List of 12 Jyotirlinga in India
Focused on the popular Hindu deity Lord Shiva, Jyotirlinga is a word that is used to refer to a powerful devotional object that represents the supreme god, Lord Shiva. The term is formed with two words—Jyoti, which means radiance, and then Linga, which means an image or sign. Hence, the whole word Jyotirlinga actually means the radiant sign of Lord Shiva.
The jyotirlinga is worshipped by millions of devotees and followers of Lord Shiva all over the world. In India, there are a total of 12 jyotirlinga shrines, situated in different parts of the country.
According to legend, on the night of Ardra Nakshatra, Lord Shiva had for the very first time manifested himself into the jyotirlinga, wherein a common man can only see and feel the presence of Lord Shiva through radiant lights like fire emerging from the earth and it is only then that he can consider himself closer to his spiritual attainment and closer to the lord.
The story behind the origin of jyotirlinga goes back to a tale when Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma were having a debate about having the upper hand in the creation of the universe, and hence the supreme audacity over it. That is when Lord Shiva came and in order to put an end to the debate, pierced the entire three worlds, simultaneously appearing as one powerful and huge pillar of light, which was the Jyotirlinga, and thus, the lord’s first manifestation into such an object. Both Brahma and Vishnu tried their best to find the end of this ray of light, but both only met with defeat although none admitted it.
The Jyotirlinga is thus believed to be an infinite pillar of light and ever since that event, the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines in the country happen to be those places where Shiva’s light emerged during the Ardra Nakshatra. The 12 shrines are as follows:
Located in Srisailam, in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 jyotirlingas spread all across the country where it is believed Lord Shiva had appeared as a fiery column of light, and these jyotirlingas convey the infinite nature of Lord Shiva. The Mallikurjuna Jyotirlinga is the second in the series of 12 right after the Somnath Jyotirlinga situated in Saurashtra in the north western state of Gujarat in India
Situated on one side of the Rudra Sagar Lake, in the ancient city of Ujjain, located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one among the 12 main jyotirlingas spread all across the country. These jyotirlingas are known as the holy abodes of Lord Shiva, where it is believed he had appeared as a fiery column of light defining his endless nature, and Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is the third in the series of 12, right after the Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, situated in Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh
The Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 jyotirlingas- holy abodes of Lord Shiva located in the holy pilgrimage place of Kedarnath, which itself resides in the Himalayan Ranges on the Mandakini River, in the state of northern state of Uttarakhand in India. Among all the 12 jyotirlingas spread all across the country, it is the Kedareshwar Jyotirlinga in the Kedarnath Temple that is located at the maximum height, and due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is not open to tourists for darshan all time, and has a limited period of viewing from the month of April till November.
Located in Ellora, around 30 kilometers away from the city of Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the Grineshwar Jyotirlinga, also known as Grineshwar Jyotirlinga, is the one of the 12 jyotirlingas located in the country. In the whole list, it is the last and the final jyotirlinga. All these jyotirlingas are known as the holy abodes of Lord Shiva, the most powerful god in Hinduism, and it is believed that in all these places where these jyotirlingas exist, he had appeared there as a fiery column of light, conveying his infinite nature of existence in the universe.
Situated on the banks of Chandrabhaga River in Pune district, in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 jyotirlingas that are spread all across India. This jyotirlinga here resides inside the Bhimashankar Temple. The Bhimashankar Temple is a popular Hindu pilgrim spot, surrounded by expansive picturesque beauty in the form of beautiful meadows, hills, and other essence of mother nature.
Located in Deoghar, in the Indian state of Jharkhand, the Baidyanath Jyotirlinga, also known as Baba Baidyanath Dham or simply Baidyanath Dham, is one among the 12 jyotirlingas spread all across the country. These jyotirlingas are known as the holy abodes of Lord Shiva, where it is believed he had appeared as a fiery column of light and showcased his infinite nature of existence in this universe.
The Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is one among the 12 Jyotirlingas spread all across the country. As per the writings in the Shiva Purana, the Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is located in the Darukavana, a place that happens to be the name of an ancient forest in the country, and has often been mentioned in popular Indian epics like the Kamyakavana, the Dandakavana, and the Dvaitavana
Located on the banks of Narmada River in Shivapuri Island in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar is a popular Hindu pilgrim place, devoted to Lord Shiva and is also one among the 12 famous Jyotirlingas—holy shrines for Lord Shiva spread over the country in different cities. It is said that the Island Shivapuri is actually in the perfect shape of the popular Hindu symbol Om (ॐ). Coming to the holy shrines in the pilgrim place, there are two temples that make the place as famous as it is today;
Located near the Gulf of Mannar, housed inside the popular pilgrim place of Rameshwaram Temple, the Rameshwar jyotirlinga is one among the 12 jyotirlingas (holy abodes of Lord Shiva) in the city of Rameshwaram located in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is said that the pilgrimage of Kashi for devotees is never complete without a visit to Rameshwar. The jyotirlinga here is situated right at the peninsular tip of Rameshwaram
Located in Saurashtra, on the western coast of the north western state of Gujarat in India, the Somnath Jyotirlinga is the first in the series of 12 jyotirlingas spread all across the country. All these jyotirlingas in the country are said to be spots, where Lord Shiva has appeared as a fiery column of light and all of these lingas represent an endless nature of Lord Shiva, with start-less and end-less aspects.
Located in the popular and holy city of Nashik in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple with the Trimbakeshwar jyotirlinga is a famous and ancient pilgrim place for Hindus, devoted to Lord Shiva, and also happens to be one among the 12 famous jyotirlingas in the country, eighth in the series of jyotirlingas to be precise, and also regarded as the main jyotirlinga among the others.
The Visweswara Jyotirlinga located in the holy city of Varanasi in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is one among the 12 Jyotirlingas spread all across the country, representing the lingam form of Lord Shiva, who had appeared as a fiery column of light in all these places presently known as Jyotirlingas. The Visweswar Jyotirlinga is housed inside the popular Hindu pilgrim shrine Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which stands on the western banks of the holy river Ganga. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Lord Vishwanath here, known as the ‘’Ruler of the Universe,’
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