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A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam is a shrine where Lord Shiva, an aspect of God in Hinduism is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam or "Lingam of light." There are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India.

 


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It is believed that Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra, thus the special reverence for the Jyotirlinga. There is nothing to distinguish the appearance, but it is believed that a person can see these lingas as columns of fire piercing through the earth after he reaches a higher level of spiritual attainment.

Significance of Jyotirlinga: The Puranas vociferously sing the praises of the greatness of the Jyotirlingas. By reciting the name of this, one can eliminate all the sins. The Sadhaka becomes calm, chaste and pure. He becomes illuminated and enlightened with supreme and divine knowledge. The names mentioned for the benefits of all:

Saurashtra Somnatham Cha Shrishaile Mallikarjunam ||
Ujjainyam Mahakalomkare Mammaleshwaram ||
Parlyam Vaijnatham Cha Dakinyam Bheem Shankaram ||
Setu Bandhe Tu Ramesham Nagesham Daruka Vane ||
Varanasya Tu Vishwesham Tribakam Gautamitate ||
Himalaye Tu Kedaram Ghurmesham Cha Shivalaye ||
Aetani Jyotirlingani Sayam Prataha Pathennaraha ||
Sapta Janma Kritam Papam Smaranen Vinashyati ||

One who recites these 12 names regularly in the morning and evening he washes all the sins committed in the previous 7 births and attains all the powers and Siddhis.

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  1. Somnath, destroyed and re-built six times, is held in reverence throughout India and is rich in legend, tradition, and history. It is located at Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra in Gujarat.(Official website of Somnath)
  2. Mallikarjuna, also called Srisaila, is the name of the pillar located on a mountain on the river Krishna. Srisailam, near Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh enshrines Mallikarjuna in an ancient temple that is architecturally and sculpturally rich. Adi Shankara composed his Sivananda Lahiri here.
  3. Mahakal, Ujjain (or Avanti) in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple. The Lingam at Mahakal is believed to be Swayambhu, the only one of the 12 Jyotirlingams to be so. It is also the only one facing south and also the temple to have a Shree Yantra perched upside down at the ceiling of the Garbha Graha (where the Shiv Lingam sits).
  4. Mamleshwar,Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh on an island in the Narmada river is home to a Jyotirlinga shrine and the Mamaleshwar temple.
  5. Kedarnath in Uttarakhand is the northernmost of the Jyotirlingas. Kedarnath, nestled in the snow-clad Himalayas, is an ancient shrine, rich in legend and tradition. It is accessible only by foot, and only for six months a year.
  6. Bhimashankar, in the Sahyadri range of Maharashtra, contains a Jyotirlinga shrine associated with Shiva destroying the demon Tripurasura. There is also a Bhimashankara temple at Kashipurnear Nainital, which was referred to as Daakini country in ancient days. It is believed that Bhima the Pandava prince was married to Hidamba, a Daakini here. Mahashivaratri is celebrated in great splendour here too. This temple also has shrines to Bhairavanath and Devi, and a temple tank by name Shivaganga.
  7. Varanasi (Benares) in Uttar Pradesh is home to the Vishwanath Jyotirling temple.
  8. Trimbakeshwar, near Nasik in Maharashtra, has a Jyotirlinga shrine associated with the origin of the Godavari river. (Official Website of Trimbakeshwar)
  9. Baidyanathdham in Deoghar,[Jharkhand] & Parli Vaidyanath Temple, (Maharashtra), also called Vaijnath Temple and Baidyanth Temple is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas region of Jharkhand in the south west of Keeul Station.
  10. Nageshwar Temple Dwarika Dwarka Gujarat
  11. Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu is home to the vast Ramalingeswarar Jyotirlinga temple and is revered as the southernmost of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of India. It enshrines the Ramesvara ("Lord of Rama") pillar.
  12. Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga shrine, in Aurangabad Maharashtra, is located near the rock-cut temples of Ellora.




There are Twelve (12) temples called Jyotirlingas dedicated to Lord Eshwara in the form of Shiva Lingas. These temples are situated across India and are considered very sacred by Hindus. There is a belief that, all these twelve Jyothirlingas are to be visited in the month of November-December (Kartika Masam). Below are brief details of each Jyotirlinga.

Somnath : Somnath is located at Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra in Gujarat.

Rameshwaram : This vast temple in the island of Rameswaram, in Southern Tamilnadu enshrines Ramalingeswarar.

Srisailam : Srisailam new Kurnool enshrines Mallikarjuna in an ancient temple rich in architectural and sculptural wealth.

Ghrishneshwar : Jyotirlinga shrine, in Aurangabad Maharashtra, is located near the rock-cut temples of Ellora.

Ujjain : The ancient and historic city of Ujjain or Avanti in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Jyotirlinga shrine of Mahakaleshwar

Varanasi : Varanasi - The most celebrated pilgrimage site in India. The Vishwanath temple in Banaras in Uttar Pradesh is the goal of the thousands of pilgrims that visit this ancient city.

Dwarka : Dwarka, in Gujrat, is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.

Bhimsankar : Bhimsankar is located in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra, accessed from Pune.

Trimbakeshwar : The origin of the river Godavari is intimately linked with this Jyotirlinga shrine near Nasik in Maharashtra.

Omkareshwar : Omkareshwar, an island in the course of the river Narmada in Madhya Pradesh, is home to the Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga shrine and the Amareshwar temple.

Vaidyanath : Vaidyanath is located in the Santal Parganas area of Bihar.

Kedarnath : Kedarnath nestled in the snow clad Himalayas. It is accessible only on foot, six months in a year.


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