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
Image Credits – Wikimedia
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
Image Credits – Wikimedia
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
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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
Image Credits- Wikimedia
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.
HOW TO REACH VARANASI?
BHIMASHANKAR, PUNE, MAHARASHTRA
Image Credits – YASHRAJSINH
Bhimashankar Temple is one of the well-known Jyotirlinga located in the village of Bhorgiri 50 km northwest of Khed, near Pune. It is located 125 km away from Pune in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri hills. This temple is located on the banks of River Bhima.
The great Maratha ruler Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj is said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate worship services.
Temple opening hours: 04:30 AM to 12:00 Noon and 04:00 PM to 09:30 PM, on all days of the week. Darshan starts at 05:00 AM in the morning and continues till 09:30 PM in the night. In the afternoon, during Madhyan Aarti, darshan is closed for 45 minutes.
HOW TO REACH BHIMASHANKAR?
VAIDYANATH, DEOGHAR, JHARKHAND
Image Credits – YASHRAJSINH
Vaidyanatha Jyotirlinga Temple, also known as Baba Baidyanath Dham & Baidyanath dham is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. This temple is located in Deoghar in the Santhal Parganas division of the Jharkhand state. The name of the builder of the temple is not traceable, certain parts of the front portion of the temple are said to have been built by Puran Mal, an ancestor of the Maharaja of Giddhour, in 1596.
Temple opening hours: The temple is open on all seven days from 04:00 AM to 03:30 PM and from 06:00 PM to 09:00 PM.
HOW TO REACH VAIDYANATH?
MAHAKALESHWAR, UJJAIN, MADHYA PRADESH
Image Credits – Jayesh Lashkari
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the twelve Jyotirlingams, shrines which are said to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva.
The temple complex was destroyed by Sultan Shams-ud-din Iltutmish during his raid of Ujjain. The Jyotirlingam was destroyed and believed to be thrown into a nearby pond called ‘Kotiteerth Kunda’ with the Jaladhari during the invasion. The present temple is a five-story structure and was constructed midway during the 18th century.
According to Hindu mythology, the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain was built by Lord Brahma. However, the temple structure suggests that the temple was built midway through the 18th century in Bhumija, Chalukya, and Maratha styles of architecture.
Temple opening hours: 4 AM to 11 PM, all days of the week.
HOW TO REACH MAHAKALESHWAR?
Image Credits – Santosh Gowda
Kedarnath Temple, located at a height of nearly 3,500 meters above the sea level and this temple remains covered in snow for the most part of the year. This temple is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. The temple is open to the general public only between the months of April and November. Kedarnath is a deeply spiritual experience for travelers.
According to Hindu Mythology, the temple was built by Pandavas after Mahabharat War and the present temple was established by Adi Shankaracharya, who restored the glory of the shrine in the 8th century A.D. Pilgrims on their way to Kedarnath, first visit Gangotri and Yamunotri to take holy water, which they offer to Kedarnath Shivalinga.
Temple opening hours: 04:00 AM to 12:00 Noon and 03:00 PM to 09:00 PM
HOW TO REACH KEDARNATH?
Image Credits – Saumya Rai
Ramanathaswamy Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, where Lord Shiva is worshiped in the form of a Jyotirlinga meaning “pillar of light”. Visiting Rameshwaram is incomplete without bathing at 22 Theerthams. It’s believed that all your sins are washed away, and your health regains after the pouring water from all these wells.
The temple is situated near to the ocean bay, in the early morning couples can perform a Dampathi Snanam. It’s said that before going to temple one must take a dip in this Theertham.
Srilankan King Parakramabahu (1153 – 1186 CE) built the main Sannathis inside the temple and the first corridor during the end of 12th century. Devotees visiting Rameshwaram, also visit Dhanushkodi beach, from where Lord Rama had built Ram Setu up to Lanka, to save his wife Sita Devi.
Temple opening hours: 05:00 AM to 01:00 PM and 03:00 PM to 09:00 PM.
HOW TO REACH RAMESWARAM?
MALLIKARJUNA, ANDHRA PRADESH
Image Credits – Shree Ram Malani
Srisailam is most famous for Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple which is present at the Nallamala Hills. This beautiful temple is located at the banks of River Krishna. The shrine where Mallikarjuna is housed is considered the oldest in the temple, dating back to the 7th century.
The period of Reddi Kings (AD 1325-1448) is the Golden Age of Srisailam that almost all rulers of this dynasty did celebrated service for the temple.
Temple opening hours: The temple is open from 04:30 AM to 10:00 PM every day.
HOW TO REACH SRISAILAM?
TRIMBAKESHWAR, NASHIK, MAHARASHTRA
Trimbakeshwar Temple is a religious centre having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Trimbakeshwar Temple is located near Brahmagiri mountain from which the river Godavari flows. This beautiful temple was constructed by Third Peshwa Balaji Bajirao (1740-1760) on the site of an old temple.
The astonishing feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces representing Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Rudra. The Lingas are covered by a jewelled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma, Vishnu & Maheshwara).
Temple opening hours: 05:30 AM to 09:00 PM, all days of the week.
Image Credits – Luv Kumar
HOW TO REACH TRIMBAKESHWAR?
Tamilnadu is often called the Land of Temples and this state is blessed with more than 33K temples. Gopurams are widespread in South Indian Temples, mainly in Tamil Nadu.