Jyotirlinga also called as Jyotirlingam is a divine entity, represents the Almighty Lord Shiva. The word Jyoti refers to “radiance” and lingam refers to the “divine symbol of Lord Shiva” and hence together indicate “the radiant sign of Almighty”. The twelve sacred temples named as Jyotirlinga Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva are avowed as Jyotirlingas, where the Almighty manifested Himself in the form of Lingam, which symbolizes the infinite nature of Lord Shiva. The Jyotirlinga is the remarkable, unique and pure reality, out of which Lord Shiva partly appeared.
It is believed that there are 64 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, but among them, 12 Jyotirlinga temples are considered to be more sacred and propitious. And all the twelve Jyotirlinga temples honour Lingam, the infinite nature of Lord Shiva as the presiding deity. The twelve most holy Jyotirlinga temples are:
- Somnath Temple at Gujarat
- Srisailam Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple at Andhra Pradesh
- Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple at Madhya Pradesh
- Shri Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga Temple at Madhya Pradesh
- Kedarnath Temple at Uttarakhand
- Bhimashankar Temple at Maharashtra
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Uttar Pradesh
- Trimbakeshwar Temple at Maharashtra
- Baidyanath Temple at Jharkhand
- Aundha Nagnath Jyotirlinga Temple at Maharashtra
- Rameswaram Ramanathaswamy Temple at Tamil Nadu
- Shri Ghrushneshwar Jyotirlinga Temple at Maharashtra
Somnath temple is situated near Veraval in Saurashtra of Gujarat state, India. And it is also known as “Prabhas Patan”. Somnath temple is the first Jyotrilinga among the twelve Jyotrilinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, where Somnath refers to “The protector of Moon God”. The primary deity of this temple is Lord Somnath (Lord Shiva), in the form of Lingam, and the temple is a wonderful mixture of art and history.
Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is located in Srisailam, state of Andhra Pradesh India, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple houses the sacred Lingam, a different manifestation of Lord Shiva as the presiding deity. Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is also considered as one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peetha temples, dedicated to Goddess Shakti.
Mahakaleshwar Temple is situated in the city of Ujjain, state of Madhya Pradesh, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity of Mahakaleshwar Temple is Lord Mahakaleshwar (Lord Shiva) who is known well as Lord Dakshinamurti, in the form of Lingam. Mahakaleshwar Temple is considered as one of the Adi Shakti Peetha Temples, dedicated to Goddess Shakti.
Omkareshwar Temple is situated in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located on Shivapuri Island in the Narmada River. The island is said to be in the shape of “Om”, the Pranava Mantra. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Omkareshwar (Lord Shiva), in the form of Lingam. And the name Omkareshwar refers to “Immortal Lord”.
Kedarnath Temple is located near the river Mandakini in kedarnath of Uttarakhand state, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The idol of Lord Kedarnath is a triangular shaped Lingam known as Sadashiva, the form of Lord Shiva, is considered as a presiding deity of this temple. The deities of this temple are brought to Ukhimath for worship during the winter season and the temple will be opened only between the months of April to November due to the extreme weather conditions.
Bhimashankar Temple is located at Bhimashankar, district of Pune, Maharashtra, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The place Bhimashankar is also known as the origin of Bhima River, flows southeast and later merges with river Krishna. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Bhimashankar (Lord Shiva), in the form of sacred Lingam.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is also called as Golden Temple located at the western bank of River Ganges in Varanasi city of Uttar Pradesh, India. The main deity of this temple is Lord Vishwanatha (Lord Shiva), refers to “The ruler of the Universe” who is also called as Lord Vishweshwara, in the form of Lingam. Kashi is believed to be the holiest place in the world by Hindus and it is believed that one who take bath in the holiest river Ganges in Varanasi even once in their life will attain Moksha (Salvation).
Trimbakeshwar Temple is situated in the town of Trimbak, Trimbakeshwar Taluk, Nashik District of Maharashtra, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity of Trimbakeshwar temple is Lord Shiva and the deity of Lord Shiva is made of Nassak Diamond, the world famous diamond and considered is as the “Eye of the Idol”. The place where the temple is located popularly known for its panoramic beauty during monsoon season, and covered with luxuriant hills and unmarked by the pollution.
Baidyanath Temple also called as Baba Dham, Vaidyanath Temple and Baidyanath Dham, situated in Deoghar, Jharkhand, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity of Vaidyanath Temple is Lord Vaidyanath or Baidyanath (Lord Shiva) in the form of Lingam. Baidyanath Temple is considered as one of the 51 Shakti Peetha Temples, dedicated to Goddess Shakti.
Aundha Nagnath Temple, also called as Nageshwar Temple is situated in Aundha Nagnath, district of Hingoli, Maharashtra, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Aundha Nagnath (Lord Shiva) in the form of Lingam. It is one of the important pilgrimage in Maharashtra, where the architectural excellence and the sculptural beauty of this temple sweeps away the heart of the pilgrims.
Rameswaram Temple is situated in the Island of Rameswaram, Tamilnadu, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva .It is closely situated to the eastern side of the Island. Rameswaram Temple comprises Lingam which is said to be the main deity, and believed to be one of the holiest temples in India. Rameswaram Temple is considered as honored pilgrimage center held on par with ‘Kaashi’ and also a holy pilgrimage site for both the Shaivites and Vaishnavites.
Ghrushneshwar Temple, the 12th Jyotirlinga temple, situated in Verul village of Daulatabad, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Ghrushneshwar (Lord Shiva) in the form of Lingam, facing towards the east. The Ghrushneshwar Temple demonstrate the primordial traditions of Hindu temples and primeval excellence architectural style.Read more