Baidyanath Jyotirlinga temple (or) Baba Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (the most sacred abodes of Shiva), situated in Deoghar, Jharkhand, and dedicated to Lord Shiva. Baidyanath Temple also called as Baba Dham, Vaidhyanath Temple and Baidyanath Dham. This temple contains 21 other temples in its temple complex. The main shrine of Lord Shiva is in lotus shape and 72 feet tall.
The other main shrines at the temple complex are the shrines of Maa Parvathi, Maa Kali, Maa Jagat Janani, Kal Bhairav and Lakshminarayan. Baidyanath Temple is believed to be built by Vishwakarma, the architect of gods and the temple has been in existence since the age of Rama, the king of Ayodhya. Baidyanath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga Temples, the sacred abode of Lord Shiva. The 12 Jyotirlinga Temples are:
- Somnath Temple
- Mallikarjun Temple
- Mahakaleshwara Temple
- Omkareshwar Temple
- Kedarnath Temple
- Vaidyanath Temple
- Bhimashankar Temple
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple
- Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple
- Rameshwaram Temple
- Nageshwar Temple
- Grishneshwar Temple
The mythology says that Lord Brahma (the god of creation) and Lord Vishnu (the god of Harmony) had a tough argument on who holds the superiority in creation. To test Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva penetrated the three worlds as an endless pillars of light, called Jyotirlinga. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu was assigned separate directions, one to the upward direction and the other towards the downward direction to find the end of the light in either directions.
Lord Vishnu admitted His Vanquishment whereas Lord Brahma lied that he found the end of the light. Hence, Lord Shiva appeared to be the second pillar of light and proclaimed that Lord Vishnu would be worshipped by all till the end of the eternity and cursed Lord Brahma that He will not be worshipped in any etiquette. The other mythology was that the demon King Ravanan is said to be worshipped at this place to get the boons from Lord Shiva, in which he later misused.
And later it is said that the demon king Ravanan offered his ten heads one after the other as a sacrifice to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased by his sacrifice and tumbled to cure the injuries of Ravanan. As Lord Shiva here acted as a curer of Ravana’s injuries, He is called as Vaidhyanath (doctor). The temple contains some special features like Punchsula (five knives in Trident shape) and Chandrakanta Mani (eight plated lotus jewel). The shrine of Goddess Maa Parvati is connected with the main shrine of Lord Shiva with huge red sacred threads, which signifies the unity of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Vaidyanath or Baidyanath (Shiva) in the form of Lingam. Each Jyotirlinga temples takes different manifestation of Lord Shiva and the idol of Lingam is considered as a presiding deity in every Jyotirlinga temples. Lingam represents the beginning less and endless, which symbolizes the infinite nature of Lord Shiva. The three following temples are considered to be the “real Jyotirlinga of Lord Vaidyanath”.
- Baiydanath temple at Deoghar, Jharkhand
- Vaijnath temple at Parli, Maharashtra
- Baijnath temple at Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh
Baidyanath Temple is considered as one of the 51 Shakti Pitha Temples. The Shakti Pitha is a place of worship to goddess Shakti also called goddess Sati, the main deity. It is said that the four major Shakti Pithas are created from the limbs of Goddess Sati‘s corpse. The body part or ornament of Goddess Shakti that fell to the earth, is the place where the Adi Shakti temples are built.
And it is said that the heart of Goddess Shakti have fallen here. And hence this place is also called as Hardapeetha, and the Goddess is worshipped by the name Jai Durga, which refers to Victorious. Baidyanath Temple is popularly known as the Tantric seat for Sadhakas by Gopinath Kaviraj, the famous tantric and a famous scholar.
The temple remains open from morning 04.00 am till evening 03.30 pm. And in the evening from 06.00 pm till night 09.00 pm.
- Shravan Mela festival is the famous festival celebrated in this temple in the month July or August which attracts millions of devotees.
- The devotees collect holy water of Ganges from Sultanganj which is nearly 117 kilo meters away from the temple.
- The pilgrims from various parts of the world, carry the holy water in Kavadi and walk all the distance on bare foot, wearing saffron-dyed clothes and offer that holy water to the presiding deity of Baidyanath temple.
- Mahashivaratri – February or March
Deoghar is reachable from Kolkata 373 km, Giridih 112 km, Patna 281 km, Dumka 67 km, Madhupur 57 km, Shimultala 53 km and other places. Regular buses are available from surrounding towns.
Nearest rail way station is Jasidih railway station, which is 7 Km from Vaidyanath temple. Jasidh is 311 Km from Howrah/Sealdah on Patna route.
Nearest Airports are Ranchi (385 kms) and Patna (270 kms). And Kolkata can be considered as the next nearest airport.
- Ravaneshwar Temple
- Annapurna Temple
- Parvati Temple
- Ram Janki Temple
- Rama Krishna Mission Temple
- Maa Kali Temple
- Naulakha Temple
- Shiv Temple
- Durgabari Temple