"With his neck, consecrated by the water flowing from the thick forest-like locks of hair, and on the neck, where the lofty snake is hanging like a garland, and the Damaru drum making the sound of Damat Damat Damat Damat, Lord Shiva did the auspicious dance of Tandava. May He shower prosperity on us all."
With the ashes smeared all over his body, carrying the trident, the moon resting on his bun, mounted on a bull, and fond of cannabis, he's the one who gulped the poison. His various forms are feared by the evil-doers while protecting the devotees, his third eye symbolizes wit and fierce. A combination of words cannot describe him, he is Ananta, HE is Lord Shiva.
Har Har Mahadev, dear readers. Since you have read the verse above that praises the Lord of lords, Mahadev, we are sure that you'll be reading something interesting today.
Lord Shiva is a major religious figurine in Hinduism. He is one amidst the Hindu Trinity where he is seen as the 'Destroyer' of the bad and slayer of the ghouls. The followers of Hinduism worship him on a large scale. In the country, there are countless shrines that are dedicated to him but, there are limited Jyotirlingas.
A Jyotirlinga is a shrine where Lord Shiva is present in a self-manifested form. Across the latitudes and longitudes of the nation, there are 12 famous Jyotirlingas. Each of them has an enchanting Shivalinga in the sanctorum and a compelling story behind it. All these temples witness a humongous footfall on the pious event of Maha Shivaratri. So, here we present to you, the list of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Keep reading without a delay.
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Somnath Jyotirlinga is the first among the 12 Jyotirlinga Shrines in India. It stands in the district of Kathiawad in Gujarat. It is a highly frequented shrine with a magnificent architecture in India. According to the legend, The Moon showed his prominence and love towards Rohini the most, excluding other 27 wives. Due to his negligence, he was cursed and lost all his charm. He came to Somnath and worshiped Lord Shiva and regained his charm due to Lord Shiva's blessings. Thus, from that day, the place where the Moon worshiped Lord Shiva came to be known as Somnath Jyotirlinga.
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Famed as 'Kailash of South', Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga is second among the 12 Jyotirlinga Shrines. It is located on Shri Shaila Mountain and is not less than an enticing edifice. Lord Mahadeva is worshiped here with his consort, Devi Bharamarambha. Since Lord Ganesha was married before Kartikeya, it enraged Kartikeya and he flew to the mount Kraunja to stay alone. Seeing him in such condition, Lord Shiva & Parvati visited him but he refused to come back. The parents of Kartikeya decided to stay on Shri Shaila Mountain and assumed the form of a Shivalinga.
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Another renowned abode of Lord Shiva, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is another Jyotirlinga that stands on the third platform. It is situated in Madhya Pradesh. This temple, apart from a Jyotirlinga, is a famous Shakti Peetha as well. The upper lip of Sati fell at this place. Here, she's worshiped in the form of Mahakali. Throughout the year, this shrine is swarmed by millions of devotees from the various corners of the country. It is said that performing rituals blesses a childless couple with a child.
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Also known by the name of Amareshwar and Mamleshwar, Omkareshwar Temple is a remarkable Hindu shrine in Madhya Pradesh. It got its name because of its appearance in the form of the holy symbol, Om. This temple is flocked by the countless devotees throughout the year, especially on Mondays. Legend says that Vindhya, the deity of Vindhyachal range, performed penance to propitiate from the sins he committed. Pleased by this devotion, Lord Shiva appeared and promised to stay in the form of a linga.
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Vaidyanath, aka Baidyanath, is a Jyotirlinga located in Jharkhand. Here, Lord Shiva is worshiped as a 'vaidya' meaning doctor. The tale behind it goes like this- Ravana asked for a boon that Lord Shiva should stay with him in Lanka. He cut his head nine times as an offering. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva fixed his heads and gave a Shivalinga. He told that the linga will be rooted to the earth once placed on the soil. In order to make Ravana unsuccessful, Devas planned a conspiracy and were successful in it. Today, the place where the Shivalinga is located is known by the name of Vaidyanath.
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Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is an ancient Jyotirlinga in India. This temple is built in the Nagara style of architecture and is located amid the Sahyadri range away from the pollution of the city. This pious shrine came into existence after Lord Shiva killed a demon named Bhima. He was a powerful demon who created havoc after acquiring the boon of possessing immense powers from Brahma. Lord Shiva descended to the land of immortals, fought with Bhima, and killed him. Devas requested him to make that region his abode, Lord Shiva manifested himself and the place was recognized as Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga.
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Rameshwar Jyotirlinga needs no formal introduction. This Jyotirlinga, located in Rameshwaram, is a famous Hindu shrine in India. It was built by Lord Rama himself. According to folklore, after returning from Lanka, Lord Rama performed penance at Rameshwaram in order to get rid of the sin of killing a Brahmin (Ravana). He created a Shivalinga from sand and performed a hard penance. Today, the same Shivalinga is located in the astounding sanctum of Rameshwar Jyotirlinga, an intriguing shrine that is famed for its architecture.
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Located in the sacred district of Dwarka, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is a well-known Hindu Jyotirlinga. It houses a beautiful Shivalinga that is worshiped by the devotees each day. According to the tales in Shiva Puran, the demon of Daarukavan kidnapped Supriya, a Shiva devotee and imprisoned her. She was tortured by the sea snakes but she never gave up. After chanting Lord Shiva's name consistently, he appeared in front of her as the savior. After a battle with Daaruka, he defeated him by opening his third eye. In praise of Lord Shiva, Supriya constructed a Shivalinga that is known as Nageshwar Jyotirlinga.
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Set along the banks of the holy river Ganges, the city of Kashi doesn't require a formal introduction. Known as the 'City of Shiva', Kashi is an important city in the country. It houses various temples including the Jyotirlinga called Kashi Vishwanath. It is claimed that this site was visited by the well-known sages like Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda, Guru Nanak Dev etc. It is said that the devotees attain moksha and ascend directly to the abode of Lord Shiva. Each day, this shrine welcomes more than 900 pilgrims!
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Snug amid the hillocks of Brahmagiri, Nilagiri, and Kalagiri, Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga is a famous Shiva temple in Nashik, Maharashtra. The entire edifice represents the Hemadpanthi style of architecture and houses a Shivalinga with three faces. These three faces represent the Holy Trinity in Hinduism. The folklore says that Lord Shiva untangled his dreadlocks and released Ganga as the boon acquired by Sage Gautam to get rid of the sin of killing a cow accidentally.
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Situated at a height of 11,755 feet above the sea level and shrouded in the Rudra Himalayan range, Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is another abode of Mahadev. It is the highest Jyotirlinga in India and remains open only for 6 months due to the extreme weather conditions. This Jyotirlinga is said to be standing in the same structure since the period of Pandavas. Before ascending to heavens, a finger of Yudhisthira fell down at this point. He created a Shivalinga that was the same size as his thumb. This Shivalinga is being worshiped since that period of time.
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Reflecting the skillful Hemadpanthi style of architecture, Ghrishneshwar Temple is the twelfth Jyotirlinga in India. It is located in Aurangabad and was constructed by Ahilyabai Holkar. In the previous centuries, it was devastated during various battles and invasions. The present-day structure was the last renovated frame that was finalized by Ahilyabai. Presently, Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga is frequented by the devotees throughout the year.
Bhaang Dhatoora Bail ka patta, Teeno lokon mei isiki satta. Vish peekar bhi adig amar hai, Mahadev har har hai japta
The glory of the above listed Jyotirlingas is indescribable. They are visited by the thousands of devotees every day. Visit these Jyotirlingas and get spellbound with the tranquility and divinity present in its aura. Har Har Mahadev!
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