12 Jyotirlingas in India – Jyotirlinga is a devotional representation of the Supreme God Shiva. In India, there are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga Shrines. Originally there were 64 Jyotirlingas out of which 12 are considered to be highly holy and auspicious. Check out this list of 12 Jyotirlingas in India and choose the destinations you still need to cover.
SOMNATH, GIR SOMNATH, GUJARAT
The Somnath Temple located in Saurashtra on the Western Coast of Gujarat is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. There is a mention of the Somanath Temple in Sreemad Bhagavadgita, Skanda Purana, Shiva Purana, and even in Rig Veda. It’s believed that Chaulukya King Mularaja probably built the first temple at the site sometime before 997 CE, even though some historiographers believe that he may have renovated a smaller earlier temple.
The term Somnath suggests ‘The Protector of Moon God‘. The seven-storied structure of the Somnath temple is 155 feet high.
In 1024, during the rule of Bhima I, the prominent Turkic ruler Mahmud of Ghazni raided Gujarat, plundering the Somnath temple and breaking its Jyotirlinga. Consequently, the temple was destroyed in 1297 & 1394 by the Sultanate of Delhi, and the last attack was made by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb in 1706. It is said that the temple was looted and destroyed as many as seventeen times. The present temple was built in 1995 by Shree Somnath Trust in the company of the Government of India.
Temple opening hours: Every day from 06:00 AM to 09:00 PM. Aarti takes place at 07:00 AM, 12:00 Noon, and 07:00 PM.
HOW TO REACH SOMNATH?
NAGESHWAR, DAARUKAVANAM, GUJARAT
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple is considered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. This Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga Shrines as stipulated in the Shiva Purana. There is a 25 m tall statue of a sitting Lord Shiva at the entrance of the temple. This is one of the most powerful Jyotirlingas in India, which symbolizes the protection of all types of poisons.
The Nageshwar Lord Temple is located between Gomti & Dwarka and it is also very near the Island of Bait Dwarka on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat. The specialty of this Shivalinga is different from other Shivalingas, this one is made of a stone known popularly as Dwaraka Shila, which has small chakras on it. The shape of the Linga is more or less like an oval 3 Mukhi Rudraksha.
Temple opening hours: 05:00 AM to 09:00 PM, on all days of the week. Devotees can go for darshan between 06:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 05:00 PM to 09:00 PM.
HOW TO REACH NAGESHWAR?
GRISHNESHWAR, AURANGABAD, MAHARASHTRA
Grishneshwar Temple located in Ellora is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Grishneshwar is the smallest of the Jyotirlingas and is considered the last or the 12th Jyotirlinga.
The temple was re-constructed by Maloji Bhosale of Verul, (Grand Father of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj) in the 16th century and later again by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar in 18th century.
Temple opening hours: For darshan and puja, visit the temple between 05:30 AM to 09:30 PM.
HOW TO REACH AURANGABAD?
OMKARESHWAR, KHANDWA, MADHYA PRADESH
Omkareshwar Temple is one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. This temple is located in Omkar mountain an island in the mid-Narmada river. It’s a sacred island that is shaped like the Hindu symbols ‘OM’, drawing millions of travelers from all around the world.
A unique thing about the Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga temple is that the main Shivalinga is not below the Shikara, it is on the side. The Shivalinga is in the form of a rock on which continually water is offered. Three times a day the abhishekam is done with Milk, Curd, and Narmada water.
Temple opening hours: Open on all days of the week from 05:00 AM in the morning to 10:00 PM in the night. Darshan is between 05:30 AM to 12:20 PM and 04:00 PM to 08:30 PM.
HOW TO REACH OMKARESHWAR?
KASHI VISHWANATH, VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. This beautiful temple stands today was built in 1780 by the Late Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples.
The Temple located on the Western Bank of the Holy River Ganga. The Kashi Temple was first destroyed to the ground by the army of Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1194 AD.
It was rebuilt again during Iltutmish’s reign but was brought down again. It was rebuilt again by Raja Mann Singh. Nevertheless, the temple was further restored by Raja Torad Mal. A few decades later, the temple was demolished again, this time by Aurangzeb.
Other than that, the temple also houses several other small temples such as Kaalbhairav, Maha Vishnu, Virupaksh Gauri, Vinayaka, and Avimukteshwara.
Temple opening hours: The temple opens every day from 02:30 AM for 11:00 PM.