Mahashivratri, the Hindu festival will be celebrated by believers on March 4, 2019. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the day hold much significance among devotees. Shiva temples in the country receive thousands of devotees with prayers being held throughout the night. Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam a devotional object that holds much spiritual importance in representing Lord Shiva is worshipped on this day. There are 12 Jyotirlinga temples in India, located at the length and breadth of the country. Ardent followers of Shiva, try to visit all these temples in their lifetime.
Maha Shivaratri literally translates to 'the Great Night of Shiva' and is observed by fasting, chanting of the sacred mantra 'Om Namah Shivaya'. Various legends, mythologies and stories are related to the day observed with grand celebrations in the country. Among 12 Jyotirlingas in India, Somnath Temple in Gujarat is said to be the most significant one. From Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand to Tamil Nadu, these 12 temples are spread across the country. Of which Gujarat's Nageshwar Jyotirlinga which is quite popular among devotees is similar to Jageshwar temple in Uttarakhand, Nageshwara temple in Gujarat, and the Nagnath temple in Maharashtra. Mahashivratri 2019 Vrat Time & Puja Vidhi: Know About the Shubh Muhurat to Perform Maha Shivaratri Puja on The 'Great Night Of Shiva'.
Here Are 12 Jyotirlingas in the Country Known for Their Spiritual Significance
1. Somnath Temple in Gujarat
Somnath means 'Lord of the Soma', an epithet of Shiva. It is believed that Moon God himself created this temple. According to beliefs, Somnath Jyotirlinga holds the most significance among the twelve aadi jyotirlingas in the country. It is located in Kathiawad region of Saurashtra in Gujarat. The place was attacked several times in the past; it was destroyed 16 times and re-built again. Mahashivratri 2019: Why did Shiva do the Tandav? The Story Behind the Lord’s Cosmic Dance.
2. Mallikarjuna Temple in Andhra Pradesh
Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple is located in the town of Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh along the banks of Krishna fort. Lord Shiva who is also known by the name Mallikarjuna is worshipped here. During Mahashivratri celebrations, the temple witnesses large crowds.
3. Nageshwar Temple in Gujarat
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga temple is located near the city of Dwarka in Gujarat. The temple withholds 25-metre tall statue of Lord Shiva which draws a lot of visitors. According to the Shiva Purana, Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is in the 'Darukavana', the name of an ancient forest in India.
4. Mahakaleshwar Temple in Madhya Pradesh
Mahakaleshwar temple located on the side of the Rudra Sagar lake in the temple town of Ujjain receives visitors throughout the year. The diety here is also know as Dakshinamurti as it faces the south. Mahashivratri 2019: Reasons Why Lord Shiva is a Favourite God Amongst All!
5. Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is situated in the Rudra Himalayan Range at an altitude of 1200 feet. Due to cold weather, the temple remains closed for six months and is opened only from May to June. It is believed to have been built by the Pandavas and revived by Adi Sankaracharya.
6. Omkareshwar Temple in Madhya Pradesh
This Jyotirlinga temple is situated in Shivpuri, the holy island of Madhya Pradesh. The temple is known for its shape which looks like 'Om'. Madhya Pradesh has two main Shiva temples, of which is the second jyotirlinga shrine, with the first being Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain. Mahashivratri 2019: Easy Bhang Recipes You Can Make This Maha Shivratri to Relish the ‘Nectar of the Gods’.
7. Grishneshwar Shiva Temple in Maharashtra
Grishneshwar Temple located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra is made of red rock. The temple that has carvings of various Gods and Goddesses is the smallest Jyotirlinga temple of Lord Shiva in India. Ghrneshwar means the 'lord of compassion' and is composed of a five-tier shikhara.
8. Ramanathaswamy Temple in Tamil Nadu
Ramanathaswamy Temple is situated in the temple town of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. It is the southernmost jyotirlingas situated in the country and is surrounded by seas and is known for its great architecture. This is also one among the char dhams of India. The temple also leads to Dhanushkodi, from where Lord Rama built Ram Setu up to Lanka, to save his wife from Ravana.
9. Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi, the temple town of India has situated on the banks of holy river Ganga. The Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga temple is believed to be the holiest temple of India. According to devotees, Lord Shiva lived in the region and was a means of happiness to all. Mahashivratri 2019: Visit These Lord Shiva Temples in India to Witness The Best of Maha Shivaratri.
10. Bhimashankar Temple in Maharashtra
Bhimashankar Temple is located along Riber Bhima in the Bhimashankar hills in Pune. This temple which dates back to the 18th century has Nagara-style carvings and is believed to have been erected over Swayambhu Linga or a Self Emanated Shiva Linga. It is among five jyotirlingas in Pune and is one of the popular pilgrim locations in Maharastra.
11. Baidyanath Temple in Jharkhand
Located in the temple town of Deoghar in Jharkhand, the temple receives thousands of devotees during Mahashivratri. The jyotirlinga received its name Baba Baidyanath Dham or Baba Dham from the word 'Vaidya' which means doctor. It is believed that the name came after Lord Shiva cured demon king, Ravana as he was Shiva's greatest worshipper. Mahashivratri 2019: Mythological Legends & Stories Associated With The Celebration of Maha Shivratri.
12. Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple in Maharashtra
Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple is located at the foothills of Brahmagiri Mountain in Nashik. The jyotirlinga in this temple is considered to be unique as it has three faces symbolizing Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The Jyotirlinga is covered by a jewelled crown, which is placed over the golden mask of the three Gods. Mahashivratri 2019: DO NOT ANGRY Lord Shiva By Offering These Five Things; Know The Mythological Stories Behind It This Maha Shivaratri!
Jyoti means 'radiance' and lingam the 'Image or Sign' of Shiva, hence Jyotir Lingam means the 'Radiant Sign of The Almighty Shiva'. These Jyotirlinga temples are considered sacred and have various interesting legends attached to them. These temples worship Jyotirlinga or Lingam, an aspect of Lord Shiva. Each of the twelve Jyotirlinga is considered a different manifestation of Shiva. At all of these sites, lingam is believed to represent the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, showcasing the infinite nature of Shiva.