Here is everything you need to know about the twelve Jyotirlinga temples of Shiva.
There are twelve (12) Jyotirlingams in India, which are also called ‘Dwadash Jyotirlingas’. It is believed that whosoever does the divine darshans of these 12 holy Jyotirlingas, will be 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 first time Lord Shiva manifested himself as a Jyotirlingam was in the night of Aridra Nakshatra.
- The Somnath Jyotirlinga at ‘Somnath Temple’ in Gujarat, situated on the shores of the Arabian Sea, is home to the first of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas.
- It was destroyed and rebuilt about sixteen times. It was studded with gold and gems and was considered to be the richest temple in India.
- It was restored on the orders of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in 1947 and the Jyotirlinga was installed by the then president Dr Rajendra Prasad.
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- Mahakaleshwar temple is situated in the historical city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.
- Apart from being home to one of the twelve holy Jyotirlingas, it is also one of the top ‘Tantra Temples’ of India.
- ‘Bhasm –Aarti is the highlight of this temple that is the first ritual performed in the morning during which the Shivlinga is bathed with ash from a fresh funeral pyre.
Omkareshwar and Mammaleshwar Temples:
- It is located on the banks of Narmada River on an island called Mandhata in Madhya Pradesh.
- It is believed that the island is in the shape of ‘Om’ – a spiritual symbol in Hindu Mythology.
- It is located in the holy city of Deoghar in the Santhal Parganas division and is adorned with the presence of 21 temples.
- This sacred Shivalinga is decorated with precious gems.
- It 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.
- This temple is one of the twelve sacred Jyotirlingas which is situated in Tamil Nadu.
- It is also one of the Char Dhams in India.
- Located near the city of Dwarka in Gujarat, the temple is considered to be the home of one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
- Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple every year to seek blessing from the Lord who is worshipped here in the form of ‘Nagdev’.
- A great attraction of this temple is the 25-metre tall statue of Lord Shiva in a seated position.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple:
- Kashi is also known as Varanasi or Banaras, situated on the banks of River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh.
- It holds a great religious significance for Hindus due to the belief that one who bathes in the sacred waters of Ganga or dies in Varanasi, attains salvation.
- It is believed that Lord Shiva himself had made this city.
- The Shivlinga in the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the sacred twelve Jyotirlingas.
- It is located in a small town of Trimbak near Nashik in Maharashtra.
- There are three lingas here that signify Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
- The crown which is there is bejewelled with gems that are used to cover these lingas.
- Located in the Himalayan Range of Uttarakhand, the ‘Kedarnath Temple’ is the highest amongst the twelve Jyotirlingas.
- It is also one of the ‘Chhota Char Dham’ pilgrim sites of Hindus.
Mallika Arjuna Swamy Jyotirlinga:
- It is popularly known as ‘Kailash of the South’ and is located on the banks of River Krishna on Shri Shaila Mountain, Andhra Pradesh.
- Here ‘Mallika’ means Devi Parvati and ‘Ajuna’ stand for Shiva.
- It is located in Maharashtra, very close to the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad.
- The temple is also known as Kusumeshwar Jyotirlingam.
A huge crowd can be seen visiting these temples on Mondays or during the 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.