List of 12 Jyotirlingas in India: Significance, location, history- All about Shiva

Lord Shiva is one of the trinity worshiped by the Hindus across the globe. His 12 holy abodes are of greatest significance to his followers and are called as Jyotirlingams. Take a look at all the details here.
Created On: Sep 1, 2021 12:30 IST
Modified On: Sep 1, 2021 13:09 IST
Jyotirlingas in India
Jyotirlingas in India

Hinduism is one of the most followed religions of the world with its three main deities. Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh or Shiva. These three are also known as Tridev

Out of the three Shiva is considered to be the destructor of evil of the world and is known for following extreme passions. He has a wife known as Parvati or Shakti and two sons- Ganesh and Kartikeya

The people who follow Shiva are known as Shavait. 

Shiva is worshiped in the form of Shiv Linga in the country. He has a pet bull named Nandi. There are 64 Jyotirlingas across the country but only 12 out of them are considered to be the most significant. These Jyotirlingas are the symbol of Siva. Let us know about them one by one. 

What is Jyotirlinga?

Before knowing about all the Jyotirlingas, you need to know what a Jyotirlinga is. A jyotirlinga or Jyotirlingam is a representation of Shiva. It is a Sanskrit word which means " Radiance". The Shiva Purana mentions as many as 64 Jyotirlingas. Out of these 12 are called Mahajyotirlingam or the Great Jyotirlingas. 

Map of Jyotirlingas

Legend of the Jyotirlinga:

As per the Shiv Purana, once there was a tiff between Brahma and Vishnu over supremacy. At this very moment, Shiva pierced the three worlds with a bright light in the shape of a pillar which is referred to as the Jyotirlinga. This later is said to have cooled down into Annamalai. Brahma and Vishnu tried finding the end of the Jyotirlinga looking for it both above and below but failed to find the end of it. This meant that Shiva was the Supreme power. Brahma at that time lied to Vishnu about finding the end of the Jyotirlinga which made Shiva curse him of not being worshipped even though he is the creator of the Earth. The legend is followed till date. 

12 Maha Jyotirlingams: 

Take a look at the table below to get to know about the twelve Maha Jyotirlingas in India 

Jyotirlinga

Location

State

Somnath

Veraval, Saurashtra

Gujarat

Mallikarjuna

Srisailam

Madhya Pradesh

Mahakaleshwar

Ujjain

Ujjain

Omkareshwara

Khandwa

Madhya Pradesh

Kedarnath

Kedarnath

Uttarakhand

Bhimashankar

Khed Taluka, Pune

Maharashtra

Vishweshwara

Varanasi

Uttar Pradesh

Trayambakeshwar

Trimbak

Maharashtra

Nageshwara

Jamnagar

Gujarat

Baidyanath

Deoghar

Jharkhand

Rameshwaram

Rameshwaram

Tamil Nadu

Grishneshwar

Ellora

Maharashtra

Mahajyotirlingas: Details

Somnath: It is traditionally considered to be the first pilgrimage site. It marks the beginning of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga pilgrimage. This temple is said to have been destroyed 16 times and rebuilt as well. 

Mallikarjuna: This is also called as Srisaila and is located on the mountain in Kurnool district of Rayalaseema. The temple is architecturally rich and consists of various sculptures. The Shakti Peetha and Jyotirlinga are together in this place. 

Mahakaleshwar: Ujjain is known for its Shiv temple across the globe. This Lingam is believed to be Swayambhu out of the 12 Maha Jyotirlingas. It is also the only one facing the South and has Shri Rudra Yantra placed upside down at the ceiling of the Garbhagriha. Here also Shakti Peetha is along with the Jyotirlinga. 

Omkareshwar: It is situated in Madhya Pradesh as well. It is on an island in the Narmada river and is a home to Jyotirlinga shrine at the Mahala temple. 

Kedarnath: Kedarnath is known to be the closest Jyotirlinga to Shiva's actual home in Kailash mountain. This temple also forms a part of the famous Char Dham yatra of the Hindus.  This location is accessible for only one time in every six months. It is also one of the Paadal Petra Sthalam of Vada Naadu mentioned in Thevaaram.

Legend of Kedarnath: Pure ghee is applied on the wild boar as Shiva took the form of a wild boar to dive into earth at Kedarnath to emerge at Doleshwor in Kathmandu in Nepal. The boar is said to be injured which is why application of desi ghee is done

Bhimashankar: It is situated in Khed Taluka of Daakini country. This is why this place was called the Daakini temple too. 

Vishweshwara: This Jyotirlinga is situated in Kashi, Varanasi. UP is said to be the home to Vishwanath Jyotirlinga shrine. It is also one of the Padal petra stalam of Vada Naadu that has been mentioned in Thevaaram. 

It is situated on the western banks of the holy river Ganges. The Shiva deity here is known as Vishwanath that means the ruler of the universe. Varanasi is one of the oldest cities of the world and thus is the temple. 

Trayambakeshwar: This Jyotirlinga is situated on the banks of the river Godavari and the legend says that this temple marks the origin of the river as well. 

Nageshwara: This temple is situated in Gujarat, near Jamnagar and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas mentioned in the Shiv Purana. It is known as the Dvādaśa Jyotirliṅga Stotram. 

Baidyanath: It is considered to be one of the most sacred abodes of the Lord Shiva. It is located in Deoghar in Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand. This is popularly called Baba Baidyanath where the Jyotirlinga is installed. There are also 21 other temples in this region. As per the Hindu legends, Ravana worshipped Shiva here to gain the boon of 10 heads. 

Rameshwaram: It is in Tamil Nadu and is the southernmost Jyotirlinga in India.  It enshrines the Rameśvara-"Lord Rama '' pillar.

Grishneshwar: This temple is referred to as Ghushmeshwar temple in the Shiv Purana. It is one of the shrines of Shiv mentioned in the Shiv Purana.

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