison.
You probably know Bhimashankar as one of the top trekking choices in Maharashtra. But there's a reason why it is such a popular destination, the presence of one of the jyotirlingas! With greenery galore on all sides of the temple, the jyotirlinga is believed to be constructed by Bheema, the son of Kumbhakarna. Interestingly, it is nestled on the banks of River Bhima too. The place turns into a carnivalesque haven during Maha Shivratri with devotees coming over from various parts of the state. Easily one of the most famous jyotirlingas in India, you should definitely opt for a trip here.
Located near the Brahmagiri mountain, the Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga is also the place of origin of the illustrious Godavari River. It is also known as Dakshini Ganga and Gautami Ganga. It is believed that Godavari River and Gautami Rishi requested Lord Shiva to reside in Trimbakeshwar which led to the god, emerging into one form of jyotirlinga. Interestingly, unlike other Jyotirlingas, the one in Trimbakeshwar is uniquely shaped with three pillars that represent the three supreme powers, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswar.
Constructed in a Shikhara-style with gods and goddesses carved on the walls, the Grishneshwar Temple is also part of the Shiva Purana. Located near the Ajanta and Ellora caves, the jyotirlinga is believed to be built by Ahilyabai Holkar. The temple complex is quite exciting with very beautiful carvings, sculptures and more. It is every bit impressive and you will be left spellbound by the temple structure.
Yet another revered jyotirlinga, Vaidyanath in Jharkhand has a very interesting story of origin. Actually, it is quite popular too. The tale goes like this, Ravana, a staunch believer of Lord Shiva prayed for years to invite him to Lanka. During this time, Ravana actually got injured too. So, when Lord Shiva arrived to meet his devotee, Ravana was not in his best shape. Lord Shiva took it upon himself to cure Ravana, and with that, he got the name of Vaidyanath. The temple does witness a throng of pilgrims every year, especially on occasions of Maha Shivratri and Shravana months.
Nestled in the midst of Mahakal forest in Ujjain, the Mahakaleshwar Temple is believed to have been built by a five-year-old boy Srikar. The temple is right on the banks of the Kshipra River while the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is also recognised as one of the seven mukti sthas in the country.
Perched on the Narmada River, Omkareshwar is a popular jyotirlinga that literally translates to the Lord of the Om Sound. The temple is known to have immense mythological significance. It is believed that there was a war between Devas and Danavas. As the Devas prayed to Lord Shiva, happy with their dedication, Lord Shiva chose their side and appeared as Omkareshwar to help them triumph over the evils.
Kashi Vishwanath is one of the most popular jyotirlingas in India. It is believed that the jyotirlinga came into existence following an argument between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Basically, the mythology talks about how Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva will be worshipped equally while Lord Brahma will be shunned for lying. The temple worships Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu!
Kedarnath is another famous jyotirlinga in India that is inaccessible most of the year. Owing to a very rough climate with cold weather and snowfall, the temple remains closed for the devotees. It is believed that a dip in the holy water of Gangotri and Yamunotri from the pond present within the Kedarnath temple will rid you of all your troubles and worries.
Also recognised as the Varanasi of the South, the Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga is also one of the most-visited holy places in the country. Besides visiting the Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga, devotees often also visit Dhanuskhodi beach to seek the blessings of Lord Rama. You should visit the temple to know more about the background story of the jyotirlinga.
The last of the 12 jyotirlingas in India, the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga temple is perched on the hilltop of the Shri Saila Mountain. You can view the River Krishna from the temple which is decked up with excellent architecture and sculptures. The jyotirlinga in Andhra Pradesh is also recognised as one of the 52 shakti peeths of Sati.
A pilgrimage to these jyotirlingas in India would actually be the best spiritual journey that you can indulge in. It is every bit holistic and rewarding.
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