According to the Hindu mythology, wherever Shiva appeared himself, at all those twelve places, Shivlingas are worshipped in the form of light. These are twelve Jyotirlingas in total. It is believed that a person who chants the name of these 12 Jyotirlingas in the morning and evening every day, gets the desired results soon. It is said that the person who visits these twelve Jyotirlingas is the most fortunate. By his Darshan, a person gets freedom from all sins. This is the significance of worshipping Lord Shiva.
12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India are:
1. Somnath Jyotirlinga, Kathiawar, Gujarat
Somnath Jyotirlinga is considered not only of India, but the first Jyotirlinga of this earth. This temple is located by the sea in Kathiawar, Gujarat. Earlier, it was known as Prabhas Kshetra. According to Shivpuran, when Moon was cursed by Daksha Prajapati, then the moon penance at this place and got rid of this curse. It is said that this Shivling was established by Chandradev himself, which is also found in the Rigveda. The glory of Somnath Jyotirlinga is explained in detail in Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagwat and Skanda Purana etc. Since the name of the moon is also Som, he did penance here, considering Lord Shiva as his Nath-lord, so this Jyotirlinga is called ‘Somnath’. With its darshan and worship, all the sins and misdeeds of the devotees are destroyed. They become the characters of the unending grace of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati. The path of salvation becomes accessible.
2. Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga, Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh
Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is situated on the banks of the Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh on a mountain named Srisailam. The importance of this temple is said to be similar to that of Lord Shiva’s Mount Kailash. Many religious scriptures explain their religious and mythological importance. It is said that only by seeing this Jyotirlinga, one gets freedom from all his sins and the physical, divine and physical negativities are destroyed. His Archana was first done with Mallika flowers, hence his name was Mallikarjuna.
3. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Mahakaleshwar is the only Dakshinmukhi Jyotirlinga located in Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh. Situated on the banks of river Kshipra, it is one of the most sacred Saptapuris of India. It is believed that here, Bholenath himself appeared and incinerated the tyrannical demon by burning a hunk. So, he was named Mahakal. Here’s every morning’s Bhasmarti is famous all over the world.
4. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, Shivapuri, Madhya Pradesh
It is located on the banks of the holy Narmada River in the famous city of Indore, Madhya Pradesh. After the Narmada river is divided into two streams, an island built in the middle is called Mandhata-Parvat or Shivpuri. A stream of river flows north and south of this mountain. Southern flow of the river is considered as the mainstream. The temple of Shri Omkareshwar-Jyotirlinga is situated on this Mandhata-Parvat. In the past, Maharaj Mandhata pleased Lord Shiva with his penance on this mountain. The flow of Narmada river around the hill creates the shape of ‘Om’ here, hence it was named Omkareshwar.
5. Kedarnath Jyotirlinga, Uttarakhand
This Jyotirlinga mountain is located on the Kedar peak of the Himalayas. In the Puranas and scriptures, the description of the glory of Shri Omkareshwar-Jyotirlinga is found frequently. On the banks of the Punyamati Mandakini river in the western part of the peak is the temple of Omkareshwar Mahadev.
To the east of the peak, there is the most famous temple of Badrinath on the picturesque coast of Alaknanda. Alaknanda and Mandakini- these two rivers come together in Rudraprayag. This combined stream of both rivers comes down to Devprayag and joins the Bhagirathi Ganga. In this way, those who bathe in this Holiness Gangaji, get a touch of water washing the feet of Shri Kedareshwar and Badrinath.
The temple of Baba Kedarnath is at an altitude of 3584 meters above sea level on the way to Badrinath. The description of Kedarnath is also found in Skanda Purana and Shiva Purana.
6. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Maharashtra
This Jyotirlinga is on the Sahyadri mountain, 100 km from Pune in Maharashtra. Regarding this temple, it is believed that the devotee who visits this temple with reverence after the sun rises every morning, the sins of his seven births are removed and the paths to heaven are opened for him. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Shankar killed Kumbhakarna’s son and evil demon Bhima here. From then on, started living in the form of Jyotirlinga. Located at an altitude of 3,250 feet, this Shivling is quite thick, hence also known as ‘Motheshwar Mahadev‘. The story is given in detail in Shivpuran. The glory of this Jyotirlinga is unfailing,
7. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Thousands of years ago, the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple, established in Varanasi, is world-famous. It is believed that Lord Shiva has illuminated this ‘Jyotirlinga’ from his own abode. Since Lord Shiva came to Kashi from Mandar mountain, he reached Kashi including rivers, forests, mountains, pilgrimages and islands etc. It is also believed that this place will remain safe even after the Holocaust. Lord Bholenath protects it. Worshipping of all the lingas is as much virtue as in all births, it is found only once by worshipping the revered ‘Vishwanath’.
8. Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga, Nasik, Maharashtra
Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga is close to the Godavari River, 30 km from Nashik, Maharashtra. The nearest mountain is Brahmagiri mountain. Godavari river starts from this mountain, which was brought by Maharishi Gautam. Shiva also has a name Trimbakeshwar.
It is said that Shiva had to stay here in Jyotirlinga form on the request of Maharishi Gautama. Many sages, saints and deities gathered there and, approving Gautama’s talk, prayed to Lord Shiva to stay there. Lord Shiva obeyed him and stayed there in the form of Trimb Jyotirlinga.
9. Baidyanath Temple, Deoghar, Jharkhand
Baidyanath Jyotirlinga is the only one of twelve Jyotirlingas in Deoghar district of Jharkhand, where both Lord Shiva and Shakti are seated.
It is written indicating the location – ‘Chitabhumau Pratisthitah’. ‘Baidyanath Chitabhumau’ is also written at other places. According to some stories, when Lord Shankar was roaming around with the body of Sati on his shoulder, at the same time, the body of Sati was divided into 51 parts by Lord Vishnu. These 51 parts fell at different places, which was called Shaktipeeth.
Mother Sati’s heart fell in Baidyanathdham. So, it is also called Hridaypeeth or Shaktipeeth. The last rites of Mata Sati were also done here. Therefore, it is also called Chitabhoomi. Baidyanath Jyotirlinga is going to give fruits to man according to his wish. Hence. it is also called Kamanalinga.
10. Nageshwar, Dwarkapuri, Gujarat
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is 17 miles away from Dwarkapuri in Gujarat. In the scriptures, Shiva is said to be the god of serpents and the full meaning of Nageshwar is the God of serpents. According to the Hindu mythology, Shiva had bestowed his unique devotee, Supriya, to destroy the demon named Daruk. Hearing the prayers of the devotee, God appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga on the shining throne in the prison. Then Supriya went to Shivdham.
It is believed that all the wishes of the devotees are fulfilled only by the seeing of Nageshwar Jyotirlinga.
11. Rameshwaram Temple, Tamil Nadu
Located in Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu, Lord Shiva is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and is also one of the four pilgrimages of Hindus. It is believed that Lord Sri Ram Chandra Ji worshipped Lord Shiva by making a Shiva Linga of sand here before climbing Lanka. This is why this Jyotirlinga became famous as Rameshwaram. Its glory is described in Skanda Purana.
12. Grineshwar Temple, Maharashtra
The last of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. This famous temple of the last Jyotirlinga is near Verul village, 12 miles from Daulatabad, Maharashtra. It is also famous by the name of Grineshwar or Ghusmeshwar. People from far and wide come here to seek spiritual peace. The famous caves of Ellora are located near this temple.
Here is also the tomb of Shri Eknathji Guru and Shri Janardan Maharaj. The glory of Ghushmeshwar Jyotirlinga is described in great detail in the Puranas. His Darshan is for both people and the world.
Hope, you find this article informative and interesting. If you have visited any of these twelve Jyotirlingas, you may share your experience with us in the comment section below.