Dwadash Jyotirlinga - Lord Shiva temple - Shivlingam - Lord Shiva - Shiva Linga
Mahashivratri >Dwadash Jyotirlinga>
Dwadash Jyotirlinga -
Important Lord Shiva temple - Shivlingam
Lord Shiva is one of the most
popular and worshipped Gods in Hindu Religion the Jyotirlinga of Bhagwan Shankar
have great aura and presence. Out of these 12 Jyotirlinga in India - 5 are in
Maharashtra, 1 in Gujarat, 1 in Tamil Nadu, 1 in Uttaranchal , 1 in Uttar
Pradesh, 1 in Andra Pradesh and 2 in Madya Pradesh. The twelve temples attract
millions of Hindu devotees and the most important common festival observed in
these temples is the Maha Shivaratri or Shivratri.
means ‘the linga of light’ or the source of light. The Shiva-lingam is in the
symbolic form of a stone tinctured with a cycle of light. There are numerous
legends associated with the origin of Jyotirlinga. It is believed that Lord
Shiva for the first time appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga. The Jyotirlinga is
an attempt by humans to give a form to the formless source of supreme energy.
Jyotirlinga is in the land of Saurashtra, Mallikarjuna Jyotirlingam is on the
Shree Shailam, Mahaakal Jyotirlinga is in Ujjayan, Parameshwar belongs to Onkar,
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is in the
Himalayas, Bhimashankar Jyotirlingam
is in the land of Dakini, Viswesh Jyotirlinga belongs to
Varanasi, the Lord Trayambakam resides on the
Gautami river, Baidyanath Jyotirlinga
lies on the land of ashes and the Lord of snake lives in the wooden forest. Lord
Rama stays near the sea where it was bridged by him and Lord of Dyushma resides
in the abode of Shiva.
If one recites the names of Dwadash Jyotirlinga in
the early morning, he will get rid of all sins and will get all fruits of his
8. Rameshwaram Temple
Shivlingam - Shivling with Yoni Base - Shpatik Shivlinga
worships Parad Shivling devotedly, gets all worldly pleasures and at
last attains supreme destination.
Weight : 150 grams
More Parad Shivlinga
Parad Shiva-lingam with Yoni base
Shivlinga with yoni is a must for every devotee of Shiva. It is believed
that even by touching the energized Parad Shivling, one's sins are
Weight : 285
More Parad Statues
planetary effects and black magic evils are removed when Sphatik
Shivlinga is kept at home or office.
Weight : 35 grams
More Sphatik Shivlinga
Sphatik Shiva-lingam with Yoni base
Brings peace and happiness in the
premise where it is kept. If kept in the bedroom, it brings harmony
between the couple.
Weight :40 grams
More Sphatik Statues
Goddess Lakshmi is the
Goddess who governs all form of wealth and success and the paths, means
and results of all forms of prosperity. Keeping a statue of Laxmi ji
made of parad gives wealth for a long long time.
Weight : 60 grams
Parad Shri Yantra
Parad Hanuman Statue
Hanuman ji is a Rudra-avtar , incarnation
of Lord Shiva. Keeping a statue of Hanuman ji made of parad brings peace
at home and the fears of all types are removed immediately.
Weight : 60 grams
Parad Ganesha Statue
The parad Ganesh is very
effective in removal of hurdles and miseries of life. Ganesha is revered
as the son of the Shiva and Parvati. As the god of success, his names
are chanted at the start of any important venture.
Weight : 50 grams
Parad Shiv Lingam & Yoni
Parad Laxmi Ganesha Statue
The parad Ganesh Laxmi
statue is a MUST for every home. Ganesh ji symbolizes intellect and
wisdom and Laxmi ji symbolizes prosperity. Ganesha Laxmi statues when
kept in the puja place bestow the native with success & prosperity.
Weight : 110 grams
Parad Goddess Durga
Grishneshwar Temple Jyotirlinga
ancient pilgrimage site revered as the abode of one of the dwadash Jyotirlinga
manifestation of Lord Shiva. The Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga shrine is located at a
village called Verul, which lies 20 km from Daulatabad (near Aurangabad in
Maharashtra) and approximately 100 kms from Manmad station.
The Grishneswar Temple was constructed by Ahilyabhai Holkar who also
re-constructed the Kashi Viswanatha Temple at Varanasi and the Vishnu
Paada Temple at Gaya. The Grishneshwar jyotirlinga Temple is also known by
several other names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Grushmeswara and
Legend Behind Grishneshwar Temple
According to Shivapuran, in the southern direction, on a mountain named Devagiri
lived a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm along with his wife Sudeha. The
couple did not have a child because of which Sudeha was sad. Sudeha prayed and
tried all possible remedies but in vain. Frustrated of being childless, Sudeha
got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. On the advice of her sister,
Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and discharge them in the near by
With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Ghushma gave birth to a baby boy. Because of
this, Ghushma became proud and Sudeha started feeling jealous towards her
sister. Out of jealously, one night she killed Ghushma’s son and threw him in
the lake where Ghushma used to discharge the lingas.
Next morning, Ghushmas and Sudharm got involved in daily prayers and ablutions.
Sudeha too, got up and started performing her daily choirs. Ghushma’s
daughter-in-law, however, saw stains of blood on her husband’s bed and parts of
the body drenched in blood. Horrified, she narrated everything to mother-in-law
Ghushma who was absorbed in worshipping Shiva. Ghushma did not deter. Even her
husband Sudharma did not move an inch. Even when Ghushma saw the bed drenched in
blood she did not break down and said he who has given me this child shall
protect him and started reciting ‘Shiva-Shiva’. Later, when she went to
discharge the Shivalingas after prayers she saw her son coming. Seeing her son
Ghushma was neither happy nor sad. At that time Lord Shiv appeared before her
and said - I am pleased with your devotion. Your sister had killed your son.
Ghushma told Lord to forgive Sudeh and emancipate her. Pleased with her
generosity, Lord Shiva asked her another boon. Ghushma said that if he was
really happy with her devotion then he should reside here eternally for the
benefit of the multitudes in form of a Jyotirling and may you be known by my
name. On her request, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Jyotirling
and assumed the name Ghushmeshwar and the lake was named as Shivalaya
situated at Somnath Patan (the south coast of Saurashtra), near Veraval in (Prabhas
Kshetra) Kathaiwad district in Gujarat. Somnath is considered to be the first of
Jyotirlingas of Shiva and is a revered pilgrimage center in India.
Legend of Somnath Temple
Skanda Purana, in a chapter on Prabhasa Khanda, describes the emergence of this
Jyotirlinga. Legend goes that the moon was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha
Prajapati. Amongst all his wives, he had special love towards Rohini and
neglected the others. Seeing the negligence of Chandra towards his other wives
Prajapati Daksha cursed Chandra that he would lose his beauty and radiance. But
because of a moon devoid of radiance and beauty the entire world became
lifeless. A disturbed Chandra, came down to Prabhasa with Rohini and worshipped
the Sparsa Linga of Somnath after which he was blessed by Shiva to grow and
shine in the bright half. As the moon regained his light here, this town came to
be known as Prabhasa. Brahma, one of the trinity, installed the Brahmashila, and
paved way for the construction of the temple. On the request of the Chandrama
and other gods Bhagwan Shankar assumed the name Somchandra (Jyotirlinga)
and resided there eternally. He became famous by the name Somnath in the three
worlds. Since, it was the Prabhas Kshetra where Bhagwan Shri Krishna performed
all his Lilas. In this temple there is a small cave in which a lamp burns
The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath as one bright as the
sun, the size of an egg, lodged underground. The Mahabharata also refers to the
Prabhasa Kshetra and the legend of the moon worshipping Shiva.
Ransacking and Rebuilding of Somnath Jyotirlinga
Somnath Jyotirling has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times in the
Accounts of glory and
wealth of Somnath Jyotirlinga temple by the Arab traveler Al Biruni prompted a
visit by Mahmud of Ghazini who ransacked and destroyed the temple in 1025 CE.
It was immediately rebuilt by King Bhima of Gujarat and King Bhoja of Malwa.
Somnath temple was
destroyed again by Alaf Khan, the general of Allauddin Khilji in 1300
CE. It was rebuilt again by King Mahipala of the Chudasama dynasty.
Somnath shrine was
destroyed yet again in 1390, 1490, 1530 and finally in 1701 by Aurangazeb. It
was rebuilt with perseverance each time after it was destroyed.
situated on Shri Shaila Mountain by the banks of the Patal Ganga, Krishna River
in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Also known as Kailash of the South,
Mallikarjuna constitutes one of the Dwaadash Jyotirlingam shrines of Shiva
and is one of the greatest Shaivaite shrines in India. The presiding deities of
Mallikarjuna Temple are Mallikarjuna (Shiva) and Bhramaramba (Devi). Every year
there is a fair organized on account of Mahashivratri.
Legend of Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga
According to Shiva Purana, when Lord Ganesh was married of before his Kartikeya,
and because of this brother Kartikeya became angry. Despite being stopped and
consoled by his parents Shiv-Parvati, Kartikeya went away to the Kraunch
Mountain. Even the Gods went and tried consoling Kartikeya but all their efforts
were in vain. Because of this incident Shiv-Parvati were very sad and both
decided that they would themselves go to Kraunch Mountain. However, when
Kartikeya came to know that his parents have arrived, he went away. Eventually
Lord Shiva assumed the form of Jyotirlinga and resided on that mountain by the
name of Mallikarjuna. Mallika means Parvati, while Arjuna is
another name of Shiva. In this way both Shiva and Parvati came to reside in this
linga. It is said that by merely seeing the tip of mountain one is emancipated
from all his sins and worries. The person becomes free from the vicious cycle of
life and death.
Architecture of Mallikarjun Temple
The architecture of the ancient Mallikarjun Temple is very beautiful and
intricate. The temple has fort like walls, towers and a rich endowment of
sculptural work. The huge temple is built in the Dravidian style with lofty
towers and sprawling courtyards and is considered to be one of the finest
specimens of Vijayanagar architecture. Temple of Tripurantakam, Siddavatam,
Alampura and Umamaheswaram located in the vicinity of Mallikarjuna Jyotirlina
are considered to be the four gateways to Sri Sailam.
Located adjacent to the Mallikarjun Temple is a shrine dedicated to Goddess
Jagdamba who is known as Bhramaramba here. The Bhramaramba shrine is considered
to be of great significance. Legend has it that Durga is said to have assumed
the shape of a bee and worshipped Shiva here, and chose this place as her abode.
Mahakaleshwara Temple Jyotirlinga
is located by the banks of river Kshipra, in the dense Mahakal forests in Ujjain,
Madhya Pradesh. It is an important Shaivaite pilgrimage centre in North India
and is revered as one of the Dwaadash Jyotilinga manifestations of Shiva.
Legend Behind Mahaakal Temple Jyotirlingam
According to an episode narrated in Puranas, a five-year-old boy named Shrikar
was enthralled seeing the devotion of King Chandrasena of Ujjain towards Lord
Shiva. Shrikar took a stone and by considering it a linga started worshipping it
regularly. Others thought that his worship as merely a game and tried to
dissuade him in all ways. But all the efforts went in vain. On the contrary,
devotion of Shrikar increased by every passing day. Pleased by the boy’s
devotion Lord Shiva assumed Jyotirlinga form and resided in the Mahakal forest.
According to another popular legend related to Mahakal Temple, a demon by name,
Dushana tormented the residents of Avanti. Shiva appeared from the ground and
vanquished the demon. Then, upon the request of the inhabitants of Avanti, Shiva
took up a permanent abode here as Mahakaleshwara Jyotirlinga.
Architecture of Mahakal
Bhagwan Mahakaleshwar Temple is located near a lake and has a spacious courtyard
surrounded by massive walls. The temple has five levels, one of that is
underground. Brass lamps light the way to the underground sanctum or
where the Jyotirlinga is situated. The Linga is quite big in size and is
encircled by a snake of silver. On one side of the Linga there is the idol of
Lord Ganesha while on the other side, idols of Goddess Parvati and Kartikeya are
installed. The shikhara of temple is adorned with sculptural finery.
Significance of Mahakaleshwara Temple
Mahalakesheshwar Temple is consider significant by the Hindus for the following
Mahakaleshwara Temple Jyotirlingam in Ujjain is regarded amongst the seven holy
places that can liberate a human. The other six Mukti-Sthal being Ayodhya,
Mathura, Haridwar, Benares, Kanchipuram and Dwarka.
All devotees that come to participate in the famous Kumbh Mela organized year on
the banks of the Kshipra River consider it important to seek blessings of Lord
Mahakaleshwar. The Mahakaleshwar Temple has also been referred to in the Tamil
hymns of the Nayanmar saints of the 1st millennium CE.
Omkareshwar Temple Jyotirlinga
situated on the mountain Mandhata by the banks of Narmada River in the Malva
area in Madhya Pradesh. Omkareshwar Temple is one of the Dwaadash Jyotirlinga
shrines of Shiva. The temple is closely linked with Mammaleshwar Temple
(situated on the south of river Narmada) as both the forms of Shiva have been
counted as one.
Legend behind Omkareshwar Temple
Shiva Purana describes the greatness of Omkareshwar and Mammaleshwar. It says,
two sons of the sun dynasty Mandhata - Ambarish and Mucchkund practiced severe
penance and austerities here and pleased Lord Shiva. They also performed great
religious sacrifices in this place because of which the mountain is named
Another popular legend says that once upon a time Vidhya Parvat practiced severe
penance and worshipped Parthivarchana along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six
months. As a result Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with the desire boon.
On the sincere request of all the gods and the sages Lord Shiva made two parts
of the lings. One half being Omkareshwara and the other Amaleshwara or
Structure and Significance of Omkareshwar Temple
Omkareshwara Temple is located at a distance of about 12 miles from Mortakka in
Madhya Pradesh. A special feature of the location of Omkareshwar Temple is that
the river Narmada branches into two and forms an island Mandhata or Shivapuri in
the center. The shape of the island resembles that of the visual representation
of the Omkara sound, Om. There are two temples here, one to Omkareshwar and one
The Omkareshwar Temple is built in the Nagara style and is characterized by a
lofty shikhara. There are also shrines to Annapurna and Ganesha here. Before
entering the temple one has to pass through two rooms. The Omkareshwar is not
affixed to the ground but is naturally installed there. There is always water
around it. The significance of this linga is that the linga is not situated
below the cupola. The idol of Lord Shiva is situated on the top of the temple.
The temple can be reached by ferry from the banks of the river. A huge fair is
organized here on the day of Kartik Poornima.
Baidyanath Temple Jyotirlinga,
also called Vaijnath Temple and Vaidyanth Temple is located at Deogarh in the
Santal Parganas region of Bihar in the south west of Keeul Station. Baidyanath
shrine is revered as one of the Dwaadash Jyotirlingam of Shiva. It may be
noted that some schools of thought believe Vaidyanath near Parali in Andhra
Pradesh to be the Vaidyanatha Jyotirlingam.
Devotees of Lord Shiva believe that by sincere worship of Vaijnath Jyotirlinga a
person is relieved of all worries and miseries in life. It is also said that by
worshipping in the shrine a person attains Moksha and all types of happiness. As
a tradition, devotees carry ‘Kanwars’ on their shoulders and complete their
Legend Behind Vaidyanath Temple
Legend has it that demon King of Lanka, Ravana meditated upon Lord Shiva, as he
wanted to request him to come over to Sri Lanka and make his capital invincible.
It is said that Ravana attempted to lift Mount Kailash and take it with him to
his capital. However, Lord Shiva crushed it with his finger. Ravana prayed to
him and sought his mercy, after which Bhagwan Shiva gave him one of the twelve
Jyotirlingams on the condition that if it were placed on the ground it shall fix
itself to the ground and shall remain there for eternity. Ravana thanked Lord
Shiva and holding the Linga carefully started of to the Lanka. However, Varuna
the God of Water, entered his belly and caused him to feel an urgent need to
relieve himself. Vishnu then came down in the form of a lad and volunteered to
hold the Jyotirlingam as he relieved himself. Before Ravana returned, Vishnu
placed the Jyotirlingam on the ground and it became rooted to the spot. A
disappointed Ravana offered severe penance to Shiva here, and cut off nine of
his heads. Shiva revived him and joined the heads to the body, as if by the work
of a Vaidya or a physician, hence this Jyotirlingam goes by the name Vaidyanath.
According to another legend, Baidyanath is one of the 52 Shakti Peeth shrines of
Sati. It is believed that the heart of Sati fell here, when her half burnt body
being carried by Shiva at the end of Daksha's Yagna was chopped to pieces by
Some people believe that this temple was re-discovered by a cowherd Baiju and
hence named Baijnath.
Structure of Baidyanath Jyotirlingam
Baidyanath Temple at Deogarh houses a spacious courtyard bound by stone walls.
In the temple complex are twenty-two other temples. The Baijnath or Vaidyanath
temple faces east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken, keeping with
the legend that it chipped away when Ravana tried to uproot it. Near the temple
is the Shivaganga Lake.
Bhimashankar Temple Jyotirlinga
is situated in the ghat
region of the Sahyadri hills in the village of Bhavagiri, 50-km north west of
Khed, near Pune in Maharashtra. Bhima Shankar Temple lies on the banks of the
river Bhima. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows
southeast and merges with the Krishna River near Raichur. The other Jyotirlinga
shrines in Maharashtra are
It may be noted that according to the Shiv Purana the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga
is situated on the Mountain Brahmapur in district Kamrup, Assam.
behind Bhimashankar Temple
According to the legends, once a demon called Bhima lived with his mother
Karkati in the dense forests of Dakini, on the lofty ranges of the Sahaydris. It
is said that Bhima was so cruel that every one was scared of him. But what
tormented Bhima was his curiosity regarding his own existence. One day, Bhima
urged his mother to tell him who his father was and why had he abandoned them in
the wilderness of the forest. His mother revealed that he was the son of
Kumbhakarna, the younger brother of the mighty King Ravana - the King of Lanka.
Bhima’s mother Kartaki also told him that Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Lord
Rama annihilated Kumbhakarna. This infuriated Bhima and he vowed to avenge Lord
Bhima performed severe penance to please Lord Brahma. The compassionate creator
was pleased by the dedicated devotee and granted him immense prowess. With so
much power, Bhima began to cause havoc in the three worlds. He defeated King
Indra and conquered the heavens. He also defeated a staunch devotee of Lord
Shiva - Kamrupeshwar and put him in the dungeons. All this angered the Gods and
they along with Lord Brahma beseeched Lord Shiva to come for their rescue to
which Lord Shiva agreed.
Tyrant Bhima asked Kamrupeshwar to worship him instead of Lord Shiva. When
Kamrupeshwar refused, Bhima raised his sword to strike the Shiva Linga. But as
soon as he raised his sword, Lord Shiva appeared before him in full
magnificence. Then the terrible war began. Holy sage Narad appeared and
requested Lord Shiva to put an end to this war. It was then that Lord Shiva
reduced the evil demon to ashes and thus concluded the saga of tyranny. All the
Gods and the holy sages present there requested Lord Shiva to make this place
his abode. Lord Shiva thus manifested himself in the form of the Bhimashankar
Jyotirlinga. It is believed that the sweat that poured forth from Lord Shiva’s
body after the battle formed the Bhimarathi River.
Structure of Bhimashankara Temple
Bhimashankara Temple is situated in picturesque extreme end of the Sahayadri
Ranges and provides a wonderful view of the forts, the rivers and the hill
stations around. The dense forests surrounding the high ranges also play an
abode to the rare species of flora and fauna.
Bhimashakara Temple dates back to mid 18th century and is a composite of old and
the new structures and is built in the Nagara style of architecture. The
shikhara of the temple was built by Nana Phadnavis. Shivaji - the great Maratha
ruler is said to have facilitated the carrying out of worship services. As with
other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level. The best time
to visit the Bhimashankar Temple is said to be Maha Shivaratri as the temple
organizes grand festivities on the occasion.
situated in the island of Rameswaram, off the Sethu coast of Tamil Nadu and is
reached via the Pamban Bridge across the sea. The huge temple is known for its
long ornate corridors, towers and 36 theerthams.
Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga represents the southernmost of the Dwaadash
Jyotirlingams of India and has been a time honored pilgrimage center held on par
with Banaras. Rameshwaram Temple Jyotirlinga is associated closely with the
Ramayana and Rama's victorious return from Sri Lanka.
Legend behind Rameshwaram Temple
According to a popular legend, it was Lord Rama who installed this Linga here.
Story goes that when Lord Ram was on his way to attack Ravana, he reached this
place where he made a linga of sand and worshipped it. It is said that when Lord
Rama was drinking water on the seashore there was a celestial proclamation -
"You are drinking water without worshipping me". Listening to this Lord Rama
made a linga of sand and worshipped it and asked to be blessed so that he could
vanquish Ravana. Lord Shiva blessed him accordingly. He also requested Lord
Shiva to reside eternally here so that entire mankind should benefit from it.
Shiva then manifested himself as the Linga and got installed there for eternity.
According to yet another legend, while returning to Ayodhya, Ram worshipped Lord
Shiva in the form of a Shiva Lingam made of earth by Sita. It is said that
Hanuman was entrusted with the task of bringing an image of Viswanathar from
Banaras. Anticipating delay in Hanuman's return from Benares, Rama offered
worship to a Shivalingam at a pre-chosen auspicious moment. This lingam is
referred to as Ramalingam and the town is known as Rameswaram.
There is yet another Shivalingam here - Viswanathar said to have been brought by
Hanuman from Banares. This Shivalingam is referred to as Kasilingam and
Hanumalingam. Prayers are offered to Viswanathar before they are offered to
Structure of Rameshwaram Temple
Rameswaram Temple is spread over an area of 15 acres and has lofty gopurams,
massive walls and a colossal Nandi. Rameswaram Jyotirlinga also boasts of a 4000
feet long pillared corridor with over 4000 pillars, supposedly the longest in
the world. The carved granite pillars are mounted on a raised platform. Worth
noticing fact about this corridor is that the rock is not indigenous to the
island and is said to have been brought in from elsewhere in Tamil Nadu across
The eastern Rajagopuram towers to a height of 126 feet and has nine levels. The
Western Rajagopuram is also quite impressive though not as tall as the Eastern
one. The temple also has several mandapams with mini shrines to other deities.
There is a huge Nandi measuring 12 feet in length and 9 feet in height with the
idols of Viswanatha Naicker and Krishnama Naicker. The lingams are housed in the
inner section of the Ramalingeshwara. High walls enclose the temple, forming a
rectangle with huge pyramidal gopura entrances on each side.
Temple Jyotirlinga or Nagnath Temple
is located on the route between Gomti Dwarka and the Bait Dwarka Island on the
coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat. The Jyotirlinga enshrined in the Temple of
Nagnath is known as Nageshwar Mahadev and attracts thousands of pilgrims all
round the year. This powerful Jyotirlinga symbolizes protection from all
poisons. It is said that those who pray to the Nageshwar Linga become free of
poison. The Rudra Samhita sloka refers to Nageshwar with the phrase 'Daarukaavane
Legend Behind Nageshwar Temple
According to Shiv Purana, a Shiva devotee by name Supriya was attacked by
a demon Daaruka while in a boat. The demon imprisoned him along with
several others at his capital Daarukaavana where he resided with his wife
Daaruki. Supriya advised all prisoners to recite the mantra ‘Aum Namaha Shivaya’.
When Daruk came to know about this he ran to kill Supriya. Instantly Lord Shiva
appeared in the form of a Jyotirlingam and vanquished the demon with the
This Jyotirlinga manifestation of Shiva is worshipped as Nageswara. Two other
sites in India, one near Audhgram near Purna in Andhra Pradesh and another near
Almora in Uttar Pradesh also enshrine temples to Nageswara Jyotirlingam.
According to the Shiv Purana, any one who ever with devotion reads the birth and
greatness of this Jyotirlinga shall beget all material happiness and divine
status in the end.
Structure of Nageshwar Temple
Nageshwar Mahadev Sivalingam is facing South while the Gomugam is facing east.
There is a story for this position. A devotee by name Naamdev was singing
bhajans in front of the Lord. Other devotees asked him to stand aside and not
hide the Lord. To this Naamdev asked them to suggest one direction in which the
Lord does not exist, so that he can stand there. The enraged devotees carried
him and left him on the southside. To their astonishment, they found that the
Linga was now facing South with the Gomugam facing east.
Vishwanath Temple Jyotirlinga
amidst the crowded lanes in the holy city of Varanasi also known as Kashi and
Benares. The Vishwanath Temple enshrines one of the Dwaadash Jyotirlingam
of Lord Shiva and is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites for Hindus. It is
believed that Varanasi is the point at which the first Jyotirlinga, the fiery
pillar of light by which Shiva manifested his supremacy over other gods, broke
through the earth’s crust and flared towards the heavens. More than the Ghats
and even the Ganga, the Shivalinga installed in the temple remain the devotional
focus of Varanasi. Millions of pilgrims converge here to perform an abhishekam
to the sacred Jyotirlingam with sacred water of river Ganga.
Significance of Vishwanath Temple
Also famous by the name of Shiv Vishwanath Kashi, Shri Vishweshwar Temple is
said to be dear to Lord Shiva. Hindus believe that those who come and die here
attain liberation. It is said that Lord Shiva gives the Tarak Mantra to the ones
who are going to die here. Some also believe that the Lord resides here and is
the giver of liberation and happiness. The one who prays and worships
Vishweshwar with devotion attains all his desires and one who incessantly
recites his name attains all siddhis and finally gets liberated.
Structure of Shri Vishwanath Jyotirlinga Temple
Shri Vishwanatha Temple is situated amidst the crowded lanes of Varanasi on the
banks of the rive Ganga. The temple can be approached from a lane called
Vishwanatha lane. Beside its religious significance, the temple is also an
architectural marvel. The magnificent edifice offers a breathtaking view to the
onlooker. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is also popularly known as the 'Golden
Temple' due the gold plating done on its 15.5-meter high spire. One tonne of
gold donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been used in the gold plating of the
Inside the courtyard is the temple of Vishwanatha surrounded by many subsidiary
shrines. A well, called Jnana Vapi i.e. ‘wisdom well’ located to the north of
the main temple. The Vishwanatha temple consists of a mandapa and a sanctum.
Inside the sanctum a linga is set into the center of the floor in a square
silver altar. The Linga is of black stone. Though the interior of the temple is
not large and elaborate it presents the peaceful atmosphere ideal for worship.
History of Vishwanath Temple
The famous Vishwanath Temple has been rebuilt several times. The original was
supposed to have been built in 1490. However, the original Jyotirlinga of Kashi
Vishwanath is a not available. The old temple was destroyed as a result of the
Mughal invasion and Aurangazeb built a mosque in place of it. The ancient idol
of Vishweshwar is situated in Jnana-Vapi. Even today the western wall of the
mosque show the remnants of a temple which had very intricate and fine artwork
on it. Both the Kashi Vishwanath and the Gyanvapi Mosque are adjacent to each
The latest structure standing here dates back to the 18th century. It is said
that once Lord Shiva came in the dream of Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore. She,
being a devotee of Lord Shiva, got the current temple built in 1777 at a
distance from the original one.
Shri Trimbakeshwar Temple Jyotirlinga
is located at a distance of about 30-km from Nasik in Maharashtra near the
mountain named Brahmagiri from which the river Godavari flows. Trimbakeshwar
Temple is revered as one of the Dwaadash Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva and
as the source of the river Godavari. Just as Ganga is known as Bhagirathi and is
one of the most important river in North India, in the same way, Godavari is
also known as Gautami Ganga and is the most sacred river in South India.
According to Shiv Purana, it is because of the earnest request of Godavari,
Gautam Rishi and other gods that Lord Shiva agreed to reside here and assumed
the famous name Trimbakeshwar. Interestingly, locals refer to the river here as
Ganga and not as Godavari. All the heavenly Gods promised to come down to Nasik,
once in twelve years, when Jupiter resides in the zodiac sign of Leo. On this a
grand fair is organized at this place. Devotees take a holy bath in the Gautami
Ganga and then seek the blessings of Trimbakeshwar.
Legend Behind Trimbakeshwar Temple
Legend goes that a sage name Gautam Muni resided on the Brahmagiri hill
with his wife Ahilya. By virtue of his devotion, the sage received from Varuna,
a bottomless pit from which he received an inexhaustible supply of grains and
food. The other rishis, jealous of his fortune, arranged for a cow to enter his
granary and caused it to die as Gowtam Rishi attempted to ward it off with a
bunch of Darbha grass.
Gautam Rishi, therefore, worshipped Lord Shiva to bring the Ganga down to his
hermitage to purify the premises. Pleased with devotion, Shiva requested Ganga
to flow down and make Sage Gautam pure. After that Ganga flowed down. Lord Shiva
told Ganga to stay there eternally for the good of everyone. All the Gods
started singing the praises of Gautam Rishi, Ganga and Lord Shiva. On the
request of all the Gods, Lord Shiva resided by the river Gautami by the name
Trimbakeshwar (one of the Jyotirlingas). Hindus believe that Trimbak Jyotirlinga
is one, which fulfills everyone’s desires. It emancipates all from their sins
Another popular legend behind Trimbakeshwar Temple is the legend of
Lingodbhava manifestation of Shiva. It says once Brahma and Vishnu searched
in vain to discover the origin of Shiva who manifested himself as a cosmic
column of fire. Brahma lied that he had seen the top of the column of fire and
was hence cursed that he would not be worshipped on earth. In turn Brahma cursed
Shiva that he would be pushed underground. Accordingly, Shiva came down under
the Brahmagiri hill in the form of Tryambakeshwar. Trimbakeshwar Temple is the
only place where Shivlinga is not out but it’s inside the floor.
Some scholars say that Goddess Parvati also came down along Lord Shiva and Ganga.
The place is therefore called Tryambakeshwa (three lords). Others believe that
the place is so called because of the presence of three Shivlinga of Brahma,
Vishnu and Mahesh. The Shivlinga of Lord Mahesh has always-flowing water among
the three Shivlingas.
Structure of Trimbakeshwar Temple
Trimbakeshwar Temple is an ancient shrine, however the current structure is a
result of the reconstruction efforts undertaken by the Peshwa Balaji Bajirao in
mid 18th century. The temple is built of black stone in the Nagara style of
architecture and is enclosed in a spacious courtyard. The sanctum internally a
square and externally a stellar structure houses a small Shivalingam - Tryambaka.
The sanctum is crowned with a graceful tower, embellished with a giant Amalaka
and a golden kalasha. In front of the garbagriha and the antarala is a mandap
with doors on all four sides. Three of these doorways are covered with porches
and the openings of these porches are ornamented with pillars and arches.
Curvilinear slabs rising in steps form roof of the mandapam. The entire
structure is ornamented with sculptural work featuring running scrolls, floral
designs, and figures of gods, yakshas, humans and animals.
The Shivalingam is seen in a depression on the floor of the sanctum. Water
constantly oozes out from the top of the Shivalingam. Usually, the Shivalingam
is covered with a silver mask but on festive occasions a golden mask with five
faces, each with a golden crown covers it.
Kedarnath Temple Jyotirlinga
: One of
the holiest pilgrimages for the Hindus, Kedarnath Temple Jyotirlinga is located
in the picturesque surroundings of Rudra Himalaya Range at a height of 12000
feet on a mountain named Kedar. Near Kedarnath is the source of the river
Mandakini that joins Alakananda at Rudraprayag. This place is approximately 150
miles away from Hardwar and 132 miles north of Hrishikesh and is accessible by
The temple at Kedarnath enshrining the Jyotirlingam of Shiva opens only 6 months
a year (April-November) when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Aries and it is
closed when the sun enters Scorpio. The priests then go to Ukhimath, where the
worship of Kedareshwara is continued during the winter season.
Tradition has it that when undertaking Kedarnath Yatra pilgrims first visit
Yamunotri and Gangotri and bring with them the holy waters from the sources of
the rivers Yamuna and Ganga and offer abhishekams to Kedareshwara. The
traditional pilgrim route is Haridwar - Rishikesh - Devaprayag - Tehri - Dharasu
- Yamunotri - Uttar Kashi - Gangotri - Triyugnarayan - Gowrikund and Kedarnath.
The alternative route to Kedar from Rishikesh is via Devprayag, Srinagar,
Rudraprayag and Ukhimath.
Legend Behind Kedarnath Temple
Legend goes that Nara and Narayana - two incarnations of Vishnu performed
severe penance in Badrikashraya of Bharat Khand, in front of a Shivalingam
fashioned out of earth. Pleased with their devotion, Lord Shiva appeared in
front of them and said that they may ask for a boon. Nar and Narayan requested
Shiva to take up a permanent abode as a Jyotirlingam at Kedarnath so that all
people who worship Shiva shall be freed from their miseries.
According to yet another popular legend related to Kedar Temple, Goddess Parvati
worshipped Kedareshwar to unite with Shiva as Ardhanareeswarar. Besides, the
Pandavas are believed to have visited this area several times. Arjuna is
believed to have come here to pray to Shiva to obtain the coveted Pasupataastra.
The other Pandavas are believed to have come here in search of him, where
Draupadi came across the heavenly lotus Kalyana Saugandikam, and requested Bhima
to bring here some more of the same. It was during his venturing out to seek
these flowers that Bhima met Hanumaan.
Significance of Kedarnath Temple
Located in the lofty Himalayas, Kedarnath Temple is one of the best known
Shivasthalams in India and is considered to be one of the most sacred pilgrimage
centers of the country. It is believed that by praying to Kedareshwar, one can
get all his desires fulfilled. Importance of the shrine can be further
understood from the beliefs that Upamanyu prayed to Lord Shiva in this place in
Satayuga while in Dwapar, the Pandavas worshipped Lord Shiva here. Even the
spiritual leader Adi Sankaracharya is closely associated with Kedarnath.
Structure of Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath Shrine is scenically placed amidst the lofty, snow - covered mountains
and grassy meadows covering the valleys. Immediately behind the temple is the
high Keadardome peak, which can be sighted from great distances. It is believed
that the temple of Kedarnath was constructed by the Pandavas. At the entrance of
the temple is the statue of Nandi, the divine bull of Shiva. Walls inside the
temple are exquisitely carved with images. The revered Shiva Lingam housed in
the temple is in the unusual pyramidal form.
Dwadash Jyotirlinga - Lord Shiva temple - Shivlingam - Lord Shiva - Shiva Linga