सौराष्ट्रे सोमनाधञ्च श्रीशैले मल्लिकार्जुनम् |
उज्जयिन्यां महाकालं ओङ्कारेत्वमामलेश्वरम् ‖…
As per the sage Adi Sankarchrya, the above signifies the Jyotirlingam Stotram and a visit to these pious places satiates the spiritual longing in you. Now let’s have a look at the 12 jyotirlingas across India.
In India, the 12 jyotirlingas have been the foundations that have established the identity of that particular region. For admirers of architecture, history, legends, and spirituality, a visit to these 12 Jyotirlingas temples will enlighten you in every aspect. The 12 Jyotirlingas with names and place list will enhance your spiritual as well as travel experiences. Visiting these temples once in your lifetime are travel goals worth seeking.
These 12 Jyotirlingas temples are profound places of holiness with beautiful aspects and peaceful environs. One can head to these temples at any time of the year but during the time of festivals, especially Maha-Shivaratri, these temples become absolutely sensational.
It is considerably difficult to describe these 12 jyotirlingas in words, as the aura of these temples can only be felt after visiting. The appeal of temples and the power of 12 jyotirlingas in India can be better understood once comprehended what the jyotirlinga is about.
Here is the list of the 12 Jyotirlinga with names with images and places in sequence:
|NAMES OF JYOTIRLINGA’S||LOCATION||STATE|
|Shree Somnath Jyotirlinga||Veraval (Somnath)||Gujarat|
|Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga||Srisailam||Andhra Pradesh|
|Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga||Jaisinghpura, Ujjain||Madhya Pradesh|
|Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga||Khandwa||Madhya Pradesh|
|Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga||Shivganga Muhalla, Dardmara||Jharkhand|
|Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga||Bhimashankar, Pune||Maharashtra|
|Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga||Rameswaram||Tamil Nadu|
|Nageshwar Jyotirlinga||Daarukavanam, Devbhumi Dwarika||Gujarat|
|Vishwanath Jyotirlinga||Lahori Tola, Varanasi||Uttar Pradesh|
|Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga||Shrimant Peshwe Path, Trimbak||Maharashtra|
|Kedarnath Temple||Kedarnath, Rudraprayag||Uttarakhand|
|Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga||Aurangabad, Maharashtra||Maharashtra|
1. Somnath Jyotirlinga- The Temple with a Rich History
Location: Gir Somnath, Gujarat
Somnath is known as the first Jyotirlinga in India among the rest of Jyotirlinga temples. The temple is built in the Chalukya style of temple architecture. This pious temple is built at the shore of the Arabian ocean on the western corner of the Indian subcontinent. Somnath is among the most revered pilgrimage sites in the country.
According to Hindu mythology, the temple was primarily created by the moon in pure gold and later rebuilt by Ravana in silver and later it was built by Krishna in sandalwood and lastly by Bhimadeva in stone.
According to Shiva Purana, Soma married the 27 daughters of Daksha but neglected them. His father-in-law, Daksha thus cursed him that he will lose his luster and beauty. To get rid of the curse, Soma worshipped Shiva and his prayer was granted. Since then, it’s called Somnath, which means the ‘lord of the moon’. Mahmud Ghazni, a ruler of the Turkic dynasty, invaded the temple many times to loot the gold. The temple is named after the Moon, known as Soma.
The legend behind Somnath Jyotirlinga
Moon or Chandra was married to 27 daughters of Daksha, son of Brahma. But Chandra only gave attention to one named Rohini, which upset the others. Daksha didn’t like this behavior of Chandra and cursed him to lose all his light. This led to darkness in the entire world. All Gods came together to find a solution and asked Chandra to pray to Lord Shiva. After worshiping, Shiva appeared and blessed Chandra with the ray of light back again.
People believe that on moonless nights, Chandra comes and dips in the holy water to shine again. Thus, the name ‘Sommeswar’ or Jyotirlinga came into existence.
Somnath Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees every day from 6 AM to 9 PM. Arti is done thrice a day, which is at 7 AM, 12 PM, and 7 PM. Timing for the light and sound show – ‘Joy Somnath’ is 8 PM to 9 PM in the evening, daily.
How to reach Somnath:
The nearest railway station to Somnath is the Veraval Railway station, which is about 6 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Diu Airport, which is about 80 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi at the airport to reach the temple.
2. Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga – Known as Srisailam Temple
Location: Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh
Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga in Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh is known as Kashi of the South. According to the Shiv Puran, the Mallikarjuna jyotirlinga is the united form of both Shiva and Parvati. The word Mallika introduces Goddess Parvati whereas Arjun refers to God Shiv. Located in the Nallamala hill forests along the banks of the Krishna River, this temple is one of the popular Jyotirlingas in India among the twelve.
The temple is also called Sri Bhramaramba Mallikarjuna Temple. The beautiful architecture of the temple is marked with carvings, the colored pillars known as gopurams, and Mukha Mandapa Hall.
The legend behind Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga
One time, Shiva and Parvati were not able to decide which son to marry first, Ganesh or Kartikeya. To solve this, they asked both their sons to go around the world and whosoever came first will be married first to Riddhi and Siddhi. While Kartikeya went to take the round around the world, Ganesha started encircling Parvati and Ganesha as for him, they were his world. This gesture was loved by both Lord Shiva and Parvati and they decided to marry Ganesha first.
Out of frustration, Kartikeya went far to a mountain named ‘Kravunja’ and resided there. Knowing this, Shiva and Parvati decided to pay a visit to their son Kartikeya and Jyotirlings came into existence as the spot where they met Kartikeya.
Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for disciples every day from 4:30 AM to 10 PM.
How to reach Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga:
The nearest railway station to Somnath is Markapur Road, which is about 84 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Rajiv Gandhi International Airport which is about 200 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi at the airport to reach the temple.
3. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga- The Destroyer of All Elements
Location: Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
Located by the banks of the Kshipra River, the Mahakaleswar in Ujjain is the most powerful jyotirlinga and divine among the 12 Jyotirlingas. Mahakaleshwar jyotirlinga is also among the seven Mukti-Sthal (Place) in India. According to Hindu mythology, Mahakaal is an avatar of Lord Shiva, and devotees from various regions of India visit here to praise the lord Mahakaleshwar. The word Mahakaal is a combination of two words Maha (virtue of Lord Shiva) and Kaal (time).
The power of Lord Shiva is considered to be more prominent than the time itself and the theory of mortality and time does not affect him. It is believed that the Mahakaleshwar shrine was established by a five-year-old boy named Srikar. The temple has the only Swayambhu Jyotirlinga (Shiva is the immortal soul who has no creator above him), which has its refined energy.
The legend behind Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
Chandrasena was an ardent devotee of Shiva and ruled a kingdom. One day, king Ripudamana attacked the kingdom with the help of a demon named Dushan, who has the power to become invisible. Chandrasena feared defeat and prayed to Lord Shiva for help. Shiva appeared and promised to stay at the kingdom of Mahakaleshwar to protect it from Dushan and other demons. People still believe that Lord Shiva resides here.
Mahakaleshwar Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees every day from 4 AM to 11 PM. Darshan can be done from 8 AM to 10 AM, 10:30 AM to 5 PM, 6 PM to 7 PM, and 8 PM to 11 PM.
How to reach Mahakaleshwar Temple:
The nearest railway station to Somnath is Ujjain Junction, which is about 2 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, which is about 57 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi at the airport to reach the temple.
4. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga- Perched on an Enticing Island
Location: Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh
Resided on an Om-shaped island called Shivapuri on the banks of Narmada River, Madhya Pradesh. Denoting the Lord of the Om Sound. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga is a revered Hindu temple, which is the center of intense faith. The Omkareshwar temple is a magnificent three-storied temple supported by large pillars made up of carved granite stone.
There are two main temples of Lord Shiva here, one to Omkareshwar located on the island and one to Mamleshwar located on the south bank of Narmada River on the mainland. Mamleshwar here is linked to the lord of the immortals. Almost every devotee considers both the temples as equally divine jyotirlinga and visit both as these temples are not far away from each other.
The legend behind Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga
Demons attacked the kingdom of king Mandhata once and a mighty mountain requested Lord Shiva to help the people. Mandhata also worshiped Shiva a lot. So, Shiva helped them and due to the king’s devotion got pleased and decided to stay at Omkareshwar forever.
Omkareshwar Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees every day from 5 AM to 10 PM.
How to Reach Omkareshwar Temple:
The nearest railway station to Omkareshwar is the Khandwa Junction, which is about 70 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, which is about 85 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi at the airport to reach the temple.
5. Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga- Renowned for the Shrawan’s Mela
Location: Deoghar, Jharkhand
Vaidyanath Dham or Baba Baidyanath Temple is one of the most famous Jyotirlingas in India and also known as Baba Dham. The temple is located in Deoghar, Jharkhand, India. According to Hindu mythology, Once Ravana praised Shiva and asked him to visit Lanka. Shiva showed himself in the form of a shivling and ordered Ravana not to put it down anywhere until he reached Lanka.
Ravana accepted the condition and started his journey to Sri Lanka. En route, Lord Vishnu interrupted Ravana in the form of Jaldevta and influenced Ravana to keep the shivling at rest. Hence, Ravana forgot the condition and kept the shivling down. Since then Shiva dwells as Vaidyanath, in Deoghar town.
The temple complex consists of the main temple of Baba Baidyanath and the other 21 other temples. During the Shravan month, numerous devotees partake in an annual pilgrimage known as Kanwar Yatra, carrying holy water from Ganga to pour it on the Jyotirlinga at Baba Dham.
The legend behind Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga
Ravana was Shiva’s ardent devotee but as he lived in Lanka, he knew Shiva doesn’t reside here. So, to protect his kingdom, he started praying to Lord Shiva. One day, Shiva appeared and asked him his wish to which Ravana asked a lingam to be placed in his kingdom. Shiva warned him that if he kept the lingam once on the ground, it would stay there forever.
He agreed and on his way back asked a local shepherd to hold it and not place it on the ground until he returned. The shepherd said if he does not come on time, he will leave it.
Ravan failed and the shepherd kept the lingam on the ground where the Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga Temple is situated today.
Vaidyanath Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees every day in two-shift, which is from 4 AM to 3:30 PM and from 6 PM to 9 PM.
How to reach Vaidyanath Temple:
The nearest railway station to Baidyanath Dham is the Jasidih Junction, which is about 8 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Airport, which is also about 8 km away from the temple.
6. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga- Spirituality amidst Nature
Location: Pune, Maharashtra
According to Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Stotram, Bhimashankar is the sixth jyotirlinga among the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Located on the banks of River Bhima, this black rock structure temple holds a major religious significance among Hindus.
According to Hindu mythology, once Lord Shiva became angry and destroyed the brutal devil Bhima to ashes, and resided here in the form of a jyotirlinga. The temple has a Nagara architectural pattern, which belongs to the Maratha style of architecture. Apart from its religious significance the area also offers several spectacular views.
The legend behind Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga
Karkati once told his little boy, Bhima that his father, Kumbharakhan (the brother of Ravana) was killed by an avatar (reincarnation) of Rama. He raged with anger and decided to take revenge for his father’s death. He worshiped Brahma to gain worldly powers but instead misused to harm people and also ask them to worship him.
He took Shiva’s devotee Kamarupeshwar into his custody and was about to kill him when Lord Shiva appeared and killed Bhima, taking away all his powers. Gods asked Shiva to stay here to protect people and empower them against the demons like Bhima.
Bhimashankar Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees every day in two-shift, which is from 4:30 AM to 12 PM and from 4 PM to 9:30 PM.
How to reach Bhimashankar Temple:
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Karjat Junction, which is about 147 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Pune International Airport, which is also about 105 km away from the temple.
7. Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga- The Southernmost Jyotirlinga of India
Location: Rameswaram Island, Tamil Nadu
Rameshwaram owns the 7th position among the sequence of 12 jyotirlingas. The temple has a magnificent Dravidian style of architecture. Rameshwaram temple is located in a small town, which is situated in Pamban Island in Tamil Nadu. The special thing about the Rameshwaram temple is that there are twenty-two water bodies present in the temple complex.
According to the common belief, to show respect to Lord Shiva, devotees take a holy bath at these water bodies before Darshan. The Temple has two jyotirlingas, one made by Lord Rama and another brought by Hanuman from Kashi. It is said that the jyotirlinga brought by Hanuman is a replica of the Kashi Vishwanath jyotirlinga.
The legend behind Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga
There are two Jyortirlingas at Rameshwaram, one was brought by Lord Hanuman and the other by Mother Sita. These Jyotirlingas are also worshiped in the same order. Also, this was the place where Lord Rama worshiped Vishnu after killing Ravana.
Rameshwaram Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees every day in two-shift, which is from 5 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM.
How to reach Rameshwaram Temple:
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Rameswaram Railway Station, which is about 1.5 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Madurai Airport, which is also about 177 km away from the temple.
8. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga- Known for the Huge Statue of Shiva
Place: Daarukavanam in Gujarat
On the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat, between Gomati Dwarka and Bet Dwarka. Nageshwar is one of the most famous Jyotirlinga temples in India as it signifies the power of protection from all types of poisons. The temple is built with pink stone and the idol is Dakshinamurti. Only Hindu devotees are allowed to visit inside the Sanctorum to worship or perform Abhishek.
The permission to a devotee is given by the local priest in traditional attire. According to Shiv Purana, Lord Shiva smeared a demon named Daruka and his army to rescue his imprisoned devotee named Supriya. Lord Shiva’s body was covered with snakes thus named Nageshwar. There is also a large statue of a Shiva in a sitting position, which can be seen from far away.
The legend behind Nageshwar Jyotirlinga
Supriya, a devotee of Lord Shiva resided in Dwarka. She was attacked by a demon called Daaruka and eventually, started praying to Shiva. He appeared, killed Daaruka, and freed Supriya from him. Thus, this place became the abode of Lord Shiva.
Nageshwar Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees every day in two-shift, which is from 5 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM.
How to reach Nageshwar Temple:
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Dwarka Junction, which is about 16 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Jamnagar Airport, which is also about 127 km away from the temple.
9. Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga- Also Known as Shri Vishweshwar Temple
Location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishwanath is one of the most important Jyotirlingas in India among the rest. Millions of Devotees visit here every year to seek the blessing of the Almighty. According to the history of India, the temple was plundered several times as it was made up of absolute gold.
In the story in the Shiva Purana, once Brahma and Vishnu disputed about their domination. To test them, Lord Shiva converted himself as an endless pillar of light and asked them to find its end. While Lord Brahma lied to have found the end, Lord Vishnu admitted his defeat.
This turned Lord Shiva angry and cursed Brahma that he won’t be worshiped by Hindus, whereas Vishnu for his honesty, will be worshiped. In the meantime, the places where Shiva’s light penetrated through the Earth came to be known as the 12 jyotirlingas.
The legend behind Kashi Vishwanath Jyotirlinga
Kashi is known to be the oldest place on earth. Also, it is the abode of all the lords – Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (Shiva). People believe Kashi to be the place to get rid of all your sins and attain salvation. Thus, it is believed that Shiva created this place and the city that can never be destroyed.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees every day in two-shift, which is from 5 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM.
How to reach Kashi Vishwanath:
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Varanasi Junction, which is about 5 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi or auto to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, which is also about 25 km away from the temple.
10. Trimbakeshwar- Jyotirlinga with Three Faces
Location: Nashik, Maharashtra
Located on the banks of the River Godavari, near Brahmagiri Mountain, Nasik. Trimbakeshwar holds an eminent spiritual importance as it is among the four Hindu cities where the Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years.
The temple has a very unique shape and is famous all over the world. The three pillars placed inside the temple represent the three powerful and supreme Gods, namely, Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. It is said that there is a temple built at the site where Lord Rama performed the shraddha ceremony of his forefathers.
According to Hindu mythology, a rishi named Gautam and his wife had a boon that they would not ever suffer from famine. This made other rishis jealous of him. To ruin his reputation they planned a conspiracy and sent a cow to his barn. After some time the cow died and the rishis labeled him as a cow murderer. To get free from the false allegation, he started a penance and asked Lord Shiva to let the river Ganga flow through his ashram to purify it. Lord Shiva granted the wish. Rishi Gautam then requested Lord Shiva to stay there and hence God emerged in the form of Trimbakeshwar.
The legend behind Trimbakeshwar
Once there was a sadhu named Gautam Rishi who lived with his wife, Ahilya. Due to his devotion, he pleased Shiva who blessed Gautam with a pit to create as much food and grains as he wanted. His rivals got jealous of him and in anger, sent a dead cow to the pit. Gautam, in sadness and agony, called Lord Shiva who appeared and blessed the place with the Ganga River to wash away the sins and eventually started living here.
Trimbakeshwar Temple opening hours:
How to reach Trimbakeshwar:
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Nasik Road, which is about 38 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi or auto to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Nashik Airport, which is also about 50 km away from the temple.
11. Kedarnath – The Northernmost Jyotirlinga of India
Location: Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
Located on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini River in Uttarakhand; Kedarnath is important among all the Jyotirlingas. It is also one of the major Dham in Chardham that is Gangotri Ysamutori and Badrinath. It is believed that it was built by the five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata.
There is no confirmation about the temple in ancient literature that when it was built, but it is believed to be 3,000 years old. The temple remains closed for 6 months as it is located at a high altitude and suffers from severe climatic conditions. The Samadhi of the famous Hindu saint, Adi Shankaracharya is located just behind the main Kedarnath temple.
The legend behind Kedarnath Temple
In the Hindu epic, Mahabharata, the Pandavas (5 brothers) wanted to let go of all their sins to go to heaven and started their journey to find such a place. They worshiped Lord Shiva and found the shrine, which today we call Kedarnath Jyotirlinga Shiva Temple. Soon, they found Shiva in a vast triangular-shaped ‘Jyotirlinga’.
Kedarnath Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees from 4 AM to 12 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM. The opening of the temple also depends on climatic condition.
How to reach Kedarnath:
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Rishikesh Railway Station, which is about 210 km away from the Gaurikund. The only way to reach the temple is to trek from Gurikund, which is about 17 km to reach the temple. You can also take a chopper ride to take the temple. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, which is also about 225 km away from Gaurikund.
12. Grishneshwar – The Last as per Dwadasha Jyotirlinga Stotram
Location: Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Grishneshwar jyotirlinga is referred to as the lord of compassion. It is the last jyotirlinga among the 12 jyotirlingas in India. The temple is splendidly constructed with red and black stones. The temple has 5 storied Shikhara style construction, which is the mountain peak style of architecture.
The temple has beautiful carvings of Vishnu’s Dashavatar on the walls of the temple. In the main court hall of the temple, there is a huge Nandi Bull, which signifies purity and justice. The temple is located close to Ellora caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is also called Dhushmeshwar Temple.
The legend behind Grishneshwar
There was a woman named Kusum who worshiped Lord Shiva by immersing him in the water tank. This unique style of worship was not understood by her husband, who also had other wives. She was rejected by the people of her village too. In agony, her husband killed her son but Kusum continued with her prayers. One day, Lord Shiva appeared in front of her along with her son out of the water tank, and therefore, the Jyotirlinga stayed here forever.
Grishneshwar Temple opening hours:
The temple remains open for devotees every day from 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM.
How to reach Grishneshwar Temple:
The nearest railway station to the temple is the Aurangabad Railway Station, which is about 34 km away from the temple. On arrival, you can hire a taxi or auto to reach the temple. The nearest airport is Aurangabad Airport, which is also about 41 km away from the temple. You can hire a taxi at the airport to reach the temple.
Legend of 12 Jyotirlingas in India
According to an ancient religious text called the Shiva Mahapurana, once there was a tiff between Vishnu and Brahma over supremacy. During this time, Lord Shiva emerged as a pillar of light in front of them. He asked them to find the end of this pillar and sent Brahma upwards and Vishnu downwards. Though Vishnu accepted his defeat of not being able to find the end, Brahma lied.
Lord Shiva cursed Brahma to not be worshiped till the end of eternity, though he is the creator of the universe. This pillar of light came to be known as ‘Jyotirling’ and the legend is followed till date.
Later in 800 CE, Adi Shankaracharya revived Hinduism and mentioned the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva in India in his Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotram present in different locations across India. You can book an India tour with Tourism of India for Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Darshan.
So, which of these jyotirlingas to visit in India will you be visiting first? Plan your holy tour to these 12 Jyotirlingas temples in India and explore the best spiritual side of the country. Why wait? Book now 12 Jyotirlinga tour package at best cost!
Frequently Asked Questions Jyotirlinga in India
Q: Which is the most powerful Jyotirlinga?
Ans. Out of all 12, Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is the most powerful Jyotirlinga. It is considered to be the most sacred abode of Lord Shiva.
Q: Which Jyotirling should I visit first?
Ans. 12 Jyotirlinga Darshan usually starts from the Somnath Jyotirlinga located in Gujarat.
Q: What is the difference between Jyotirlinga and Shivling?
Ans. Jyotirlinga and Shivling, both are worshiped as Lord Shiva. The only difference is that Shivling can be made and placed in temples by humans but Jyotirlinga cannot. It is believed to have emerged from the earth itself.