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Jyotirlings

Jyotirling is believed to be a sacred symbol that represents the permanent abode of Lord Shiv. It is also said that after attaining a certain level of devotion to Shiv, the devotee can see the stone ling as a glow of light radiating from the earth.

According to the Puranas, Lord Shiv, also known as Aadi Dev and Mahadev, made his first appearance in the form of a Jyotirling. This incident took place on Krishna Chaturdashi of the Phalgun month in the Ardra nakshatra. This day is celebrated today as the festival of Mahashivratri.

Regarding the birth of the Ling, descriptions in the Ling Puran state once when Brahma and Vishnu debated the superiority of the Gods, Shiv appeared in the form of an infinite Jyotirling and asked them to determine the beginning and the end of the Ling.

Lord Vishnu took the form of varah, and Brahma that of a swan to determine the upper and the lower ends of the ling, respectively.

After a journey of 1000 years, Lord Vishnu could not locate the source of the Jyotirling and returned unsuccessful. On the other hand, Brahma produced a Ketaki flower as a witness and made a false claim of locating the upper end.

Lord Shiv, furious at Brahma's lie, emerged from the Jyotirling and spelled a curse that Brahma will not be worshipped anywhere in the world and that Ketaki flowers will not be used in any religious celebration. This entire episode also proved that Lord Shiv is the greatest of all Gods.

A group of modern historians believe that the Jyotirling locations were centres of ancient atomic powers. Noted historian P. N. Oak's reasoning behind the presence of radioactive elements in the water and sand of Banaras (Kashi) is also the same.

The word Jyotirling is derived from the words Jyoti (vision) and ling (symbol of Shiv). From a philosophical viewpoint, it means the vision that shows a devotee the path toward unison with Shiv, and by treading the path, one can be in complete harmony with Shiv. This is perhaps the basis of the non-dualist (adwaitwadi) philosophy of Shankar.

Lord Shiv appeared as a Jyotirling at various places for the welfare of the people. According to the Shiv Puran and Aadiguru Shankaracharya's composition 'Dwadash Jyotirling Strotram', there are 12 Jyotirlings—Shri Somnath, Shri Mallikarjun, Shri Mahakaleshwar, Shri Imkareshwar and Amaleshwar, Shri Kedareshwar, Shri Bhemashankar, Shri Vishwanath, Shri Trimbakeshwar, Shri Vaidyanath, Shri Rameshwaram, and Shri Ghrishneshwar.

The Shiv Puran illustrates the stories of how each of these Jyotirlings was established. It also states that the mere utterance of the names of the Jyotirlings rids an individual of the sins that he/she has committed in 7 lives.

The spiritual significance of the Jyotirlings is mentioned in various Puranas as well as epics like Ramayan and Mahabharat. Lord Krishna performed the rudrabhishek in the Nageshwar Jyotirling, and the Rameshwar Jyotirling was established by Lord Ram.

Somnath

The first Jyotirling of Shiv is installed in Somnath, also known as Prabhash Patan and Dev Patan. This city in the state of Gujarat is situated on the coast of the Arabian Sea. It was a prominent port and a religious centre, famous even in the ancient times. The city is a classic evidence of the destructive and creative sides of...
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Mallikarjun Shrishailam

Mallikarjun, the second Jyotirling of Shiv, is situated on the Shri Shail Mountain in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Shri Shail is the northern part of the Nallamalai range, the southern part being called as Kailash. It is also known as Shri Parvat or Shrigiri. Currently this region is protected under the Project Tiger...
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Mahakaleshwar Ujjain

Ujjain is situated on the Malwa plateau of Madhya Pradesh, 56 km from Indore and on the eastern banks of Kshipra river. This land of Mahakaal (Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling) is a prime centre for believers from the Shaiv, Vaishnav & Shakta sects. Not only is the Kumbh festival celebrated here at 12 year intervals, but the...
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Omkareshwar Amaleshwar

These 2 Jyotirlings of Shiv are combined and treated as 1. Of these Jyotirlings situated in the Malwa region of Western Madhya Pradesh, one of them called Omkareshwar is on Mandhata island (in the midst of Narmada River), and the other called Amaleshwar is on the mainland on the banks of Narmada...
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Kedarnath

Kedarnath is the northernmost Jyotirling of Shiv, situated in the Rudraprayag district of Uttaranchal. This place is considered as the 3rd of the 4 dhams in the Himalaya region and is also the source of Mandakini River. The last days of Aadiguru Shankaracharya were spent here and it is here that he got Nirvana...
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Bhimashankar

This Shiv Jyotirling is situated in the Khed Taluka of the Pune district of Maharashtra. It is 126 km to the north of Pune in Bhavgiri village. Believed to be associated with Kaushik Rishi, it also has a shrine of Kamalaja Devi, a form of Durga. Noted saints Gyandev and Namdev, who laid the foundations of the Maratha...
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Kashi Vishwanath

It is the 3rd largest city in Uttar Pradesh and is also considered as the cultural capital of India. The name Kashi is derived from the fact that it gives prakash (light) of Brahma or God), and the location between Varuna and Asi rivers gives it the name Varanasi. One of the 7 Mokshdaayi Puris in India, Kashi is a holy city for...
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Tryambakeshwar Nasik

Sinhasth Kumbh is held in the Nasik-Trimbakeshwar area of Maharashtra. Nasik city is situated on the banks of Godavari River, 8 km to the west of Nasik railway station on the Delhi-Mumbai rail route. Trimbakeshwar is 29 km to the west of Nasik. Godavari river originates from Brahmagiri. Shiva's famous Jyotirling is also situated here...
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Baidyanath Deoghar

Baidyanath-dham, popularly known as Deoghar, is in the state of Jharkhand, 8 km from Jasidih junction on the Howrah-Delhi rail route. It has been referred to by various names like Harda Peeth, Ravan-Van, Haritki-Van, and Ketaki-Van in different ancient sources. According to the Shakt following, the place where the heart of...
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Nageshwar Dwarika

Dwarika is situated along the coast of the Arabian Sea on the western border of India, in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat. It is not only one of the 4 dhams but is considered as one among the 7 moksh-daayi cities. The compositions of the Vaishnav Alwar saints consider it as one among the 108 Divya-deshams...
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Grishneshwar Ellora

This Jyotirling is located in Verul village of the Aurangabad district in Maharashtra. It is 28 km from Aurangabad and 14 km from Daulatabad. Ghrishneshwar Jyotirling is also known as Kusumeshwar and Ghushmeshwar. At 500 metres away from the main temple (Jyotirling) are the famous Ellora caves, now declared a world heritage...
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More in Jyotirlings...

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Somnath

The first Jyotirling of Shiv is installed in Somnath, also known...

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Mallikarjun Shrishailam

Mallikarjun, the second Jyotirling of Shiv, is situated on...

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Mahakaleshwar Ujjain

Ujjain is situated on the Malwa plateau of Madhya Pradesh, 56 km from...

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Omkareshwar Amaleshwar

These 2 Jyotirlings of Shiv are combined and treated as 1. Of these...

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Kedarnath

Kedarnath is the northernmost Jyotirling of Shiv, situated in the...

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Bhimashankar

This Shiv Jyotirling is situated in the Khed Taluka of the...

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Kashi Vishwanath

It is the 3rd largest city in Uttar Pradesh and is also...

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Tryambakeshwar Nasik

Sinhasth Kumbh is held in the Nasik-Trimbakeshwar area of Maharashtra...

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img

Baidyanath Deoghar

Baidyanath-dham, popularly known as Deoghar, is in the state of...

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img

Nageshwar Dwarika

Dwarika is situated along the coast of the Arabian Sea on...

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img

Grishneshwar Ellora

This Jyotirling is located in Verul village of the Aurangabad district...

Click here