The twelve jyotirlinga temples of shiva in India – Lord Shiva is the most prominent and foremost deity in Hinduism. He is considered to be a Yogi, who keeps a close eye on everything happening around the world. Now let’s understand what is Jyotirlinga?
Here is everything you need to know about the twelve Jyotirlinga temples of Shiva.
A Jyotirlinga or ‘Jyotlingam’ is a devotional representation of the Supreme Lord Shiva. ‘Jyoti’ here means radiance and ‘Lingam’ means ‘an image or a sign’ of God Shiva. There are a total of twelve jyotirlinga temples of shiva in India.
These 12 Jyotirlingas are also called ‘Dwadash Jyotirlingas’. It is believed that whoever completes the divine darshan of all of these 12 holy Jyotirlingas is released from the cycle of life and death. These Jyotirlingas are the same in appearance as a Shivlinga but are manifested with a divine light or ‘Jyoti’ that can only be seen by a person who has attained a higher level of spiritual enlightenment.
The twelve Jyotirlinga temples of Shiva in India are listed below:
- The Somnath Temple located at Prabhas Patan in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat is traditionally the first pilgrimage site. This temple is situated on the shores of the Arabian Sea.
- This temple was destroyed and rebuilt sixteen times. It was studded with gold and gems and was considered to be the richest temple in India.
- The Somnath Jyotirlinga is the first of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas.
- Somnath is said to be “the protector of the Moon God”.
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- The Mahakaleshwar temple is situated in the historical city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.
- This temple is one of the top ‘Tantra Temples’ of India.
- The ‘Bhasm Aarti’ is one of the major highlights of this temple. It is the first ritual performed in the morning during which the Shivlinga is bathed with the ash of a fresh funeral pyre.
- It is the only temple facing south and also has a Shree Rudra Yantra perched upside down at the ceiling of the Garbhagriha, i.e, where the Shiv Lingam sits.
- It is among one of the seven “Mukti-Sthal” – the place that can liberate a human.
Omkareshwar and Mammaleshwar Temples:
- The Omkareshwar Temple is located on the banks of the Narmada River on an island called Mandhata in Madhya Pradesh.
- This temple is home to a Jyotirlinga shrine and the Mamaleshwar Temple.
- It is believed that the island on which this Jyotirlinga is situated is in the shape of ‘Om’, which is a spiritual symbol in the Hindu Mythology.
- The Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple, also known as Baba vaidyanath dham or vaidyanath dham is located in the holy city of Deoghar in the Santhal Parganas division.
- It is adorned with the presence of 21 other temples.
- This sacred Shivalinga is decorated with precious gems.
- It is the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva.
- The Bhimashankar Temple is located in a small village called ‘Bhorgiri’ amidst the Sahyadri Hills near Pune in Maharashtra.
- This place holds a great religious significance owing to the presence of the ‘Bhimashankar Temple’, which is home to another sacred Jyotirlinga.
- The Ramanathaswamy Temple is located on the island of Rameshwaram, which is at the extreme southern corner of India.
- This temple is a divine heaven which had been glorified by the songs of the 3 most revered Nayanars – Appars, Sundarar, and Tirugnana Sambandar.
- This temple was built during the 12th century by the Pandya Dynasty. It showcases the longest corridor among all other Hindu temples of India.
- This temple is considered a holy spot by both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.
- It is situated in Tamil Nadu and is also one of the Char Dhams in India.
- The Nageshwar Temple, also known as Nagnath Temple, is located near the city of Dwarka in Gujarat.
- It is considered to be the first Jyotirlinga on Earth.
- Thousands of pilgrims visit this temple every year, only to seek blessings from the Lord who is worshipped here in the form of ‘Nagdev’.
- The great attraction of this temple is the 25-metre tall statue of Lord Shiva in a seated position.
- This Jyotirlinga holds special significance as it symbolises protection from all types of poison.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple:
- The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is situated in Varanasi or Banaras, on the banks of River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh.
- This temple holds a great religious significance for Hindus. It is believed that one who bathes in the sacred waters of Ganga or dies in Varanasi, attains salvation.
- It is believed that Lord Shiva himself made this city.
- The Shivlinga in the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most sacred twelve Jyotirlingas.
- It is a place where Shakti peeta and Jyotirlingam are together.
- The Trimbakeshwar Temple, located in a small town of Trimbak near Nashik in Maharashtra, is worshipped by a large group of Hindu pilgrims in India.
- This temple is actually situated at the source of the revered Godavari River.
- There are three lingas here that signify Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh.
- The crown situated here is bejewelled with gems that are used to cover these lingas.
- The Kedarnath Temple, located in the Himalayan Range of Uttarakhand, is the highest amongst the twelve Jyotirlingas.
- It is also part of the ‘Chhota Char Dham’ pilgrim sites of Hindus.
- This Jyotirlinga is also the closest one to Lord Shiva’s eternal adobe of Mount Kailash.
- The old temple was there since the period of Mahabharata and is believed to be constructed when Pandavas successfully satisfied Lord Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath.
Mallika Arjuna Swamy Jyotirlinga:
- The Mallikarjuna Temple, popularly known as ‘Kailash of the South’, is located on the banks of River Krishna on Shri Shaila Mountain, Andhra Pradesh.
- It is one of the greatest Shaivite shrines in India.
- Here ‘Mallika’ means Devi Parvati and ‘Arjuna’ stands for Lord Shiva.
- The Ghrishneshwar Temple, also referred to as the Dhushmeshwar temple, is located in Maharashtra.
- This temple is very close to the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad.
- The temple is also known as ‘Kusumeshwar Jyotirlingam’.
These temples witness huge mass gatherings every Monday and during festivals of Shivratri and Maha Shivratri. There are said to be a total of sixty-four Jyotirlingas but these twelve Jyotirlinga temples of Shiva are the most popular ones.
These 12 Jyotirlingas are also described in the Shiv Purana:
Saurashtra Somnatham Cha Shrishaile Mallikarjunam ||
Ujjainyam Mahakal Omkare Mammaleshwaram ||
Parlyam Vaijnatham Cha Dakinyam Bheema Shankaram ||
Setu Bandhe Tu Ramesham Nagesham Daruka Vane ||
Varanasya Tu Vishwesham Tribakam Gautamitate ||
Himalaye Tu Kedaram Ghurmesham Cha Shivalaye ||
Aetani Jyotirlingani Sayam Prataha Pathennaraha ||
Sapta Janma Kritam Papam Smaranen Vinashyati ||
It is believed that one who recites these 12 names regularly in the morning and in the evening is forgiven all their sins which they committed in the 7 previous births. It helps one attain all the powers and Siddhis.