The 12 Great Jyotirlinga – India
Jyotirlinga or Jyotirlingam – a devotional representation of Hindu GOD Shiva. Jyotirlinga – a Sanskrit word compound of Jyotis – radiance and Linga. Shiva Purana mentions 64 Jyotirlinga shrines in India and Nepal, 12 of which are most sacred. They are called “Maha Jyotirlingam” (the Great Jyotirlingas).
Jyotirlinga means ‘column or pillar of light’. The ‘stambha’ symbol represents that there is not beginning or end.
Jyotirlingas are sacred shrines of Lord Shiva – it is believed that Lord Shiva himself visited these places and hence have a special place in the hearts of Hindu devotees.
Once Brahma (the God of creation) and Vishnu (the form of God during preservation), according to Siva Mahapurana, had an argument over supremacy of creation. To settle the debate, Lord Shiva pierced the three worlds appearing as a huge infinite pillar of light, the Jyotirlinga which later cooled into the holy mountain Annamalai (on which the Temple of Arunachaleshwara is located)
Lord Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find he end of the light in either direction. Lord Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. This lie of Lord Brahma made Lord Shiva angry and he cursed Lord Brahma that even though he is the creator of the universe he would not be worshipped. The Jyotirlinga is the Supreme Shiva, artless reality, out of which Shiva appeared in another form, Lingodbhava. The all Jyotirlinga shrines are temples where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light.
List of most sacred 12 Maha Jyotirlingas ……
- Somnath Jyotirlinga, Veraval, Saurashtra, Gujarat, India
- Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh, India
- Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India
- Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, India
- Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, India
- Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Khed Taluka, Pune, Maharashtra, India
- Vishwanath Jyotirlinga, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
- Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Trimbak, near Nashik, Maharashtra, India
- Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Dwarka, Gujarat, India
- Baidyanath Jyotirlinga, Deoghar, Jharkhand, India
- Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
- Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
1. Shri Somnath Jyotirlinga
The 1st Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, also called Somanatha temple or Deo Patan, is located in Prabhas Patan, Veraval in Gujarat, India. One of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites. where defects are removed by mere sight and wishes are fulfilled.
2. Shri Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga
The 2nd Jyotirlinga is in Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple or Srisailam Temple in Andhra Pradesh. This temple is situated on a hilltop by the Krishna river.
3. Shri Mahakleshwar Jyotirlinga
The 3rd Jyotirlinga is located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The temple is situated on the side of the holy river Shipra.
4. Shri Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga
The 4th Jyotirlinga is located in Khandwa, Mandhya Pradesh. It is on an island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river. The shape of the island is said to be like ॐ symbol.
5. Shri Baidyanath Jyotirlinga
The 5th Jyotirlinga is located in Deoghar, Jharkhand. Shri Baidyanath or Vaidyanath dham also known as Baba Baidyanath, the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva.
6. Shri Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga
The 6th Jyotirlinga is located 50km Khed taluka, near Pune, Maharastra. It is located in village Bhorgiri, about 125km from Pune, in the Ghat region of Sahyadri Mountains. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima.
7. Shri Rameswaram Jyotirlinga
The 7th Jyotirlinga is located in an island on the eastern seashore of Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu state. The temple is located at 155km from Madurai.
8. Shri Nageswar Jyotirlinga
The 8th Jyotirlinga is located in Daarukavanam between Gomti and Dwarka on the coast of Saurashtra, Gujarat. Nageshwar means ‘Lord of serpents’, one who worships Nageshwar will have a poison-free mind and body.
9. Shri Vishwanath Jyotirlinga
The 9th Jyotirlinga is located in Vishwanath Gali of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple stands on the western bank of Holy Ganges and is one of the holiest of Shiva Temple.
10. Shri Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga
The 10th Jyotirlinga is located at a distance of about 28 km from Nashik, Maharastra near Brahamagiri hill from which the river Godavari flows. There are three hill around this temple – Brahmagiri, Nilgiri and Kalagiri.
11. Shri Kedarnath Jyotirlinga
The 11th Jyotirlinga is the highest of the 12 jyotirlingas, situated at an altitude of over 3,500m in Uttarakhand, at the head of the Mandakini and mythical Saraswati River.
12. Shri Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga
The 12th Jyotirlinga is located in Ellora (also called Verul), less than a kilometre from Ellora Caves – about 30km from Aurangabad. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga is also known as Ghrneshwar or Gushmeshwar, meaning “Lord of Compassion”.